7 more Web Summit nominees for the Earthshot awards 2022

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The Earthshot awards panel is now assessing its 2022 nominees. We wanted to showcase our startups that we have chosen for assessment at the world’s leading sustainability prize.

What is the Earthshot prize?

The initiative showcases how human ingenuity can inspire positive change for our planet. The sustainability prize will award £1 million to the winners of five ‘Earthshot’ categories, goals for improving life on our planet backed by the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

These are:

1) Protect and restore nature

To ensure that, for the first time in human history, the natural world is growing – not shrinking – on our planet.

2) Clean our air

To ensure that everyone in the world breathes clean, healthy air at World Health Organisation standard or better.

3) Revive our oceans

To repair and preserve our marine habitats for future generations.

4) Build a waste-free world

To build a world where nothing goes to waste, where the leftovers of one process become the raw materials of the next.

5) Fix our climate

To fix the world’s climate by building a carbon-neutral economy that lets every culture, community and country thrive.

We’re proud to be Earthshot nominators for the 2022 prize. We’re even more proud to put forward many of our wonderful startup community for assessment. Meet seven of them:

1) GEA Carbon Capture – Norway | Fix our climate, Revive our oceans

An increase in carbon emissions doesn’t just impact the air we breathe – it also has an impact on our oceans, one of the planet’s largest ‘carbon sinks’. GEA Carbon Capture is leading a solution to this problem.

The company has developed a marine algae bloom that can remove more than one billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year. This is achieved through the process of algal ‘snow’, in which algae absorbs carbon and then falls from the light-rich photic zone near the water’s surface to areas below.

The Norwegian startup is led by their director of science, Dr. Stasa Puskaric. The renowned researcher has made some breakthrough scientific discoveries in the area of marine biology.

2) Okra Solar – Cambodia | Clean our air

In developing countries, whole communities often live without access to electrical grids. Many of these people use high-pollutant fuels such as wood and diesel to cook and heat their homes, which contributes to carbon emissions and lower air quality in the immediate area. This can have a long-term impact on respiratory health.

Okra Solar’s mission is to bring clean and affordable energy access to the 770 million+ individuals all over the plant living without access to electricity by using IoT technology.

The startup is achieving that by providing reliable access to 1.2 kilowatts of electricity generated by smart solar panels to each household linked with Okra Solar. This gives more regions the opportunity to transition entirely to clean energy.

3) Peafowl Solar Power – Sweden | Fix our climate

Peafowl Solar Power is a Swedish cleantech using solar cells linked with IoT devices to empower companies and communities. But what makes this solution even more innovative? These panels can be printed!

Customers can print the transparent solar cells in their production line without the need for toxic or rare materials, making the panels sustainable and scalable. This printing is done within a licensed, re-deployable manufacturing model with support and resources provided by Peafowl Solar Power. Individuals then gain a powerful and portable solar panel that can harvest light in any environment and store it for future energy production.

4) Positive Degree – Canada | Build a waste-free world

The proliferation of computers and digital devices is now total in most areas of life. That trend is only going to heighten in the coming decades, meaning millions of additional kilowatts of electricity will be needed to power the world. But Positive Degree has an interesting spin on how to make something positive out of all this.

The Canadian company intends to use patent-pending technology that reutilises the heat energy produced by working computer servers to heat domestic water supplies.

Positive Degree’s initial estimates of their potential impact is promising. The company says, in 2020, that electricity usage in the data centres powering computers was up to 250 Terawatts per hour (TWh), or around 1 percent of global demand. This technology opens a capacity basin, in North America alone, of 250 TWh of energy to be reutilised.

5) The Live Green Co – Chile | Protect and restore nature, Fix our climate

The Live Green Co operates by the mantra “it is not about a few living a green lifestyle perfectly – it’s about billions doing it, even if imperfectly”. Their aim is standardise individuals making small, sustainable changes in their lives. This starts with what we eat.

The Chilean startup estimates that by shifting to a plant-only diet, we can reduce land usage by 93 percent, energy generation by 46 percent and water consumption by 99 percent. We will also be able to cut down greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent.

The Live Green Co uses a proprietary platform to reimagine every product in the supermarket and accelerate the food production sector’s transition towards more sustainable plant-based products at scale.

6) Carbon Limit – US | Fix our climate, Clean our air

The cement and concrete industry, producing the literal building blocks on which we are building cities of the future, is responsible for around 8 percent of global carbon dioxide pollution. Carbon Limit uses a carbon capture and storage technology that permanently stores carbon dioxide in concrete materials for reuse in construction projects.

Carbon Limit estimates, if the company scales at its anticipated peak rate, it can remove 600 million tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and reprocess it into building materials. They could make a future in which every construction project is a step towards a cleaner world a reality.

7) Rebo Bottle – Switzerland | Protect and restore nature, Build a waste-free world, Revive our oceans

“Rebo is the first bottle that cleans the planet as you drink.” It’s a bold advertising line. But for every Rebo bottle drunk, one plastic bottle is collected from the environment by their strategic partner, Parley for the Oceans.

Rebo Bottle is the first project to ever be certified as Gold Standard for fulfilling the UN SDGs and to date has collected more than 100,000 plastic bottles from natural ecosystems all over the world. The company also supports journalistic fieldwork helping to educate others on the impact of microplastics on the environment, particularly in the Mediterranean region.

Keen to meet more startups attending our events? Check out our innovative community.

Main image of a forest canopy: dugdax/Shutterstock

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