Today marks the 52nd anniversary of Earth Day. The day, which is celebrated across the world, usually consists of officials making speeches on the importance of conservation or governments announcing lofty climate goals. While certainly important, what can often be overlooked are the innovative companies tackling climate change that are already making a positive environmental impact.
C3 has covered several of these companies in the past. While it is certainly hard to pick our favorites, here are some of the most innovative companies tackling climate change.
One of the biggest environmental challenges that we have is plastic waste. Enter Loop, a Trenton, New Jersey-based reusable plastics packaging company that is aiming to develop circular solutions to combat single-use waste.
The company partners with dozens of retailers and manufacturers to deliver brand-name items to consumers in chic, made-from-waste totes. The items are essentially “zero-waste” versions of your everyday essentials, specifically designed for 100 or more use cycles. The products are housed in durable and reusable metal or glass packaging that customers can ‘borrow’ for a small fully refundable deposit from TerraCycle, Loop’s parent company.
Aspiration is an online green financial service that partners with the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, Crypto Climate Accord, 1% For The Planet, 1T.org, Certified B Corporation, and others to build a cleaner, greener world. Aspiration has an organizational goal to plant 125 million trees by 2030.
The company provides individual services with significant financial and environmental benefits, works with the business community in carbon footprint reduction, and makes green investing simple. Aspiration is FDIC-insured, relies on strong encryption security, and while it is not a bank, partners with various financial institutions in issuing its products.
Pachama is a San Francisco-based startup that uses remote sensing technology and machine learning to track the carbon-capturing trends of dozens of forests worldwide. Already the company has managed to secure $15 million in funding from the likes of Amazon and Breakthrough Energy Ventures.
4. Green Interchange
Green Interchange is the second reforestation startup to crack our list. Started in 2020 by Congressman Mark Green (R-TN), the company has made it its mission to reforest Tennessee, while bringing people together through treen plantings.
Green Interchange’s CEO John McFadden had this to say about his organization’s societal impact:
“One of the greatest things about those big tree planting days is the social part of it. It brings people together. I’ve done those days where I’ve been out in the field and I’ve had the most hard-core conservative and the biggest liberal, I gave one of them a tree and one of them a shovel and said ‘try and work together.’ They got more than one tree in the ground because let me tell you, everybody loves trees and they have so much value in our communities.”
An oil and gas company on an Earth Day list? Yes, you’re reading that right.
While a relatively new player in the fossil industry, Cheniere has quickly grown to become the largest producer of liquified natural gas in the United States and the second-largest producer in the entire world. Importantly, Cheniere’s natural gas is far cleaner than fuel that is produced overseas and could play an important role in decarbonizing the global energy sector.
In 2021 the company achieved carbon-neutral shipping and plans to continue to decarbonize its operations in an economically responsible way.
Launched by Clay Sell, a former Deputy Secretary of Energy under President George W. Bush, X-energy is a nuclear reactor design and fuel design company.
Sell and his team are innovating the nuclear industry through their reactor designs. Their reactor, called the Xe-100, is a module that produces 80 megawatts of electricity. In commercial applications, X-energy sells these modules in packs of four, producing 320 megawatts—enough to power roughly 300,000 American homes with clean energy.
7. Marrone Bio
Marrone Bio is looking to clean up agriculture, an industry that is responsible for 10% of global emissions each year. Marrone Bio markets itself as a leader in nature-based pest management and crop health solutions. The firm develops cutting-edge sustainable formulas targeting common agricultural afflictions, like plant diseases, invasive pests, and unruly weeds.
8. Beam Suntory
One of the global leaders in premium spirit production, Beam Suntory has dedicated $1 billion to lowering its environmental footprint. The company is taking a multi-faceted approach that includes tree plantings, reduced water use, and using exclusively recycled materials to package its products.
These eight innovative companies tackling climate change represent just a small fraction of the private sector that is taking its environmental impact seriously. This Earth Day let’s remember that in order to reach our climate objectives, we will need the innovation and leadership of the private sector.