Cleantech Innovation, Collaboration, and Climate ActionFriday, September 22nd 2023
On Tuesday, September 19th, Dynamo and UBS officially unveiled their fourth annual whitepaper titled Cleantech Innovation, Collaboration, and Climate Action during the annual Dynamo Energy Transition Summit held during Climate Week. Every year, Dynamo and UBS profile up-and-coming cleantechs who are on their way to revolutionizing the energy industry in this annual whitepaper. This year’s paper profiled 10 cutting-edge cleantechs including Dynamo members simuwatt and CO-Z as well as Aspiration, Aspiring Materials, Checkerspot, Clarity AI, CleanCapital, Grain Ecosystem, Perennial, and TURN.
In conjunction with the release, Kristin Barbato, Co-Founder & President at Dynamo Energy Hub moderated a panel with leading cleantech and finance experts featured in the paper including, Olivia Albrecht, Climate Finance Leader at Aspiration; Emma Crystal, Chief Sustainability Officer at Credit Suisse; and Laura Tamjärv, Director of Acquisitions at CleanCapital. By examining a cleantech’s journey from inception to practice, we can understand, Kristin emphasized, “how innovation actually meets the market.”
In addition to spotlighting 10 innovative cleantechs, the paper posits four Key Takeaways::
- Start-Up Funding on the Rise The evolution of climate-focused startup funding from 2021 to 2023 underscores the seismic shift in global consciousness regarding climate change
- Existing Obstacles to Innovation The transition to cleantech solutions requires overcoming barriers such as regulatory hurdles, technological scalability, and fundraising.
- Diverse Opportunities The heightened awareness of climate risks and the increasing alignment of financial interests with environmental goals have paved the way for a diverse array of funding avenues.
- Unlimited Potential Investors are recognizing the potential for both financial returns and positive societal impact.
As the world becomes increasingly aware of the imminent effects of climate change, cleantechs have an opportunity to provide services unlike ever before. Perennial, a cleantech building a soil-based carbon removal verification platform, is seeing sustainable investment from a broader set of stakeholders. Not only are traditional investors interested in material returns, but also interested in prioritizing the transition to sustainable operations. Clarity AI, a leading sustainability tech platform, has noticed growing demand from investors and consumers alike for sustainable investment funds. Likewise, Aspiring Materials, a cleantech that specializes in novel mineralization, has seen accelerated demand as industries struggle to meet global demands and climate goals.
Cleantechs are also supporting individuals who are becoming more invested than ever in reducing their environmental footprint. Aspiration is a purpose-driven climate action company that helps corporations—and individuals—alike offset their carbon footprint like offering the world’s first debit card that lets you track the impact of your spending and unlocking new revenue streams through carbon investing. TURN, a single-use plastic reuse platform designed for scale, noticed the individual desire to combat climate change and are helping to eliminate single-use plastic production by collaborating with some of the world’s largest brands. At Starbucks stores in Napa and Petaluma, customers who bring in their own clean personal cup will receive $.10 off their purchase with an additional 25 bonus Stars for rewards members.
At CO-Z, a plug-and-play energy storage cleantech, the increase in homeowner awareness of energy resilience has accelerated the growth in their space. In UBS’s recent Global Family Office Report, more than 95% want to have an impact on the future on the world. Emma Crystal, Chief Sustainability Officer at Credit Suisse, highlights this trend as an important positive as the largest transfer of wealth ever to the next generation is currently ongoing; “The impact can be driven through philanthrope calculated capital. It can be through investment companies. It can be through their own companies but that just gives you an idea of how people are engaged.”
The growing demand for climate action worldwide is leading to increased pressure for climate legislation. Last summer, the historic Inflation Reduction Act passed in the Senate and supercharged the clean energy industry. For CleanCapital, a diversified clean energy company, the passing of the IRA resulted in major growth in the solar and storage space. Laura Tamjärv, Director of Acquisitions at CleanCapital celebrated the policy and the public support it caused, commenting that she has “never seen anything like this in [her] career.” simuwatt—producers of buildee, an energy efficiency software platform—notes that as legislative support increases, there will be a massive demand seeking help in identifying and executing sustainable opportunities.
Cleantechs, by their very nature, are innovative, and with innovation almost always comes uncertainty. As Kristin Barbato noted, “you cannot do a transition without trying to do something new.” At Checkerspot, a biomaterials company, they recognize how a risk-off investment impacts their access to capital. During the panel, Olivia Albrecht, Climate Finance Leader at Aspiration echoed this sentiment, “There are a lot of investment opportunities falling between the cracks.” Grain Ecosystem, a cleantech focused on accelerating carbon removal efforts, acknowledges how carbon removal markets are still in their beginning stages and the ambiguity surrounding market pricing equilibrium may dissuade interested parties.
This paper referenced several Dynamo members, including, CO-Z, and simuwatt who are at the cutting edge of innovation. You can now access the paper here. Dynamo would like to thank UBS for their partnership on the paper and all contributors who made this report possible.
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