The Top Sustainability Startups in the UK (2024)

The Startups of London feature highlights a selection of the UK’s sustainability startups, such as CupClub’s reusable packaging, LettUs Grow’s indoor farming tech, Wild’s natural deodorants, Unpackaged’s zero-waste retail, Bulb’s renewable energy, Library of Things’ borrowing platform, and TALA’s sustainable activewear. These companies are at the forefront of tackling environmental challenges across various sectors, from waste reduction to renewable energy, showcasing the innovative spirit of UK entrepreneurs in the sustainability space​​. The article encourages support for these eco-conscious businesses as a way for consumers to make a positive environmental impact​​.

Sustainability startups that prioritise social responsibility and environmental protection are critical to the long-term prosperity of the UK economy. One of the most apparent and pressing issues in 2022 is climate change, which is important to sustainability. Kantar Research indicated that four in ten Brits think climate change should be given more attention following the COVID-19 epidemic.

Eco-friendly, “energy-efficient,” and “recyclable” are all buzzwords that are commonly used to describe a wide range of goods and services these days. Studies also suggest that consumers are becoming more concerned about climate change and are prepared to spend up to 25% extra for environmentally friendly products and services.

These “tech for good” startups focused on sustainability are inventing a wide range of new solutions to environmental concerns, even if you’ve already taken measures to go green, like vegan diets, abandoning the plastic straws, or using Zoom instead of flying to meet with customers.

Whilst it is well known where the best startups ecosystems can be found in general, such information is missing in the case of sustainability startups. Sustainable or green startups encourage social good by leveraging technology to create environmentally friendly products and services. They aim to create a sustainable and financially viable future, focusing on mid-to-long-term sustainability rather than just short-term profits.

In today’s business climate, gone are the days when eco-friendly businesses struggle to find investors, and the public is generally apathetic to a business’s social responsibility. As a result, sustainable startups are beginning to receive financial support from venture capitalists, impact investors, and other like-minded entrepreneurs who understand not only the importance but the social value of sustainable businesses.  

With so much outspoken support for green initiatives globally, it is now time for young entrepreneurs to capitalise on the ‘green revolution’ and leverage eco-conscious business practices for long-term financial growth that sparks positive social and environmental change. We have carefully released a selection of startups that are innovating for a more sustainable future and have strong growth potential. These represent the most UK scaleups contributing to the UK reaching its net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

These are some of the sustainability startups in UK, all of which are exhibiting strong signs of growth and cover the renewable energy, sustainable materials, and healthcare sectors. Continue reading to see what the future holds for environmentally friendly technologies.

Top Sustainability Startups in the UK

Emitwise

Top Sustainability Startups in the UK - Emitwise

Emitwise is among the sustainability tech startups. It was created to assist companies in addressing their current and future environmental concerns. Businesses can utilise artificial intelligence to automate carbon accounting across all suppliers and units. With the help of Emitwise, organisations and their suppliers can set up an automated workflow and monitor their carbon footprints. They may monitor, report, and take steps to lessen their carbon footprint with the help of Emitwise.

Bio Bean

Bio Bean is a device designed to recover the oil found in used coffee grounds for later use. People in the United Kingdom drink hundreds of cups of coffee each day, which produces thousands of pounds of coffee grounds each year. These coffee grounds can emit dangerous pollutants into the atmosphere. The coffee grounds are transformed into valuables by Bio Bean, which saves the environment and creates sustainable alternatives to synthetic products. Additionally, Bio Bean has introduced coffee logs to the UK, which promotes the use of renewable wood fuel.

Worn Again Technologies

Top Sustainability Startups in the UK - Worn Again Technologies

Waste plastics and textiles is another one in startups focusing on sustainability. Clothing can be turned into raw materials by Worn Again Technologies, which was founded in 2015. Textile overproduction and waste must be eliminated, and resources must be regularly recirculated, as part of its mission. As a result, the fashion sector is able to recover raw materials from non-recyclable materials, which is a huge win. Advanced recycling technology is used to separate, clean, and remove polyester and cellulose from old textiles that have been re-purposed.

Currensea

There’s a new Direct Debit Travel Card in town from Currensea, based in London. It is one of the sustainability startups in London. It connects to your existing bank account. Using a debit card from the company eliminates the need for prepaid cards or foreign currency accounts, making it more convenient to use. Currensea has just joined with Plastic Bank so that users can utilise their Currensea savings to help clean up the oceans.

Customers will be able to remove plastic from the ocean every time they spend money abroad thanks to a new function added to the app. This announcement comes ahead of the company’s announcement that it will eliminate 2.5 times more plastic from the oceans than it produces each year.

Treepoints

Treepoints is a membership service that makes it easy for businesses and people to take action on climate change. To address climate change, it helps them understand and regulate their carbon emissions. As a result of your subscription, you’ll be helping to reduce harmful pollutants and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Additional incentives for businesses to do good for the world and double the impact of new members are being offered by Treepoints in honour of Earth Day 2021.

Clim8 Invest

London-based sustainable investment platform Clim8 Invest enables customers invest in firms that are committed to solving the global climate catastrophe. On its objective is to transfer billions of pounds into renewable energy and really green, long-term sustainable businesses.

Funding for the firm was recently secured through the Crowcube crowdsourcing platform, which brought in £2.4 million. Venture capitalists from 7percent Ventures, Basil Capital, Evergreen Fund, EcoSummit Ventures, and a number of former McKinsey partners were among the investors. Through the Crowdcube platform, over 1900 regular investors, as well as cleantech and technology specialists, engaged.

