Category Archives: Sustainability

Sustainable Ventures invests 12 times more in female-founded startups than industry average

  • Insight revealed as Sustainable Ventures announces milestone 50th investment
  • Holistic support model drives success of portfolio

Sustainable Ventures, Europe’s leading climate tech hub, has invested 12 times more money in female founders than the global industry average.

Sustainable Ventures committed nearly a quarter (23%) of its investment to entirely female founders. By comparison, the venture capital industry as a whole only invested 1.8% into entirely female founded teams in Europe in 2023.

 

The stark figures were disclosed as Sustainable Ventures celebrated its landmark 50th investment. Two thirds (65%) of investments also went to startups with female or underrepresented co-founders.

At the pre-seed and seed stages, Sustainable Ventures has invested just over £9 million into 50 climate tech startups since 2017. Those startups have since collectively raised a further £160 million, and together are worth over £600 million.

Successes of the portfolio include Albotherm, which has created a temperature responsive technology to reduce the emissions from thermal management, and subsea robotics provider RovCo.

 

Over half of the 50 companies are based outside London, in comparison to the wider UK startup industry where only one third of VC funding went outside the capital.

The company’s latest investment went to Radiant Matter, a new materials startup developing shimmer and colour-effects from plant-based cellulose. The company aims to help manufacturers and brands in the process of moving away from microplastics and toxic colourants, and has already worked with the likes of Stella McCartney and Been London.

 

When investing in a company, Sustainable Ventures looks for incredible founders, interesting IP, and strong climate impact. The investment team’s success is also down to a focus on core technologies in software, hardware and materials and ensuring a diverse founder mix.

Companies with hardware or advanced materials climate-tech solutions make up around two thirds of Sustainable Ventures’ investment portfolio, with university-backed startups also increasingly common.

 

Stuart Ferguson, Investment Partner at Sustainable Ventures, said: “The reason our investments outperform the market is down to our strong selection process and unique support model. 

“We are always looking for diverse founders who can help their customers solve critical net zero challenges. We don’t invest in formulaic, copycat companies that lack ruthless commercial focus.

“As well as funding experts, the Sustainable Ventures’ investment team is made up of ex-founders and ex-engineers so we understand the needs of entrepreneurs. We focus more on the capabilities and potential of founders and help them develop into the leaders of the future. 

“We have a diverse portfolio of successful technologies and brilliant founders aided by Sustainable Venture’s wider support ecosystem. We can’t wait to get going in backing the next generation of diverse founders through our next 50 investments.”

 

Elissa Brunato, Founder and CEO at Radiant Matter, said: “Radiant Matter is thrilled to partner with Sustainable Ventures, whose values and commitment to Climatetech closely align with our own. 

“We are grateful for their extensive experience, which will be invaluable as we move forward into the next stage of growth and expand our team to develop our material platform technology. 

“We love their dedication to supporting all founders regardless of gender, their investment is a strong validation of our vision and potential. Together, we can make a significant impact in the materials industry.”

CLEVERTEC SYSTEMS AND QUECLINK WIRELESS SOLUTIONS JOIN FORCES TO MEET GROWING DEMAND FOR E-CARGO BIKE TELEMATICS

CleverTec Systems has teamed up with Queclink Wireless Solutions to develop all-in-one fleet and video telematics for electric cargo bikes. With the adoption of e-bikes within the last-mile delivery sector on the rise, the partnership will develop a bespoke technology solution to meet the road safety and performance needs of this emerging mode of urban freight transport.

“The e-cargo bike is becoming a viable alternative to diesel vans in the urban environment, offering faster delivery times and dramatic cuts in emissions,” explains Anthony Bempong, Director of CleverTec Systems. “With uptake accelerating in the UK and international markets, we are seeing huge demand for a highly compact, robust and flexible fleet and video telematics system that is specifically designed for this exciting delivery solution.”

 

Queclink Wireless Solutions will work with Clevertec Systems to adapt its proven and tested CV200 dashcam to create a ruggedised two-camera system with advanced tracking and power management capabilities. It will work seamlessly with CleverTec Systems’ online platform, which can be integrated with external routing, scheduling and deliver management software via an easy API.

