Green tech isn’t necessarily a new sector, but with the recent boom in investment streams being established to support those with the next best sustainable idea, it’s certainly having its time in the zeitgeist.

As with anything deemed popular, this is coming with the pitfalls of fraudulent sustainable solutions – coined greenwashing by prominent environmentalist Jay Westerveld. But the South West is home to a multitude of organisations that are developing tech solutions to fight the niche causes of climate change, with the ambition to shape a sustainable future.

You’ll find a range of approaches in this list, all worthy of merit in their own right. As technology is accountable for an array of problems that has led to our current climate crisis, it’s enlightening to see so many entrepreneurs using their creativity and expertise to turn the tide, building tools that would not be possible without the scope tech provides.

This list is just a tiny snippet of the innovation happening under the umbrella of tech for good in our region. To see the full map of businesses working to create a positive impact, check out the Tech for Good Bristol & Bath cluster map made in partnership with Rocketmakers.

Albotherm is developing a very unique solution to reducing energy usage in buildings. The problem they’re tackling is the excessive amount of energy required to cool agricultural, domestic, and commercial buildings – and as we all experienced with the recent record breaking temperatures, this is a sustainability issue that will become even more prevalent. Predictions expect the energy used to cool down buildings will reach 13% of global energy by 2050. 

So Albotherm’s answer? To develop glass coatings that reversibly transition from transparent to white to reduce solar gain in hot weather, allowing buildings and greenhouses to regulate their own temperature without electrical input. Their coatings are tunable to transition temperatures between 18 °C and 45 °C to create comfortable internal temperatures in a range of climates.    

Temperature regulation is one of the largest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions with air conditioning alone accounting for 20% of electricity usage from buildings and 10% of total global electricity usage. Glass buildings in particular have problems with overheating as they trap solar radiation.

There is already growing support behind the startup as founders Molly Allington (CEO) and Dr Sian Fussell (CTO) celebrated the completion of a £370k investment round last year.

Ecologi is a platform for climate action that helps individuals, families, and businesses become climate positive. The social enterprise provides innovative and progressive tools for people to act on climate; a subscription service to reverse climate change; a marketplace for climate solutions; and most recently their real-time carbon footprinting for business.

This was born out of the knowledge that the current tools we associate with fighting climate change are inadequate and the idea that empowering the masses could make a real difference. There are enough climate solutions that are out there right now, that if we supported them, it would undo 30 years of carbon damage by avoiding 1,500 billion tonnes of CO2.

The B-Corp Certified business is considered a market leader having funded the planting of over 45 million trees and offset over 2 million tonnes of CO2e.

Greener is a matchmaking platform that helps small businesses in the food and drink industry discover and implement sustainable solutions. You can think of it a bit like a dating website, only instead of finding romantic partners they help users build sustainable supply chains.

A year on from the platform’s official launch, the disruptive sustainability startup successfully closed its bridge round with £113,000 of venture capital funding from SFC Capital. The team successfully raised a further £142k in pre-seed funding last May to take their algorithmic matchmaking platform live and advance their mission of making sustainability accessible and affordable for small businesses.

As the team works to put sustainability at the core of every supply chain decision in the food and drink industry, the cash injection will be used to fuel the growth of their platform and reach more small business owners and sustainability innovators.

LettUs Grow is redefining what farming means. The team believes through careful innovation in the sector, we can reduce the environmental impact of agriculture – and not at the expense of the farmer. At the heart of Lettus Grow is a passion for food and the environment, alongside a dedication to make sustainable farming a sustainable business. 

Their ambition is to ensure that the farmers, growers and entrepreneurs who are choosing this eco-friendly method of growing food can rely on a stable and profitable business model. LettUs Grow aims to improve our food system and help mitigate climate change by actively working towards a future where affordable, healthy food can be grown and accessed locally.

This is all done through designing and bulding aeroponic technology and farm management software for indoor and vertical farms. Forget what you associate with a traditional farm, now they can exist in the beating heart of the city. 

Matter.’s mission is to improve the health of our world and its water by capturing microplastics and stopping this pollution from choking our planet and threatening our ecosystems. 

Micro-pollutants may be microscopic in size, but they pose colossal challenges to our climate. Matter. is utilising its expertise in design and technology – combined with an impatience to make what they do matter – to stop this pollution at its source.

Matter. recently closed a successful Pre-Series A investment round, securing $500k of new funding from Builders Vision’s Rising Tide Fund. This follows the recent £150,000 investment from the British Design Fund and the company’s entry into the Elemental Excelerator programme for climate technologies.

Nicole Stock, Marketing Communications Executive at Matter. tells us, “We are striving to make a big positive impact is through our B2C product Gulp. Gulp is the first sustainable long-lasting microplastic filter for washing machines that captures microplastics from laundry and stops them from entering our waterways. Our passion to create a positive impact doesn’t just stop at our products though. Sustainability is in our DNA and why Matter exists. We incorporate environmental and social criteria into every business decision in the belief that investing in people and the planet is possible.”

Sennen provides software for renewable energy market leaders, putting data at the heart of their asset management strategy. Sennen provides affordable, effective and seamless data systems that facilitate deployment and operation of new infrastructure in the clean energy sector.

It has far reaching impact as London Array, one of the largest offshore wind farms in the world, deploys their tech. The purpose is always the same – to digitise and automate operations to overcome the complexities of operating at scale. The startup raised £780k in equity funding earlier this year to propel this mission. Gaby Amiel, CEO at Sennen, says. “A commitment to tackling climate change drives what we do at Sennen and we are determined to offer a working environment that is inclusive, diverse and supportive.

“We are in the fortunate position of being right in that sweet spot of clean energy technology, which is an attractive proposition for ESG-focused investors. As the energy transition continues at pace, we look forward to being at the forefront of digital transformation in the renewables industry.”

With an increased awareness of human impact on the environment, businesses have a growing responsibility to mitigate their carbon footprint. Spherics is working to help companies, large and small, do just that. The cloud-based platform enables businesses to understand their carbon footprint and make net zero a reality.

As featured on the Tech for Good Bristol & Bath dataset, their mission is to illuminate the path to net zero by 2030 for millions of businesses, by providing quick and affordable technologies to support their journey.

The startup took home the Data Data Data award at The SPARKies 2022 for its work in developing a world-leading automated carbon accounting system, which uses natural language processing to attribute conversion factors to financial transactions, dramatically improving the accuracy, and reducing the cost of carbon footprinting.

To learn more about startups in the South West keen to create a sustainable future and make a positive impact, check out all the features we’ve shared throughout Impact Month.