Environmental Startups: 5 inspiring case studies on how to make a relevant business in 2023

Sustainability trend has penetrated all areas of modern life. Green business has emerged from this popularity. High demand, profitability and development potential – these are only a few reasons why you should think about doing eco business. Read 5 inspiring and contributing to the environment startup ideas, picked by Storist experts.

Scientists from the New York University conducted a research on customer behavior in 2013-2018. Data analysis showed that eco products are not only purchased more often, but spark growth in the whole product category.  It happens mainly because of the fact that after buying eco products people realize their input in saving the environment.

environmental economics

Green business has several major advantages:

  • Marketing data shows increasing demand for eco products;
  • It is often low competition in eco business;
  • Green startups are supported by the public and by the government;
  • Green technologies offer good opportunities for displaying creative ideas;
  • Eco technologies usually lead to reducing business costs;
  • There are several ways to work: a business of any scale can bring regular income to an entrepreneur.

This is exactly why more and more entrepreneurs prefer studying environmental economics and implementing social innovation. Research and developments in environmental engineering contribute to the introduction of new goods and services, which not only appeal to customers, but also help to protect the environment.

These are only some of the examples.

Sheets that keep food fresh

A young American Kavita Shukla from Cambridge came up with a way to keep food fresh up to 4 times longer without using a refrigerator. She has developed Fenugreen FreshPaper sheets, which don’t just smell good, but protect the food from mold, rot and bacteria.

The idea to infuse paper with a special mixture of spices came to her when she visited her grandmother in India. One time she drank some tap water by mistake, which is absolutely not recommended, knowing the environment of the country. She got scared and told her grandmother about it. The woman just mixed some spices and gave them to her granddaughter. As a result, Kavita did not get sick. 

Later on, she remembered this story, when thinking about a startup idea. She pointed out that not even each American has a refrigerator, not even talking about people in third world countries. Those who don’t have enough money for food storage space, count on each bite of their food. Because of her sheets, food can be kept fresh a lot longer, which helps saving money.

Drinking water treatment

The shortage of drinking water is one the biggest problems for many countries. An initiative group from India, where there are very few sources of fresh water and water treatment systems are poor even in large cities, wanted to solve this task. Young men came up with a system of filtering water from bacteria and impurities. Besides, their technology is capable of making sea water drinkable.

Sarvajal water vending machines appeared in many cities in India and quickly became popular among residents. People came to those water ATMs with bottles and canisters to get clean water for a reasonable price.

First profits of the company were used to expand the network of their ATMs. After Sarvajal ATMs became popular, many businessmen started installing them in their shops to attract customers. Nowadays the company has more than 150 partners – owners of sales outlets, who pay for renting the machines. The network continues to expand, while citizens get fresh water.

Underwater kites for energy generation

Swedish engineers from Minesto came up with an idea of using kites in an unusual way. They put a kite with a 5-meter wingspan to the bottom, attaching it to 40-meter metal cables. The construction was put on the bottom of a narrow fiord with strong underwater currents. Turning turbines generate energy, while the control system moves the kite to where the current is faster.

Pilot project was implemented by Danish company SEV, which provides electricity to the Faroe Islands. The population there is about 50 thousand people. There are many fish factories, which need energy to process and refrigerate the product before sending it to the mainland. Peculiar underwater kites provide some of that energy.

The first experimental plants can provide electricity to 50-70 households each. The company is already developing more powerful plants with an output of 1.2 MW.  

Clothes out of milk

There is an interesting startup from entrepreneurs out of Los Angeles. They invented new material, which is made out of spoiled milk. A special protein powder is obtained from milk, which is then put into water, boiled and pressed. As a result, there are strips to be used to make a fabric, similar to silk, which is odor-free and does not require the same treatment as cotton shirts.

Another advantage is that you need just 30 liters of milk and 2 liters of water to make this fabric. In comparison, making cotton clothes requires 20 thousand liters of water.

The items are sold under the brand Mi Terro and are completely recyclable. For example, when they get worn out, they can be turned into fertilizer or industrial compost material.  

Paper from stone

Paper production causes a lot of damage to our planet, like deforestation and consumption of other resources. At the same time, the demand is only increasing. Japanese entrepreneur Nobuyoshi Yamasaki came up with a solution. He launched TBM startup, which focuses on paper production out of limestone.   

In order to produce one ton of ordinary paper, 100 tons of water is required, while stone paper is produced without using water. Instead of 20 trees, less than a ton of limestone and 200 kg of polyolefine are used. TBM paper is so strong and moisture resistant that you can write on it even underwater.

Nobuyoshi Yamasaki believes that his technology will save the planet’s lungs. The resources of limestone in the world will be enough to provide paper to all the planet’s population.

green business

What will help you launch a startup and not fail?

Whatever idea you want to bring to life, you need to know how to do it. Persian poet and philosopher Nasir Khusrow used to say “Kindle the candle of intellect in your heart and hasten with it to the world of brightness.” meaning that anything difficult will become easier in study if you use a good book. At Storist we also recommend looking for knowledge in best business bestsellers, the authors of which share their experience of finding a startup idea and launching a business from scratch.For example, there are two books that will be useful for founders of environmental companies. They answer questions of aspiring entrepreneurs and teach to avoid major startup risks.

At Storist you will find many pieces of literature that can be used in different stages of implementing a business idea. Join in!


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