“Our aim is to develop an industry-first telematics solution that overcomes the unique operational and technology challenges of the e-cargo bike. By partnering with a global leader in the IoT hardware marketplace, we can combine our expertise to deliver a bespoke camera and tracking system that will meet the growing demand from manufacturers and end-user delivery businesses,” adds Bempong.

 

Vernon Bonser, UK Sales Director at Queclink Wireless Solutions commented: “As hardware partner of choice for many service providers within the telematics sector, we are using our unrivalled technical expertise to deliver new and exciting technology applications. This latest collaboration illustrates how flexible we are to individual customer needs, which is helping them take advantage of market opportunities and target business growth.”

SocialBox.Biz Repurposes Old Laptops and Macbooks to Change Lives

As they celebrate a decade of impact. SocialBox.Biz Celebrates Ten Years of Making an Impact with a Call To Action for Corporate Boards and Company Leaders – contact SocialBox.Biz first before scrap/recycling to check what can be reused and donated first.

London, UK – SocialBox.Biz, a tech-focused social enterprise, is making a positive impact by repurposing old laptops and Macbooks with open source software. This initiative, which began in 2014, has been instrumental in bridging the digital divide and providing essential technology to those in need.

Through partnerships with various organizations, SocialBox.Biz has been able to provide laptops and Macbooks upgraded with open source software to refugees, homeless individuals transitioning into permanent accommodation, and older people with limited access to technology. These devices not only provide a means for communication and connectivity, but also open up opportunities for education, employment, and social inclusion.

According to Peter Paduh, founder of SocialBox.Biz, “Technology is a powerful tool that can change lives. By repurposing old laptops and Macbooks, we are not only increase impact for participating companies, but also empowering individuals and communities to thrive in today’s digital world.”

The organization also provides digital skills training to help recipients make the most of their devices and stay connected. They are currently looking for companies and large universities to sponsor their training plans:

Scholarships for Refugees and Homeless People in the UK – helping students learn about working together, helping others and collaborating.

Corporate Impact Problems Solved

SocialBox.Biz is committed to continuing their efforts to repurpose old laptops and Macbooks, iMacs and other tech and make a positive impact on society. They are also calling on individuals and businesses to donate their old devices and join them in their mission to bridge the digital divide and change lives.

For more information on how to donate or get involved with SocialBox.Biz, please visit their website at www.socialbox.biz. Let’s work together to make a difference and create a more inclusive and connected world.

https://www.socialbox.biz/socialbox-biz-accepting-apple-products-and-laptop-donations-ahead-of-holidays/

Refugee Week is 17–23 June 2024 and London Tech Week 10-14th June 2024 . SocialBox.Biz, based in the UK, a tech-focused community interest company, is celebrating ten years of impact.

A former child refugee founded the organization with the intention of helping the impoverished learn IT skills by using donated and repurposed equipment. The initiative is expanding to reach more organizations willing to donate their unwanted IT equipment before it is recycled as scrap. Donations assist the homeless and elderly pensioners.

https://refugeeweek.org.uk/my-life-transformed-when-i-received-an-old-computer/

There are mountains of old computers and tech in London alone, but you have the power to change the future. Partnering with SocialBox.Biz is a pledge to a better way of solving your organisation’s old tech and impact problems.

https://www.socialbox.biz/tech-innovator-socialbox-biz-calls-on-uk-businesses-to-donate-their-unused-laptops-to-help-refugees-and-people-experiencing-homelessness-during-refugee-week-2024/

A Sustainable Way to Reduce Scope 3 Emissions and Boost Social Impact By SocialBox.Biz

Tech Innovations From SocialBox.Biz Reducing Scope 3 emissions And Increasing Local Impact in London and the UK.

#RefugeeWeek2024, #EarthDay2024, #LondonTechWeek2024 #TechForGood #CIO #UniversitiesUK #CorpGov #Camden council area, #Westminster city council area #Business improvement districts #London #UK

SocialBox.Biz Community Interest Company
+44 843 289 5722

Highlands Hotel Reaches World ‘Green’ Final

Pioneering Energy Centre gets Worldwide Recognition

A highlands hotel that built a pioneering Energy Centre will take its place amongst global names after being short-listed in the first World Sustainable Travel and Hospitality Awards.

