Emerging Sustainable Industries for Startups
There are plenty of ways for a startup to go green, one of them being targeting an eco-friendly market. You may have a certain image in mind when you think of an environmentally conscious business or startup, but the following industries just go to show that the sky's the limit when it comes to sustainability. In fact, renewable energy is expected to surpass that of coal and nuclear energy, with nearly 90% of all energy generation coming from a renewable source by 2050. Inspiration awaits!
Clean energy are those renewable resources that you learned about back in the day; things like wind, solar, and water power that have an infinite pool for us to use in regards to energy generation. Renewable energy has always been widely used, with wood being the main source in the United States dating back to the 1800s. As our understanding of sustainability and renewable energy has grown, so has the usage of different resources. It wasn’t until the 1990s that solar energy became widely used, and we’re still paving the way for wind power technology today.
The most exciting thing about this industry is that it’s always expanding as the need for clean energy becomes more apparent and necessary. In 2020, the clean energy market was valued at $283.9 billion and is expected to nearly double over the next five years, with a projected market value of $423.7 billion by 2026. Startups like Thiozen Inc and PowerWells are all great examples of how entrepreneurs are dedicated to creating a world that relies less on finite resources.
Below are some of the top industries for sustainable-focused entrepreneurs to invest their time in.
The sustainable materials industry, or “green building” industry, is all about finding alternative architecture materials to ensure a more eco-friendly construction process. These materials are used in place of things like steel and other non-renewable resources like timber so that they’re not depleted. Things like hempcrete, bamboo, and even cork are great examples of sustainable materials that startups are using in order to move toward a more green practice.
According to market research, the green building materials industry is currently valued at around $238 billion and is expected to reach a growth rate of 8.6% by 2027, where its estimated value is $425.4 billion. Companies like Hempitecture are worth keeping your eye on as they revamp the construction industry to reduce carbon emissions. The best part about this particular market is that it’s still recent, so there’s plenty of startup potential to mine for your business’s success.
As with the sustainable materials industry, the mobility/shared mobility market is also one that’s rapidly expanding and growing. With the invention of ride share services like Lyft and Uber becoming more popular in the last five to seven years, it’s clear that ride sharing services and more emphasis on public transportation can help cut carbon emissions significantly. With a current valuation of $90.7 billion, this industry’s upward mobility is undeniable. Market research estimates it will grow to $145.5 billion in the next six years.
Be sure to check out entrepreneurs like Constantin Vermoere, whose startup SMOVE.CITY is aiming to create more sustainable European cities with their electric scooters. Because this industry is still evolving, there are plenty of technologies and solutions that have yet to be discovered. Could your startup be the next big mobility giant?
While water is a renewable resource, no one wants to use polluted water for any reason, let alone drink it. Water is a life source, and contaminated drinking water can be fatal, which is why so many entrepreneurs have dedicated their business ventures to securing access to clean water and limiting the toxins that can cause it to become polluted. (This goes for bottled water, too—cutting down on plastic consumption is great for the environment!)
Companies like AquiPor Technologies are dedicated to fighting water pollution and creating a more efficient process for collecting water runoff in cities across the country. The need for cleaner water became clear toward the end of the 19th century with the advancement of agriculture, but regulations for the industry weren’t put into place until the 20th century. (Which we’re still seeing the effects of today.) The industry is currently valued at $31 million and is expected to grow to over $41 million over the next few years.
Feeling inspired? Learn how to launch your sustainable company with our guide on How to Start a Startup.
What exactly is greentech? Essentially, it’s sustainable technology or solutions that help curb or alleviate human impact on the environment. As the world transitions to more green technology to stop harmful pollution and emissions, it’s the perfect time for entrepreneurs everywhere to thrive. While this budding industry has found its footing in the last few years, there are still countless avenues to explore.
The greentech industry was valued at $9.57 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $41.62 billion by 2028, which is an impressive growth rate of about 20.3% over seven years. Startups to keep an eye on include WISErg and Elevate Packaging, which are all about making sure our futures are more green. Whether it’s creating an entirely new, sustainable power source or giving communities access to environmentally friendly goods and services, greentech offers a unique opportunity to make this industry your own.
Agriculture is a cornerstone of economies all over the world, and ensuring they’re more sustainable in the future is the goal for startups like Biome Makers and beyond. As one of the largest contributors to the US economy in 2019 (valued at $1.09 trillion) and one of the worst offenders of carbon emissions and environmental destruction, it’s clear that there’s a lot of opportunity for successful sustainability here.
Because the industry is always growing and producing more each year, agricultural AI solutions (like those created by Biome Makers) have come to the forefront of the market. However, this isn’t the only way to achieve sustainable agriculture practices. This makes fertile ground for entrepreneurs who are looking to revolutionize the way we harvest and prepare food for the nation.
It’s not easy to hear, but because the agriculture industry is not as eco-friendly as it could be, it affects the food we eat. This can lead to more health issues, which only further exacerbates other factors of climate change. With the world’s population expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, it’s more important than ever that we challenge the status quo to ensure that everyone has access to a nutritious diet while simultaneously protecting the planet. That’s where sustainable nutrition comes in.
The sustainable food movement has gained traction over recent years, and the industry is expected to reach $465.4 billion by 2025, which is a 6% increase from its current value. Because it’s such a fast-growing market, entrepreneurs like Josh Campbell with Human Improvement have been inspired to create their own startup solutions. Whether it’s sustainable protein powder or creating a eco-friendly and ethically sourced menu from scratch, this market is always hungry for new ideas.
Recommended: Check out our list of eco-friendly startups for more inspiration!
- Global Green Building Materials Market to Reach $425.4 Billion by 2027 | GlobeNews Wire
- Global Clean Energy Technologies Market Size Expected to Grow to USD 423.7 Billion by 2026 | GlobeNews Wire
- Renewable energy explained - US Energy Information Administration
- Big oil courts U.S. clean-energy startups in bid to speed green transition | Reuters
- Sustainable Building Materials Is a New Trend in Global Construction Industry, says Beroe Inc | PR News Wire
- Shared Mobility Market Size to Reach USD 145460 Million by 2027 at CAGR 6.5% - Valuates Reports | PR News Wire
- Global air & water pollution control equipment market size to record 4.2% CAGR over 2021-2027 | GlobeNews Wire
- Document Display | National Services for Environmental Publications
- Green Technology and Sustainability Market to Hit USD 41.62 Billion by 2028 | GlobeNews Wire
- 2021 Farm Sector Income Forecast | USDA
- Human Nutrition Market Worth $465.4 Billion by 2025, Growing at a CAGR of 6.6% from 2019 | GlobeNews Wire