blog

Six new Climate Solver Nordic companies honored as Helsinki hosts Finland's 1st Cleantech Forum Europe

Helsinki hosted Cleantech Forum Europe in mid-May and launching our six new Climate Solver Nordic companies in front of hundreds of Europe’s most active corporates, government agencies and investors in the cleantech innovation space was a too good opportunity to be missed. The Cleantech Forums have been touring to different European countries for 13 years, convening the game-changers from multiple sectors all in one place for three days, from 25+ countries, and from over 100 cities worldwide.

The 6 Climate Solver Nordic, Sympower, EnergyNest, Swedish Algae Factory, Formconsult, Scandinavian Water Technology and Greater Than were honored during the opening session, pitching their innovations in front of distinguished participants from more or less all parts of the world. Once again this selection shows us upfront that climate change is everyone’s business. The solutions are cross-sectoral disruptors of insurance, transport, construction, textiles and energy industry.

Before the opening session WWF held a closed session with the honorees where we also got to hear from two of the 2016 Climate Solver honorees Juha Suojanen from EkoRent and Petri Alava from Infinited Fiber Company who told us about their journey during the last year and the great success that they have had. EkoRent grew 204% last year and now aims to go into 10 developing country cities over coming 5 years with their emission-free car and ridesharing offer. Infinited Fiber now have contracts with a couple of very big brands in the fashion industry on their circular model for producing textile fibers with significant amounts of carbon, water and chemicals avoided.   

This was the first Climate Solver event after the launch of Living Planet Report 2016. If current trends continue to 2020 the vertebrate populations will have declined by an average of 67 per cent since 1970. For freshwater species it is even more alarming where already today we count an 81% decrease from 1970 to these days. Just in a life time of a 47 year old human on Earth today we have witnessed some dramatic changes in wildlife health. Meanwhile our Ecological Footprint increases from human consumption of goods and services. We no longer live as if we only had one planet. We live and consume as if we had an extra half planet lying around that could fuel that consumption demand. WWF Finland Secretary General Liisa Rohweder also informed the audience of this current state of the planet as part of the opening ceremony. The case for disruption of how we produce and consume goods smarter in the future is crystal clear which makes cleantech innovation gatherings like this one in Finland extra important. We need one planet innovation and metrics that take us in that direction of avoiding an increasing ecological footprint.

From WWF we clearly identify three drivers: Financial flows, Governance (policy if you wish) and Markets (companies if you wish). These three are the drivers for fundamental environmental degradation we have witnessed in the past hundred or so years and must as well be the drivers backing fundamental environmental opportunities in the 21st century. We need these three drivers to converge to back planetary solutions, not even further problems.

The Climate Solver Nordic process to find the top entrepreneurs 2017 started last year by WWF Climate Solver partnering with Nordic Cleantech Open in an open call for climate innovation candidates from Nordic innovation community. More than 100 applications came in to Nordic Cleantech Open by Nov 2016. The Top 25 of these came to a Nordic Camp in southern Sweden in Feb 2017 were also WWF participated and interviewed. WWF selected a Top 10 list of those with greatest potential climate change and/or energy access impact. Thereafter WWF has performed climate impact calculations in the Climate Solver Tool on avoided emissions in March 2017 which has lead to a Final selection in April 2017 of those early-stage commercialised Nordic innovations today that have biggest positive global climate impact potential if they grow fast to take good market shares over coming 10 years. The climate impact calculation performed by WWF showed that these innovations collectively have the potential to avoid more than 300 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually if the market shares are realized through new green revenue streams, jobs, projects, trade and sustainable capital allocation.

In particular important supporters for us that believe in the force of innovation to tackle planetary challenges are Swedish Post Code Lottery and Dustin that have been with us in the Climate Solver Nordic 2017 process and has helped starting and expanding Climate Solver to cover not only Nordic region but also China, India and South Africa.

Press releases here in Nordic press/languages:

In Swedish

In Finish

In Norwegian

We also got good media coverage, one example is Business Insider Nordic who did an interview with Per Hansson at Scandinavian Water Technologies. Per also witnessed that they had received new customer orders already the same day thanks to being honored as Climate Solvers. Great to hear and that’s the kind of speed and market impact we need !

Quotes from some of our amazing Climate Solver entrepreneurs

‘’Bringing an innovation like this to the market is indeed a challenge, the DIRO© system is a whole new way of doing laundry. The WWF Climate Solver Award will truly help us in marketing the system and make people understand that you don’t need chemicals to do your laundry anymore, giving us a cleaner world in the future.’’

-          Per Hansson, Scandinavian Water Technology AB

“Sympower was founded to help build a carbon-free future. The opportunity for business in decarbonising the electricity sector is enormous. The recognition from WWF helps raise awareness and draws attention to our core mission of helping avoid dangerous climate change.”

-          Georg Rute, Sympower Oy

"Formconsult is honoured to be awarded the WWF climate solver. There is clear challenge to meet the necessary demand to reduce CO2 emission in a booming building sector, but we are confident that our Strongcrete method will deliver more sustainable concrete all over the world in the future."

-          Stefan Alvarsson, Formconsult AB

"In the transformation to a new sustainable industry a lot of innovation capacity and investments are needed fast to be able to turn great ideas that truly could be a part of a more sustainable society to a new greener industry before it is too late. It is sometimes frustrating when you realize that parts of the ecosystem that could help turning great sustainable ideas to businesses have not really understood this yet."

-          Sofie Allert, Swedish Algae Factory

“EnergyNest stands at the edge of the energy frontier, where incredible structural challenges must be overcome to increase renewable power generation and industrial energy efficiency measures. The WWF Climate Solver award is undoubtedly the best platform to showcase the role that technologies such as ours can play in the transition towards a more sustainable world.”

-          Ludvig Bellehumeur, EnergyNest AS

“The Climate Solver nomination are empowering us in our work to disrupt the car insurance industry. We are aiming to offer Enerfy Car Insurance worldwide, an insurance that reduce environmental impact by giving incentive to car owner’s to drive less and better.

We got a few global trends working for us, Digitalisation, Artificial Intelligence, Change in transport and Consumers expectations for more transparent car insurance solutions. Having this said, the largest challenge we are faced with, is to convince the traditional insurance companies to give up their old business model.”

-          Liselott Johansson, Greater Than AB

 

So congratulations to all honorees above, organisers and participants. Together we can be an unstoppable force of positive change for people and planet that also generates profits.    

Stefan Henningsson