Cleantech 100 identifies top innovators in sustainability
Recently the Cleantech Group, with the assistance of an advisory panel of corporate executives, sat down to decide upon the third annual Global Cleantech 100: the hundred "most promising and innovative" clean technology companies of 2011. The listed companies span a range of industries, and though solar energy firms, chemical recyclers, LED manufacturers and energy-monitoring software programmers certainly aren't under-represented, many companies in the hundred are defined by a single product or idea. Gizmag scoured the Cleantech 100 to find what we thought were the ten most innovative companies.
10. eSolarThough there were many solar energy companies in the Cleantech 100, what impressed us about
JouleX isn't unique in monitoring the energy consumption of devices across corporate networks, but apparently its energy management software can identify all devices on a network without requiring agents. This simplifies the installation and reduces maintenance. It can monitor lighting and air conditioning systems, and also has a rather good name.
8. GreenRoadBy understanding driver behavior,
Recyclebank works on the very simple premise that people will recycle more if they're offered financial incentives. Through home recycling, Recyclebank registrants earn points, which can be redeemed at a number of shops, restaurants and the like. Obviously no one's going to get rich with this scheme, but it's an idea that almost gamifies the act of recycling, making it that little bit more interesting. Check those exchange rates, though. At the moment you need 400 points for a $10 discount from a PC game at the EA Store, while a mere 40 points will earn you the same discount from a $50 buy from Macy's.
6. Barefoot Power
Barefoot Power makes solar powered lights. That may not sound particularly remarkable, but it has identified that millions of children in the developing world do their homework by kerosene lamplight, a dim light from an expensive, potentially hazardous fuel source. Barefoot Power also provides affordably-priced plug and play home lighting systems. Though we're impressed that most of its products come with integrated phone chargers, we're more impressed by Barefoot Power's name, based as it is on words from a dictionary, with spaces and capital letters where they'd usually go.
5. HydroPointWith its WeatherTRAK system using data from 40,000 weather stations,
4. SunRunIn one sense
Novacem claims its magnesium oxide cement is carbon negative. Magnesium oxide is produced by the heating of magnesium carbonates, but the carbon dioxide by-product is apparently recycled back into the process. Further, Novacem claims that any CO2 produced through materials-processing is eliminated by CO2 scrubbing (using magnesium silicates), and that its carbon negative cement matches Portland cement on cost and performance.
2. KebonyWhy chop down slow-growing hardwood from a precious natural habitat like a tropical rainforest when you can take fast-growing softwood from a sustainable source, and endow it with the the properties (including the appearance) of a hardwood using recycled biowaste? It costs a bit more than softwood to buy, but
Emefcy reckons waste water treatment is responsible for a whole two peercent of global power consumption - a staggering 80,000 MW responsible for the emission of 57 million tons of carbon dioxide every year. With its bio-energy "Electrogenic Bioreactor", Emefcy's technology uses waste water as a renewable energy source, providing energy to the grid. It may not be the sexiest tech in the Cleantech 100, but Emefcy has taken a rather icky problem and devised a remarkable yet simple solution. Top marks.
Just one more thingThough this shouldn't necessarily reflect upon the listed companies, it is worth noting who Cleantech cites as being among its 70 advisors who helped whittle a shortlist of 213 down to the final hundred. ABB, BASF, BP DuPont, GE, General Motors, Proctor and Gamble, and Vestas all had a say. Vestas aside, they do make wind turbines after all, it seems a curious list to be
Further, the Cleantech press release admits that GE (along with Siemens) is the "most active partner with 2011 Global Cleantech 100 companies", so one must bear this in mind before deciding that the list is in any way impartial: investors have probably helped to shortlist their investees. We're not knocking the Cleantech 100. It doesn't claim impartiality. But if another list came along that was decided upon by, say, environmental academics, we'd certainly have a good nose at that too.
Source: Cleantech Group.