What is decarbonization and why does it matter?
Decarbonization refers to the process of reducing “carbon intensity”, by lowering the amount of emissions produced. With most countries around the globe committing to goals to reach net zero by 2050 and preventing the warming of the planet to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, decarbonization technology will be crucial in achieving that.
There are two aspects of decarbonization:
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions produced by burning fossil fuels.
- Absorbing carbon from the atmosphere by carbon capturing emissions and enhancing carbon storage.
To achieve that, all aspects of how our current world functions need to change – from how we generate energy, to how we produce and deliver goods and services and how we manage the land available to us. The majority of the emissions globally are emitted by only five different sectors, according to EcoJungle. These are: energy (30% of emissions), transport (20%), agriculture, the fashion industry and food retail. All of these sectors need to be fully transformed to be able to generate more sustainable practices to aim at combating climate change.
Because there are a few different ways to go about decarbonization, we decided to spotlight six companies that have developed techniques and technologies accelerating the reduction and capture of emissions. To make our list more comprehensive, the companies we’ve chosen target different sectors in different ways. What sectors and in what ways? Let’s find out.
Six Companies Accelerating the Decarbonization Sector
Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Normative is an emission accounting engine. Carbon accounting is an important part of the entire decarbonization sector, as it allows companies to measure, understand, reduce and offset emissions, and Normative’s technology helps with that. Founded in 2014 by Kristian Rönn, Adam Wamai Egesa and Robin Undall-Behrend, Normative became the provider of software to the UN-backed SME Climate Hub initiative, while being trusted by other companies and brands such as The Flying Tiger, String Furniture and Vitamin Well. To this day, the company has raised around €42.9M in funding, to accelerate their mission of helping companies with accurate carbon accounting.
Berlin-based Neocarbon specializes in direct air carbon capture with cooling towers. They do not only capture the emissions but also sell carbon credits and CO2 needed for the production of goods. Founded in 2021 by René Haas and Silvain Toromanoff, the company is using the existing infrastructure of cooling towers to perform direct air capture. According to the company, the result is ten times lower in costs when it is done this way. So far, the company has raised € 1.25M in pre-seed funding, but their business has been backed by initiatives such as Climate-KIC, GreenTech Alliance and Leaders for Climate Action.
When it comes to Greenpixie, they have definitely found their niche in the market. Founded in 2021 by John Ridd and William Tinney, the company developed the carbon accounting software aimed at addressing and reducing emissions related to cloud computing. Based in London, Greenpixie also provides a website calculator to help customers discover the carbon footprint of their homepage. The company has so far raised €294K in Seed funding, and hopefully will continue to grow within its market.
Although there has been a lot of talks around how carbon offsetting can realistically be a part of the solution needed to combat climate change, Klim took a bit of a different route than the “regular” carbon offsetting companies. Based in Berlin, the company developed a software platform for farmers, where they can document their environmental and climate protection achievements and get paid for them. Klim aims at making companies climate-friendly and reducing supply chain emissions, hence why they made it onto our list. Founded in 2020 by Dr. Robert Gerlach, Nina Mannheimer and Adiv Maimon, the company has so far raised €7.8M of funding to accelerate their mission of helping farmers transform the current agricultural system.
Alcemy took on the challenge of reducing carbon emissions related to industrial processes of producing cement and concrete. The company developed an AI software that allows control of the production quality, which simplifies production processes, reduces production costs and drives down the CO2 footprint. Founded in 2018 by Leopold Spenner and Dr. Robert Meyer, Alcemy is another company on this list that is based in Berlin, Germany. To this day, the company has raised €10M of funding to help them accelerate the mission of decarbonizing such a tricky industry that manufactures cement and concrete.
Last but not least, London-based Carbon Clean is another carbon-capturing company focusing on heavy industries: cement, refineries, steel, energy from waste and biogas. The company developed scalable solutions aimed to capture emissions and reduce the environmental footprint of sectors that are difficult to decarbonize. The company was founded in 2009 by Aniruddha Sharma and Prateek Bumb and has so far raised an impressive amount of funding, standing at €194M.
Decarbonization of our current economy is not an easy task. It requires all industries to transform, but luckily there are companies that are willing to take the challenge and help accelerate the mission to achieve a zero-emissions society. Since decarbonization is slowly becoming one of the most crucial sectors within GreenTech, there is an increase in the importance of having a skilled workforce. At Storm4, we pride ourselves on working with the best talent across all GreenTech sectors, so in case you’re looking to expand your team, don’t hesitate to contact us to accelerate the mission of a more sustainable future.