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Going Green! Startup businesses solving environmental challenges

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by Startacus Admin

Startup businesses going green
“Going green” is something you often hear big or global corporations trying to achieve. Education and consumer demand is playing a part in changing minds and business models, but one thing is for sure, when it comes to startups which are innovative and disruptive by nature, their ability to be sustainable from the outset is usually inherit to their design.

What’s more, there’s a growing collective of startup business whose product or service is rooted in addressing and solving environmental challenges. The team at 365 Business Finance took a look at the startups doing just that.  

Toast Ale

As the old adage goes, it takes just half a sandwich to make a beer. Well, we may have made that up but according to startup brewers, Toast Ale, approximately one slice of bread helps to make one of their 330ml-bottles of beer. This startup is aiming to make a dent on the 24 million slices which are thrown away each day Toast Alein Britain. Bread wastage is actually the worst out of all of the food we throw away; 44% of what is produced is binned.

Usually to make beer you need grain, plus hops plus water plus yeast to initiate the fermentation process. Instead of grain however, Toast Ale uses bread that is discarded from bakeries and supermarkets. So well received was Toast Ale’s concept that it has since gone on to expand in the US after a successful Indiegogo campaign which raised $16,000. The startup also received a major order from Whole Foods NYC. Toast now has franchises in South Africa, Iceland and Brazil, as clearly people think it’s the best thing since, well you know.. 


Bulb is a green energy supplier with a disruptive difference. They supply members with 100% renewable electricity and bulb10% green gas, saving 1.3 tonnes of CO2, per member, entering into ithe atmosphere each year. Fed up founders Hayden Wood and Amit Gudka both worked in the ‘old’ energy - tired and unhappy with the industry's inefficiency, poor service, expensive tariffs and - of course - dirty energy. So they set up Bulb. Bulb has since raised £60 million of funding over two rounds, valuing the company at £351m. Considering the company only incorporated towards the end of 2014, this seems pretty impressive. In addition, in just three years Bulb has signed up over 300,000 households across the UK.


British households produce 7.1 million tonnes of food waste a year - and while it would be great to turn all that into beer- the Oliofounders of Olio, have come up with another sustainable alternative. Olio is an app which lets you share unwanted food items with your neighbours. While this is a free service, Olio makes its money by charging businesses for the service it provides via its Food Waste Heroes Programme which enables them to have zero edible food waste stores. Olio has expanded to non-food items on its sharing platform too. With its success in boasting half a million users, Olio was able to pick up $6 million in Series A funding. 


Through ‘smart tiles’, Pavegen harvests energy and data from footfall - quite literally, one (or maybe several thousand) stepsPavegen for mankind! The Idea was thought up in 2009 by engineer Laurence Kemball-Cook whose technology powers everything from lighting and low-energy screens, to sounds, branded games, and air quality sensors. Data transmitters collect information which can also be used to predict peak timings, and identify footfall hotspots. Kemball-Cook has raised £3.1m from investors and £2m on CrowdCube to build his team, and take his technology to a world stage - including permanent installations in major cities. The company celebrated its first £1m revenue in 2015, and went on to generate £1.7m in 2017.

365 Business Finance has also written about how small businesses are adopting increasingly green and sustainable practices which you can find here.

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Published on: 22nd August 2018

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