 

The family-run Glen Mhor Hotel in Inverness developed Scotland’s first ever Water Source Energy solution centre in 2021, in a historic conservation area, saving 250 tonnes of carbon per year.

It initiated its own Climate Action Plan and has introduced programmes to promote inclusion and positive mental health, with its 146 employees each having an individual Green job title.

Now its climate action and people initiatives have been rewarded with listings in three categories for the worldwide award; the only business in Scotland to be named, and one of only two in Britain.

 

Selected from hundreds of entries, the Glen Mhor will now go up against international chains, resorts and famous names in the global vote, which is now open to everyone.

Voting will close on 2nd August and the winners in each category will be announced in the inaugural ceremony in Belize on 27th September.

 

The Glen Mhor Hotel, which also uses its £8m Energy Centre to produce malt whisky and craft beer at its on-site Uile-bheist Distillery and Brewery, scored high with judges on three aspects.

Its nominations are for World Leading Sustainable Energy Efficiency Initiative, World leading Sustainable Water and Waste Innovation and the World’s Leading Sustainable Employer.

 

The Award categories were chosen to reflect the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and will be contested by brands such as Accor, Radisson and Mandarin Oriental.

 

Victoria Erasmus, Sustainability Director, Uile-bheist distillery, Inverness.

“When we evaluated our business with a desire to future-proof with renewable technology and practices, we knew we had to take bold steps in order to achieve our net zero goals,” recalls Victoria Erasmus, Sustainability Director.

“Our Energy Centre and sustainable technology had never been used before and we had the challenge of building during lockdown in a historic conservation area and during the Covid pandemic. Despite the challenges and the risks, we were driven by the urgency to address a global climate crisis.

“As a smaller player among these fellow nominees, I am incredibly proud of our team’s efforts and honoured to have been shortlisted. This recognition is a testament to the fact that everyone in the hospitality industry, not just the large chains and resorts, can make a significant impact on sustainability and climate change. The journey has been challenging, but this acknowledgement is the ultimate reward for our hard work and dedication.”

 

The Glen Mhor’s Energy Centre was showcased as an exemplar at the All Energy Conference in Glasgow in May.

When it became operational, it removed 20 gas boilers from the hotel and provided a new water source for heating and hot water.  Electricity usage was reduced by solar panels and the Glen Mhor will be carbon neutral by 2030.

 

As well as transforming operational practices, the 126-room hotel by the River Ness has won praise for its staff initiatives, with 20 trained mental health first aiders, sensory recruitment practices and measures to promote inclusion in hospitality.

“Sustainability is at the heart for our staff and training,” explained Victoria. “In our business, every role is a green role, designed with environmental responsibility in mind. This approach is essential for transforming both attitudes and operational practices.”

 

The only other UK entry is Weeva Limited UK in the World Leading Sustainable Technology category. Members of the public can vote by visiting https://wstha.com/

 

myenergi awarded EcoVadis bronze medal for sustainability

Eco-smart home energy technology manufacturer myenergi has been awarded an EcoVadis bronze medal for its commitment to setting the standards in sustainable best practice. The prestigious accolade places the Stallingborough-based company within the top 35% of all companies assessed by the framework within the past 12 months.

EcoVadis is one of the world’s largest providers of business sustainability ratings, boasting a global network of more than 130,000 rated companies. Its certifications recognise and reward companies that go above and beyond to embrace sustainable practices.

The accreditation process requires businesses to submit documentation, examples and references for multiple sustainability proof points, with performance assessed against a bespoke methodology. myenergi scored well across each of the four performance themes analysed – environment; labour and human rights; ethics; and sustainable procurement.

Emma Brigginshaw, head of sustainability and ethics at myenergi, commented: “Being recognised by EcoVadis is a clear demonstration of our commitment to embracing sustainable best practice across the business. It affirms the robustness of our management systems and performance of our production processes.

