As we enter 2024, the team at GTSW have been filled with an overwhelming sense of optimism, by the work taking place in and around the South West’s Green Tech sector. There’s no denying that technology has a lot to answer for when it comes to the state of our climate, but when we look around us at the people and businesses that are working tirelessly to support society and the environment, we believe that technology also underpins the solutions that are needed.
Over the last few years, our Co-Founder Mike Harley has had the pleasure to meet some incredible pioneers and emerging entrepreneurs from around the city. 2023 has been no exception, and whilst the market has meant that securing funding is still challenging, there’s some seriously exciting sustainability focused businesses right here in the Bristol area that you should make time to check out.
It has been really hard whittling this list down to 10! So in no particular order:
Kelpi was founded to address our plastic problem, by looking at other materials – like seaweed – as the basis for food packaging. They have created a coating for paper and card which can match or even exceed the barrier properties of fossil fuel plastics, but in a material that breaks down fully and completely in less than 12 weeks if washed out to sea; that breaks down in compost, where packaging can benefit from higher paper and card recycling rates. In 2023 they secured £3m in seed funding, expanded their team and secured BCorp certification.
Bristol based SuSy are on a mission to help homeowners to reduce energy consumption, save money, and cut CO2 emissions. SuSy is a free-to-use resource that helps you identify the smartest green upgrades, connect with local installers, and find opportunities for supplements, grants and funding. They believe that taking responsibility for your own home is the best way to change the world and their app can help you save money and increasing the value of your property at the same time! Their app (launched in June 2023) has clever algorithms to pull details about your house out of local and national databases, enabling you to price up green upgrades, learn about financing and grants, and connect with local installers in just a few clicks.
LAYBL, provide traceability, intelligence and circularity for products – from store to end of life – using unique Digital IDs which track from store to end of life, revealing a garment’s lifetime and analysis into what happens to our clothes after we get rid of them. They help clothing brands take a first step towards a Digital Passport for their products (an EU requirement by 2030) and make the process of being sustainable and responsible with your clothes frictionless. The brainchild of Jen Wagner and Gary Lake, in 2023 they joined Bristol’s NatWest Accelerator.
As It Should Be (https://digitalasitshouldbe.com/)
Led by Jon Gibbins, they’re a BCorp certified UK-based agency helping digital teams design and build accessible and sustainable products and services. As many as 1 in 4 people on the planet are disabled – nearly 2 billion people. Being greener and acting on climate change is a team sport. We need to include Disabled people. They’re passionate about making the digital world better for all people and for our planet, running an ethical business, and practical approaches to achieving accessibility and sustainability.
Wilder Sensing (www.wildersensing.com)
Wilder Sensing provide a cloud platform to enable investors, land managers, farmers, ecologists and citizen scientists to better understand changes to biodiversity. Using audio files and Machine Learning, Wilder Sensing provides details of what’s present on a site and, over time, helps understand changes to biodiversity. The company joined the SetSquared Incubator in Bristol in January 2023 and we look forward to following their progress.
Bristol based RouteZero helps individuals and organisations switch out high-emission travel for greener journeys (with help from their partners Trainline and Voi). Their goal is to prevent millions of tonnes of CO₂ entering the atmosphere by helping customers deploy the most effective carbon-cutting actions. They achieve that by rolling out low-carbon routing and booking, carbon budgeting, gamification, social influence tools, and measuring emissions reductions to ensure they’re on track. They won an InnovateUK grant in 2023 and have been actively hiring for tech talent.
Built by Ada Mode, Windscope is on a mission to drive smarter wind farm operation by increasing the proliferation of global wind power through efficient and effective O&M practices. They’re building technology that makes a difference – driving down the operational costs of clean energy. Windscope provides high-fidelity wind turbine performance and component health monitoring without additional hardware installation on-site. The web-based platform represents a step-change in intelligent turbine technology, combining cutting-edge AI for machine health monitoring and performance analysis with seamless data integration capability.
Buttercup Learning (www.buttercuplearning.com)
Led by Rachel Mills, Buttercup produce physical, online and augmented-reality learning and nature play for future eco-warriors aged 4 to 8. They create eco-friendly, nature-based activity boxes containing a range of interactive, physical and digital resources, delivered to your door. They also offer access to a Nature Curious Club community, where you can chat with other nature-curious parents, teachers and carers, sharing ideas and support. Their well crafted products inspire children to explore the outdoors and respect nature and conversation from an early age.
SUST is your go-to community for tackling everyday sustainable fashion challenges. You probably already know that the fashion industry and fashion consumption are unsustainable, SUST empowers consumers to make more sustainable choices, motivating brands to provide more sustainable options and creating a community where we can act collectively as well as individually. Sust provides an “extension” or “add-on” which you download into your web browser (desktop, laptop or tablet) to help you make more sustainable fashion choices. You will see links to help you avoid buying new items, easily finding similar items second-hand or for rent and places where you can have your garments repaired or upcycled.
Air conditioning alone accounts for 20% of electricity usage from buildings and 10% of total global electricity usage. To stop this cycle in its tracks, we need to make better use of our natural resources and find more sustainable alternatives to air conditioning. Albotherm develop paints that are designed to reflect the sun’s rays at high temperatures, reducing solar gain and helping to cool buildings without burning fossil fuels. 2023 has seen them acquire over £2m in funding to develop technology further, scale up their manufacturing capabilities, completing large scale commercial pilots, allowing them to bring their first products to the greenhouse market inside two years.
If you would like to find out more about the local Green Tech pioneers that Bristol has to offer then you can sign up for free to follow Green Tech South West’s events here: Green Tech South West | Meetup
We wish them all the best of luck in 2024, do check them out!