The debate on climate change and sustainability issues has picked up tremendously in the past few years. Many realised the importance of cleaning up the environment, and this has driven resourceful minds to create technological solutions to save our planet and lives at once. At present, several startups are doing their best to meet their environmental obligations.
Out of that, we have listed nine highly rated startups from Amsterdam that are taking great strides treading the sustainability route.
Founders: Bas van Abel, Miguel Ballester
Fairphone produces the most sustainable and fairest phones, which means the company makes sure that the raw materials in the smartphone do not come from conflict areas.
The company aims to make a positive impact across the value chain in mining, design, manufacturing, and life cycle while expanding the market for products that put ethical values first.
Founded in 2013 by Bas van Abel, Fairphone carries the credits of being the first electronics manufacturer to integrate Fairtrade gold into the supply chain.
According to the company, Fairphone recently became one of the first phone manufacturers to comply with the French Repairability Index that came into effect on 1st January 2021, achieving a score of 8.7/10. “The Index makes it a legal obligation for French resellers and operators to show a repairability score for each smartphone they sell. The score is obtained through answers inputted into a matrix based on criteria such as documentation and spare parts availability,” says the company.
Last year, in August, the Dutch sustainable smartphone brand launched Fairphone 3+, which is an upgraded version of the Fairphone 3, which uses 40% recycled plastics, equivalent to one 33cl plastic bottle. In comparison, this is a much higher percentage than Fairphone 3 (9 per cent).
Land Life Company
Founders: Eduard Zanen, Jurriaan Ruys
Land Life Company is a technology-driven reforestation company that is on a mission to help restore the 2 billion hectares of degraded land in the world. The Dutch company applies data and technology, such as drones, AI, and monitoring applications during the planting process. The company has offices in the USA and Europe with more than 30 professionals.
According to the Amsterdam-based company, it restored 1,713 hectares of degraded land in 2020, despite the pandemic. It will remove 368K tons of CO2 on behalf of its customers. Highlighting its achievements in 2020, the company mentions, “From restoring the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico to large-scale planting in Castilla y Leon in Spain. This year was our biggest planting achievement so far, and a logistic and operational masterpiece. Our operations team has been going full force to get our trees in the ground.”
Last year, in October, the Amsterdam-based scaleup raised €6M from the Achmea Innovation Fund, sustainable investment fund Meewind, DOEN Participates, and the Grantham Environmental Trust. This capital injection was intended to be used for the growth of the company and to increase the speed of technological developments.
Also, as of January 1, 2021, Ernst-Jan Stigter, general manager of Microsoft in the Netherlands, joined Land Life Company as the new CEO.
Founder: Paul Geurts van Kessel
GreenHome (formerly Bleeve) helps homeowners to make their homes more sustainable. The company’s platform connects people on the topic of saving and producing sustainable energy at home, enabling them to create a sufficient society and positive environmental impact.
Based out of Amsterdam, the company is on a mission to provide all homes with sustainable energy and to get rid of fossil fuels. At present, the company works with more than 300 partners in construction and installation companies.
Founder: Boudewijn Mos
Originated from the frustration with the conventional LCA (Life Cycle Assessments) method, Ecochain helps businesses to measure the environmental footprint of their value chain. “Life Cycle Assessments used to be tedious and take a lot of time and money. With our solutions and services, we help companies around the world to gain insights into their environmental footprint fast and without headaches,” mentions the company on its website.
The platform offers insights into the efficiency of energy and resource flows on the company, process, product, and material levels, allowing them to make the most effective measures. The Amsterdam startup allows you to make an environmental blueprint of your organisation.
Founders: Job Veltman, Folkert Roscam Abbing
Voltogo aims to make boating in Amsterdam sustainable. The startup offers Voltogo AppBattery, which is a portable battery charger that powers electric boats. The platform brings the world’s first boat rapid charging network in restaurants on the waterside, with already 100 per cent coverage in Amsterdam.
The electric battery is removable and can be charged at a nearby water cafe. Voltogo claims that boats using its battery render 50 per cent more engine power than those using existing motors.
Founder: Marius Smit
Plastic Whale is a web store that recycles plastic and uses it to manufacture furniture. The company based out of Amsterdam is on a mission to make the world’s waters plastic-free and create value from plastic waste. As per the company’s claims, a part of the proceeds will be invested in local initiatives across the world that tackle the plastic soup problem.
According to the company, the plastic it collects is recycled into furniture and more boats—the same kind of boats that are used by the company for fishing plastics. It currently has a fleet of six design boats made from Amsterdam Canal Plastic.
Founders: Aart van Veller, Matthijs Guichelaar, Remco Wilcke
The green-energy company from Amsterdam delivers green electricity and regular gas to individual and business customers. Unlike others, this Dutch company helps consumers to buy electricity directly from independent producers such as farmers with wind turbines in their fields without any intervention from the energy company. The company also allows customers to choose which producer they wish to be supplied by.
“Vandebron only offers energy that is genuinely sustainably generated on Dutch soil. We call it good energy! You choose your own wind, bio or solar energy source. This way, you know exactly where your energy comes from and where your money is going,” says the company on its website.
Vandebron was acquired by Dutch gas and power provider Essent in 2019. As per this deal, Vandebron will keep its own identity, brand and business model and will continue to operate as an independent company within Essent.
The Waste Transformers
Founders: Lara van Druten
The Waste Transformers has developed commercial garbage disposal systems to reduce the food wastage problem. The Amsterdam company has an on-site containerised anaerobic digester — Waste Transformer. It turns biodegradable waste such as kitchen and commercial waste into biogas or electricity and heat.
“Our Waste Transformers convert organic waste streams into energy, and it recovers the nutrients from your waste streams into a natural fertiliser. It all happens on your own site,” says the company.
Founder: Willem Sodderland
Seamore turns seaweed into everyday food. The company from Amsterdam presents seaweed as a tasty, healthy, and sustainable alternative to foods for Pasta, bacon, wraps, bread. The company aims to bring them to market in Europe and other countries.