By investing in this project, the corporation is empowering people to have a beneficial impact on the environment while also making money for their futures.

HumanForest

It’s a London-based electric bike-sharing programme called HumanForest. The company’s goal is to improve the quality of air in urban areas. In order to conserve the environment, it encourages people to make environmentally friendly decisions. Using the funds raised through the crowdsourcing effort, the company expects to facilitate up to 7,000 trips every day, saving London’s air of roughly 4 tonnes of CO2. HumanForest raised more than $1.25 million in a crowdfunding effort in December to buy 1,500 electric bikes and extend into 15 London boroughs by Summer 2021.

Xampla

Top Sustainability Startups in the UK - Xampla

University of Cambridge spin-out Xampla produces plant protein materials for commercial use, and it is the world’s leading producer of natural alternatives to plastics. Like synthetic polymers, it decomposes completely and organically without causing any harm to the environment. Their goal is to eliminate single-use plastics like sachets and flexible packaging films, as well as microplastics in liquids and lotions that are more difficult to perceive.

Horizon Ventures, a private investment arm of Mr. Li Ka-shring, and Amadeus Capital Partners joined forces in January of this year to provide £6.2 million in seed capital to the next-generation plastic replacement company. Xampla intends to use the money to speed up the launch of its plant-protein plastic substitute.

Olio

Top Sustainability Startups

Olio is a free app that connects neighbours to ensure that surplus food and other items are shared instead of wasted. The location-based app and website let users list and post photos of unwanted food items that will otherwise go to waste. Founded by businesswomen Tessa Clarke and Saasha Celestial-One in 2016 in north London, Olio has flourished into a global sharing movement with 1.8 million users worldwide sharing over 3.4 million portions of food. This is the equivalent of preventing 2,898 CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere and eliminating 9,852,126 car miles from the road. 

CupClub

CupClub is a London-based platform for brands and retailers to manage and track reusable consumer packaging for the Food and Beverage industry. On a mission to reduce single-use plastics from circulation, CupClub enables customers to halve CO2 consumption by switching to reusable packaging. CupClub manages its end-to-end reuse system by charging customers a flat per order fee to collect, sanitise and redistribute their packaging. CupClub serves the world’s largest food delivery company Just Eat Takeaway, NextGen Consortium brands (Starbucks, McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Yum Brands, Nestle, Wendy’s) as well as leading foodservice company Baxter Storey, Cushman & Wakefield, and retailer John Lewis & Partners. 

LettUs Grow

LettUs Grow is an indoor farming technology provider based in Bristol. Their aeroponic farming technology and farm management software for indoor and vertical farms deliver higher crop yields, reduce the environmental impact of agriculture, and make farmers’ lives easier. The products also enable people to grow to produce nearer to consumption, which reduces the carbon footprint left by fresh produce.

Wild

Sustainability Startups Wild

Wild offers a sustainable deodorant subscription service. What’s exciting about Wild is, in its infancy, it has already amassed over 200,000 followers on social media and 5,500 five-star reviews on Trustpilot – which highlights the popularity and potential this natural, refillable deodorant brand has. Wild’s deodorant service comes with a stylish, durable case made from aluminium and recycled plastic.

Unpackaged

Sustainability Startups unpackaged

Unpackaged offers food with zero waste. Launched as a market stall in 2006 by Catherine Conway, it now has nine London stores where customers can purchase food in bulk and package it in their own reusable containers. Unpackaged also runs a thriving consultancy service for businesses looking to shift to a zero-waste retail business model. It recently worked with Waitrose & Partners to launch Waitrose Unpacked. 

Bulb

Bulb generates renewable energy from solar, wind, and hydro sources and supports global carbon reduction projects such as the building of wind farms in India and rainforest protection in Sierra Leone. It was founded by Hayden Wood and Amit Gudka after they grew frustrated with the inefficiency and unsustainability of the traditional energy industry. It now supplies 1.3 million people with affordable, renewable energy from its vibrant East London base. 

Library of Things

Sustainability Startups library of things

Library of Things aims to reduce buying and encourage borrowing instead. Founded by Emma Shaw, Sophia Wyatt, and Rebecca Trevalyan, it offers hundreds of items to borrow – from waffle irons to sewing machines – as well as local events and volunteer opportunities! The Library of Things helps people feel more connected to their communities and reduces wasteful consumerism. Using the Library of Things, 60% of borrowers say they’re more likely to repair or recycle items than replace them.

TALA

Sustainability Startups Tala

TALA produces sustainable, vegan, and affordable gym wear. TALA was founded in 2019 by social media influencer Grace Beverly, who identified a sustainable gap in the activewear industry. TALA offers sustainable gym wear at a similar price to its competitors, such as Gymshark. 

Conclusion

When it comes to environmental concerns, these “tech for good” firms have an abundance of innovative solutions to offer, even if you’ve already made steps to be green, like cutting out throwaway straws or seeing clients through Zoom rather than flying.

Some of the UK’s most promising entrepreneurs in the fields of renewable energy, sustainable materials, and sustainable healthcare may be found here. See what the future holds for ecologically friendly technologies by continuing to read this article.

The bottom line? Entrepreneurs will continue to enter the green industry because support from more conscious consumers and investors continues to grow. You can help them win over impractical and environmentally harmful corporations by supporting eco-friendly businesses. One voice at a time, we can globally make a positive impact on Earth.

If you need to learn more about sustainability, take a look at our article on identifying important sustainability partners.