Circular economy is based on the idea of using waste rather than raw materials to create new products, leaving behind the traditional and unsustainable linear economy which leaves planet-damaging leftovers in its path.
The Green Alley Award is Europe’s first startup prize for the Circular Economy, and began six years ago. It offers contestants a unique chance to network, as well as €25,000 prize money for the most-promising startup. Public voting has taken place for this year’s Green Alley Award, and the public have chosen the winner from a list of 20 shortlisted startups from a total of 189 applications. The winner is soon to be announced, so whilst we wait, here are some of our favourites from the awesome startups reducing waste with their innovative solutions.
It may only be possible to keep global warming to internationally agreed limits if we take CO2 out of the atmosphere, and Carbonauten’s charcoal-like biocarbons do exactly that. The German startup has created an innovative climate-negative alternative to traditional building materials, consisting of a combination of CO2-lowering biocarbons with different binders. Each ton of carbonaut biocarbon permanently stores up to 3.3 tons of CO2, immediately and effectively reducing CO2 emissions and costs.
Discover more at carbonauten.com
Monitoring the how, what and the amount of resources companies use is vital for reducing their impact. Seacirc is a Norwegian green technology company which provides a digital software-based solution for sustainability optimisation by quantifying organisations’ use of resources. This helps with improving transparency and highlighting areas for improvement within companies, leading to less waste, lower use of raw materials, higher recycling rates, and a longer lifespan of products, all contributing to a circular economy.
Discover more at seacirc.com
3. Excess Materials Exchange
A common barrier to using recycled materials is not knowing where to acces them, or how to find the right ones. Excess materials is a Dutch platform that is trying to solve this. They provide a kind of online swap meet for industry with their digital matching platform, helping firms to find new high-quality reuse options for their materials or waste products by directing them to companies that will use them for something. They insist that realising a smaller ecological footprint and greater financial value simply go together.
Discover more at excessmaterialsexchange.com
Germany based sustainable startup Papair has conquered the common question of how to avoid single use plastic in bubble wrap, without ending up breaking everything. They have developed a planet-friendly alternative, made from 100 per cent recycled paper. Simple but effective.
Discover more at papair.de
More and more people are purchasing electric vehicles (EV) which is of course great for reducing emissions. However, it is creating a potentially massive new waste stream; used batteries. German startup Betteries is trying to tackle this before it becomes a problem, by upcycling used EV battery modules to give them a productive 2nd life, before they get finally recycled.
Discover more at betteries.com