Global emissions are set to increase by almost 14% over the current decade according to the most recent Sustainable Delevopment Goals (SDG) report by the UN. To prevent this global catastrophe, the world urgently needs innovative solutions to the climate crisis.
The growing green technology and sustainability market is projected to be worth $74.64 billion by 2030. To celebrate and better understand this booming sector, B-corp Bower Collective has released a 6-factor tool which maps ‘Green Innovation’ across Europe. The study evaluates the number and type of environmental SDG startups in each country, funding for environmental SDG startups and the number of green technology patents filed per country to reveal how European countries are contributing to the race
The European average
In total – across the 28 countries in the study – there are more than 1,800 environmental SDG startups operating in Europe, and just under one in ten European startups are working towards a environmental SDG goal.
As a secondary indicator, the study also examined the quantity and proportion of European green technology patents (technology that aims to reduce human impact on the natural environment). Since 2019 just shy of 80,000 green technology patents have been recorded in the OECD library, and overall one in ten technology patents are categorised as green.
The Overall Winners
Germany came top of the study, contributing more green startups and green patents than any other country in the study. Germany also has the 2nd greatest amount of funding for green startups and 2nd largest growth in funding over the past five years.
In 2nd position, with the most investment in green funding and growth in investment over the five years, is Sweden. Over the past five years, €7.6 billion has been injected into Swedish sustainable startups, more than any other European nation.
Performing equally well, the Netherlands and France complete the top three. The Netherlands has one of the highest volume of green startups (336), and France scored highly for the number of issued green technology patents, with 1,445 listed over the last three years.
Number of startups
Germany has the most listed green startups of all the countries in the study with 364, the largest proportion of these concerning climate action (35%) and sustainable cities and communities (26%). But not far behind Germany’s 364 startups is the Netherlands, with 336 listed corporations. The Netherlands has the most zero hunger startups (19) and startups tackling responsible consumption and production (100).
Completing the top three in this category is Denmark. Denmark has 210 listed green startups, including the 2nd most sustainable cities and communities startups and the 2nd most responsible consumption and production startups.
However, when considering the number of all startups in each country which are green, the European winners are different. The UK ranked top with more than half (55%) of all registered startups contributing towards green sustainable development goals. Norway ranked second, with 43% and Denmark third with 20% – all significantly above the average of 9%.
Most funding for SDG startups
When aggregating all sources of funding (including pre-seed, seed, series A, Series B and Series C funding) on average, a country in the study recorded nearly €1.3 billion euros worth of investment into green startups since 2018.
But since 2017, Sweden has had the most funding, with a staggering total of €7.6 billion. Germany was not far behind with €7.3 billion and France came third with €5.3 billion.
And the ranking remains the same when considering the five-year change in annual green startup funding. Sweden is investing €4.3 billion more than in 2017, Germany €3.7 billion more, and France €1.7 billion more.
Number of green tech patents
Over the past three years, Germany has registered an impressive 3,995 green technology patents — miles ahead of France, which placed second with 1,445. The UK came third with 1,066 listed patents.
But proportionally, by considering the total of all technology patents issued in each country which are green, Denmark is steaming ahead in the green tech race. Around 21% of all technology patents in the country are ‘green’, ahead of Austria (14%) and Norway (14%) all considerably higher than the study average of 9%
About Bower Collective
Sustainable online subscription platform, Bower Collective provides consumers with Earth’s best home and personal care products in reusable and refillable packaging. Launched in January 2020, Bower Collective is rapidly becoming the world’s leading, digital first, sustainable consumer goods company, with a community of over 60,000 customers and counting