There are many lists published today, but this one about sustainable innovation stands out. The Global Cleantech 100 acknowledges promising innovation leaders in categories like wastewater, carbon conversion, and energy. Nearly 6,000 companies were nominated to be reviewed for the top 100 by 84 external panelists. The final 100 are from 17 countries and sub-sectors. This list included the first appearance of an African company — M-KOPA from Kenya. About two-thirds of the companies are from North America. Almost 30% are from Europe.
An accompanying report with the list mentioned that the point is not to claim that the top 100 are the absolute best companies, but rather to give recognition to admirable companies that are innovators. “We therefore do not definitively state any year’s 100 to be the best or top companies in the world, as that would need a common measure or metric. They do, however, stand for where ‘consensus sentiment’ lies both in terms of which companies active in sustainable innovation are in favor and are more commonly admired, and perhaps even more importantly for what kind of sub-sectoral areas and themes are in vogue.”
Sometimes publishing lists of top organizations or individuals has an unintended consequence of offending those who were not included, so it was effective etiquette to mention that no harm was meant by focusing only on a select group.
Within the top 100, three companies stood out due to receiving the most peer validations by experts.
Created a sugar-to-furanics technology to produce bio-based PEF plastics, with the goal of replacing petrochemical materials in bottles, films, and fibers. Has achieved a recent $50 million round of funding to build a commercial PEF scale plant. Has backers such as Coca-Cola and Danone.
Imagine eliminating petrochemicals from plastic beverage bottles and other food containers! Bio-degradable disposables would be very welcome as well.
Clean Power Finance
Focused on third-party financing of rooftop solar, this company has been called the Ferrari of third-party solar financing companies. It might IPO fairly soon.
This company is working on halogen-free flame retardants, which could change the plastics industry. As they are manufactured now, flame retardants are believed to contain chemicals that can be harmful to human health and they have been found in many home and work environments.
“The Global Cleantech 100 represents the most inspiring array of entrepreneurs across the cleantech space that are at the forefront of innovation. It is a true honor to gather with the global cleantech community every year to recognize and celebrate the achievements of each of the top 100 companies as they continue to solve tomorrow’s energy and resource challenges and redefine sustainable innovation,” said Sheeraz Haji, Cleantech Group’s CEO.
LanzaTech, was another company that stood out. A process for converting CO and CO2 to fuel and chemicals that can be re-used has been developed by its researchers. “From waste industrial gases, to stranded methane, to waste forest biomass and municipal solid waste, LanzaTech can take advantage of numerous low-cost and widely available fleedstocks.”
Another company working on the conversion of CO2 to make industrial chemicals called Liquid Light was also featured.
Some of the companies on the list that we have highlighted in exclusives in recent months include:
Of course, this information only references a handful of the top 100, so its better to peruse the full report for one’s self.