“But while a positive endorsement of our work to date, this certification is just the start. As a leader in the design and manufacture of eco-smart home energy technologies, we’re committed to holding ourselves to account and really leading the way when it comes to setting the industry standards.

“We’re therefore already working hard in the background on numerous initiatives to further improve our environmental performance, each of which will be announced in due course. This bronze medal is a really valuable yardstick to fully understand where we’re already scoring highly, as Well as the areas that need additional focus moving forward.”

Best known for developing zappi, the world’s first solar-compatible electric vehicle charger, myenergi is a global leader in the home energy technology sector. The business manufactures a wide range of pioneering energy management devices, including the eddi power diverter and libbi battery storage system. Since its founding in 2016, the business has sold more than 600,000 units globally, while opening subsidiaries in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and Ireland along the way.

For more information about myenergi and its latest range of eco-smart home energy tech, visit www.myenergi.com.

SNIPEF responds to High Court ruling on Government’s climate action plan

In response to a High Court ruling that mandates a revision of the UK government’s climate action plan, Stephanie Lowe, Deputy Chief Executive of the Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation (SNIPEF), has called for the urgent development of a more robust, fair, and actionable climate strategy.

“The High Court’s ruling, which requires the government to revisit its climate action plan, underscores the urgent need for realistic and achievable climate goals,” said Lowe. “This decision aligns with our longstanding call for government strategies that are ambitious yet grounded in the practical realities and expert insights from industries at the forefront of implementing these technologies.”

Lowe added, “Incorporating detailed, industry-informed pathways is crucial to ensure the targets set are not merely aspirational but truly achievable. It is essential that future climate policies adopt a balanced approach that includes all sectors and communities.”

The ruling highlights the challenges in current government plans, which have been criticised for their lack of detail on achieving proposed emission cuts. As noted by environmental groups and the recent judicial review, the plans require a more comprehensive framework that genuinely aligns with the UK’s net-zero ambitions.

“We urge the government to use this opportunity to engage more constructively with industry experts and stakeholders to craft a plan that is both comprehensive and feasible,” Lowe stated. “SNIPEF is committed to supporting a transition to low-carbon technologies and looks forward to participating in a dialogue that moves us closer to our shared environmental goals.”

ACCA sets bold agenda for accountants on Earth Day

Professional accountants are especially well-placed to help change the world for the better

To mark Earth Day 2024, ACCA has identified five ways for professional accountants to make a positive impact in tackling issues such as climate change, social inequality and a widespread lack of trust.

Solving the biggest problems facing the world today is a challenge that faces all of us – not just governments and large organisations. ACCA believes that we all have an important role to play as individuals and that there are five key areas to focus on:

  1. Drive the sustainability agenda
  2. Understand the benefits of AI adoption
  3. Promote the importance of good ethics
  4. Advance an inclusive workplace culture
  5. Develop a continuous learning mindset.

ACCA president Ronnie Patton said: “A better, fairer and more sustainable world will only happen if we make it happen. ACCA believes that if we all work together, we can change the world. Professional accountants are perfectly placed to make practical and important contributions in shaping the safe, secure future which we all crave.”

Lloyd Powell, head of ACCA Cymru/Wales, said: “We’re excited about what can be achieved through the Green Growth Pledge. It is encouraging to hear so many people and institutions – including the Welsh Government – taking Earth Day so seriously. ACCA in Wales is keen to work with the private, public and third sectors to ensure Wales builds a sustainable future.”

ACCA is also hosting a free half-day conference on 22 April to explore how finance professionals can support the creation of sustainable organisations. ACCA experts Sharon Machado, head of sustainable business, and Jamie Lyon, head of skills, sectors and technology, will share how accountants can play their part at the heart of sustainable organisations of the future and ACCA’s Accounting for a Better World campaign.

In addition, ACCA will also be introducing a new Diploma in Sustainability later this year, bringing together high-quality learning support and assessments that will meet the emerging regulatory requirements for certification.

Read the agenda for action at

https://acca.shorthandstories.com/accounting-for-a-better-world/index.html

‘Sustainability Should be Taught in Our Schools’

Lincolnshire parents calling for more to be done in schools to help families adopt a sustainable lifestyle and protect the planet.

