With just a few days left to apply for our brand new Net Zero programme, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at some of the tech companies who come under the Net Zero umbrella.
The growth programme is designed to help tech companies who are helping the UK reach its Net Zero by 2050 target. But what does that mean? And what does it look like in action?
The answer is incredibly varied. Achieving a carbon zero society is something that will affect pretty much every single aspect of all of our lives, and it’s up to businesses to solve, as well as the humble consumer to take action. This means that companies working towards the goal can range from those helping individuals make better choices everyday, to those who are helping cities and countries change their infrastructure for the better.
Here, we take a look at some of the categories Net Zero companies fall into, and some exciting UK tech companies which are making strides to help us all become a little greener.
Cities are high on the culprit list when it comes to harming the environment, though it’s pretty impossible to imagine our world without them. It’s abundantly clear that we need tech to help cities become greener, less polluted and less wasteful, which will naturally lead to an improvement in quality of life – it’s a win win.
Connected Kerb is one such company which is working on the infrastructure needed for the mass adoption of electric cars. Lots of us want to go electric when it comes to hitting the road, but if there are no places to charge, we won’t make it very far. Connected Kerb, charging ports are contained in kerbs, and their tech also supports environmental and air quality management sensors, parking management sensors and varied payment platforms.
Already making strides in this area are Zap Map, an EV charging resource helping EV drivers find charging points and plan longer journeys. The resource is updated live, and even has details of charging speed and geographical distribution, which allows potential EV owners make informed choices.
Also tackling the issue of city pollution, Onto offers flexible electric car subscription. Combining two massive consumer trends, flexibility and reduced carbon consumption, Onto is all-inclusive, offering maximum convenience and minimum climate-guilt.
Making waves within maritime emissions is Artemis Technologies, which is on a mission to take the global lead in the decarbonisation of the maritime industry. It has been developing truly transformative and complex tech that reduces the drag of conventional fast ferries by up to 90%, uniquely making electric propulsion commercially viable.
Deliveries are crucial to the lifeblood of city living, but can be a big problem when it comes to carbon consumption. Magway are creating a super-cool, futuristic way of overcoming the issue. Their revolutionary e-commerce delivery system reduces congestion and air pollution, and has a significantly lower operating cost. It uses linear motors to propel parcels in sealed pipes along underground and overground tracks.
EAV Cargo is another tech company tackling the issue of city deliveries. Its e-cargo bikes are made of sustainable, natural fibre composite bodywork and use a combination of electric and solar energy to zip around cities, optimising their delivery journeys by accessing cycle infrastructure and car-free zones.
Big corporates are massive consumers of energy, with glass office buildings being notoriously bad for the environment. Zeigo is one company enabling big corporations to make better choices when it comes to energy suppliers, using their smart platform to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy.
Home energy is another focus for greentechs, capitalising on the consumer desire to make greener choices. In the past, clean energy options often tended to be more expensive, awkward to implement and, on the whole, difficult and less reliable. Now, there are a number of companies offering green options that are much more attractive to the typical consumer.
Wondrwall is pushing forward its own ‘smart home’ system that has a focus on clean energy. Learning your family habits, it uses a combination of renewable energy, battery storage and energy efficiency to eliminate the need for energy bills entirely. Tepeo is another company offering a home heating system that doesn’t harm the earth. Their zero emission boiler is an affordable and high performing replacement to a gas or oil boiler – it has the potential to be truly revolutionary.
Looking to change the way people ventilate their homes, Airex have developed a smart and sustainable ventilation system. Lowering energy bills, and improving air circulation and home health, it’s another great example of an option that’s more beneficial for the consumer in the long run, as well as for the planet.
Laundry isn’t the first thing most of us think of when we talk about climate change, but the typical way of washing clothes isn’t very environmentally clean! Oxwash is looking to change that; its washing technology saves up to 60% of the water consumption versus a typical commercial washing machine, uses biodegradable detergent and also filters out microfibres and microplastics, saving them from entering the system and ending up in our drinking water.
Coming at it from a different angle, Ripple Energy offers the consumer the opportunity to buy a small part of a wind farm; it’s quite literally a chance to take ownership of your energy consumption. Fully flexible and up to 65% cheaper than solar panels on your home, this is tapping into the social trend of ‘chipping in’ to something a lot larger, and harnessing your individual consumer choice to influence wider society at the same time.
As climate consciousness becomes more popular among the general population, solutions for tracking your own carbon consumption have also popped up. Empowering people to face up to their own, not so climate-friendly behaviours is a brilliant way to raise public awareness and enable people to make better choices. Every little helps, and small changes – if done en masse – can make global waves.
Pawprint is one such company – launching this year, it allows people to track their carbon consumption, and sets personalised challenges to help them get their ‘number’ down. It also connects people with eco-friendly initiatives in their local area.
When it comes to navigating the supermarket aisles, Almond is a free app that points consumers towards responsible and sustainable brands, encouraging not only the consumer to make responsible choices, but also for companies to clean up their acts. Giki Zero provides a step-by-step guide to cleaning up your act, it’s almost like a ‘couch to 5k’ for becoming carbon neutral!
We all need to eat, but the food industry is another big sinner when it comes to climate change, with single use plastics being a common visual representation of human damage to the earth. The food industry is ripe for green revolution, and UK tech is on the case.
Being wasteful feels horrible, and it’s not good for the planet or your pocket – the average family throws away about £70 worth of food per month. Kitche helps consumers reduce their food wastage by enabling them to quickly and easily track the food they have in the house, sending reminders to use certain food items, and suggesting recipes to use up what they have.
Takeaway drinks are another big offender when it comes to sustainability, but CupClub could be the solution. It’s a returnable and reusable packaging service, suitable for hot and cold drinks. Not only do they make it easy to be environmentally friendly, the cups themselves are a step-up from disposable cups – CupClub’s service uses only half the CO2e of disposables and ceramics (including PE lined, styrofoam and compostable PLA).
Lett Us Grow is a super exciting prospect for those of us with green fingers. It makes cutting-edge greenhouses and vertical, indoor farms to allow consumers, restaurants and local suppliers to grow their own fruit, vegetables and herbs – it’s something that could revolutionise the way we eat and live, and could massively impact the ‘miles travelled’ for each dish we eat.
Another company looking at the way food is produced is Arborea, a biotech which works to grow organic, healthy food ingredients with the smallest environmental impact. It has developed a breakthrough cultivation system, the BioSolar Leaf, which harnesses natural photosynthesis in a radical new way. Using sunlight, their technology facilitates the growth of microscopic plants to produce healthy food ingredients, all while generating breathable oxygen and sequestering large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2), a major contributor to climate change.
It’s clear that humans need to get better at being greener and cleaner, and looking at the range and scope of UK tech that’s working towards the net zero goal has us seriously excited about the next few decades. We can’t wait to start helping companies in this area to grow, scale and help make the world a better place.
If you’re a UK tech company that’s joining the Net Zero cause, apply to join our growth programme – applications close on Monday 20th July at 5pm.