Liam (38) and wife, Angela, from Crowland near Peterborough are among 40 per cent of parents claiming life with children prevents them adopting a more sustainable lifestyle.

Ahead of Earth Day on April 22 2024, new research from the UK’s largest gas distribution network, Cadent, shows two thirds of households are still struggling to be sustainable.

The  ‘Energy Diaries: Fair Sustainability’ report captures feedback from over 2,000 UK households and shows that those making the effort to be more sustainable are only doing so to save money.

Parents like Liam and Angela are finding it difficult to instil environmentally-conscious behaviours with their children without the message being reinforced in school.

 

Liam commented: “As our two kids grow older and their lives become busier, we’ve found it really difficult to reduce our energy use as a family. We try to educate them but it’s quite a challenge to convey the importance of being eco-friendly when this message isn’t being reiterated in other settings, like school or college. 

“As adults, we’re conscious of what we’re doing so we try to reduce our carbon footprint by recycling and reusing what we can. But the time our children spend in the shower, or drying their hair, can feel like an age and it’s this blasé attitude we want to change. Sustainability is a stem subject, so it can be taught in maths, science, tech and home economics and we need to be doing that for our young people in the UK.”

Cadent’s data, in partnership with Thinks Insight, reveals that 44 per cent of households making the effort to be more sustainable have only been prompted by the cost of living crisis. Changes include turning the heating down, using less water, buying second hand clothes and furniture, or switching to more sustainable brands.

However, with Liam’s 11-year old daughter and 19-year old son both attending sports clubs and gym classes most weeknights plus PE lessons peppered throughout the School week, the washing machine is on most days.

Liam added: “There’s a lot we can’t compromise on, particularly cleanliness and convenience for our sporty kids. I also run four times a week, so on top of the kids’ activities, we have a lot of sportswear in the house and if they’re not washed properly at warm temperatures, they start to smell.”

 

Mark Belmega, Director of Social Purpose and Sustainability at Cadent, commented: “While some households are taking steps to reduce energy usage, they’re doing so to save money and it involves sacrificing valuable time and convenience, something that busy families are less likely to do. There’s also a further battle to be had to encourage energy-saving habits amongst young people.

“But it’s crunch time for net zero and UK households need help to become greener while also juggling these time and cost pressures. It’s crucial industry, government and the wider business community collaborate to support all customers with their energy transition journey, no matter their living situation. 

“Our Energy Diaries project is a strong step towards helping our customers live more affordable, energy-efficient lives. Exploring their experiences first-hand enables us to co-create solutions to achieve a more affordable, sustainable future.” 

 

As the UK’s largest gas distribution network and a provider of a critical service to over 11 million customers, Cadent has a responsibility to help keep people safe, warm and independent in their homes. The Energy Diaries series follows the real-life experiences of consumers and their energy use, with the latest study focusing on sustainability against the cost-of-living backdrop.

 

New figures show logistics firms talk the talk on green initiatives and AI, but fail to walk the walk

New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show more transportation & storage sector companies (16.1%) said they were ‘very concerned’ about the impact of climate change than any other business sector. However, the home delivery expert Parcelhero says the results also reveal many businesses are not transforming that concern into action. That will also have a knock-on effect on the carbon footprint of retailers using their services.

Parcelhero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T., says: ‘Encouragingly, more transportation & storage companies have a net zero emissions target than any other sector (8%). However, when it comes to putting targets into practice, the results show transportation companies have introduced fewer green initiatives than most other sectors. In fact, compared to similar business sectors such as manufacturing and retail, transport companies have taken fewer steps to electrify their fleets (7%), adjust heating systems (16.8%), install smart meters (10.8%) or introduce renewable energy sources (2.1%).

‘Logistics companies are also falling behind in the adoption of AI. Looking across all sectors, around 1 in 7 (14%) of businesses reported that they are currently using some form of artificial intelligence technology, an increase from 10% in late December 2023. Concerningly, however, fewer transportation companies are using AI technologies than any other business sector (91.3% of transportation & storage firms don’t use AI at all).

‘While a significant 31.1% of retail companies are using AI to provide or personalise their products and services to customers, the number of transportation companies using AI for their customer services or as a way of gaining new customers was so small it failed to register as a result in the survey. Retailers of all sizes want to see smarter and more informative post-sale logistics and final mile communications with customers but, currently, their transport partners are lagging behind in this area.

‘That situation doesn’t look like it’s getting better any time soon. Fewer transport companies are planning to authorise capital expenditure to reach new customers than any other sector except construction, real estate and support services. Crucially, transport & storage sector companies are the most likely to say cost is the reason for not adopting new tech such as AI (11.5%).

‘The figures highlight just how far transport companies are lagging behind similar sectors. For example, 16.8% of manufacturers have developed their own AI projects and 24.5% are using external or SaaS software. Similarly, 5.5% of retailers have developed their own AI projects and 27% have bought off-the-shelf or SaaS programs. In comparison, the amount of transport companies adopting these technologies, either in-house or externally, was again so small it didn’t register. Retailers will be anxious to ensure that their post-sales service and communications, which are often in the hands of their delivery partners, don’t fall significantly short of their overall customer experience.

‘Parcelhero’s forthcoming Parcelhero Pro SaaS (Software as a Service) platform will help transport & storage companies catch up with other business sectors and enable their retail partners to both reduce their carbon footprint and interact more effectively with customers. Its launch also creates an opportunity for investors to enter this fast-growing market.

‘The launch of Parcelhero Pro this spring will give retailers and transport & storage companies the means to cut emissions by significantly reducing missed deliveries. The platform will also enable them to interact with customers and provide new services – while avoiding large-scale in-house tech initiatives and spending.

‘With Parcelhero Pro, businesses will be able to ship in bulk, optimise cost and completely outsource their after-sales customer support. Parcelhero Pro is set for launch in Q2 2024 and investors are now able to fund the growth and marketing of the new platform. The Parcelhero Group has launched its equity funding campaign on Floww, the internationally respected fundraising and investment platform. This enables high net worth individuals (HNWI), angel investors and venture capitalists to invest.

‘The Parcelhero Group has already outpaced all its competitors with 21% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in revenue between 2019 and 2022, making it the UK’s fastest-growing logistics comparison group.

‘Parcelhero is looking to achieve initial funding of £700k to ensure Parcelhero Pro’s successful market debut. For the first time in its history, it is offering investors a chance to back this established, highly profitable logistics business. For further information or to register your interest, see the investors page at https://www.parcelhero.com/fundraising-2024

 

Hansen Motorsport extends longstanding partnership with Sparco for 2024

Hansen Motorsport has today announced that Sparco, the Italian auto part and accessory company, will continue to supply the driver equipment, team kit, and teamwear for Hansen World RX Team and #YellowSquad.

Sparco will also support Timmy Hansen as the Swede faces his exciting new challenge in the E1 Series, by providing technical racing equipment from the Full-Efficiency line, which is globally the first and only product line aimed at the principles of “zero waste”.

The long-standing partnership between Hansen Motorsport and Sparco has been built on shared values and decades of joint experience in motorsport. This partnership supports innovation through constant collaboration with the drivers, whose valuable feedback gained from their skills on track continues to back research and development towards the highest level of performance.

Kenneth Hansen, Team Founder of Hansen World RX Team, said: “All of us at Hansen Motorsport are proud of our work as a family company. Having dedicated partners like Sparco, who share our commitment and passion, plays a crucial part in our legacy as a team. Together with Sparco we’ll continue to push what’s possible and pick apart every detail as we look to continue innovating and improving both on and off the track.”

Diego Lamura, Sparco Chief Marketing Officer and Global Partnerships, said: “Sparco is proud to partner with Hansen Motorsport. This long-term partnership gives us the opportunity to continue and deepen our commitment to innovation and sustainability, while benefiting from the world-class expertise of the drivers, who play a key role for us at Sparco in our ongoing research and development activities.”

Multiple World Championship winning outfit Hansen Motorsport will take on the 2024 FIA World Rallycross Championship – which sees the introduction of the ‘Battle of the Technologies’ – with Sparco branding at select locations on their cars.

The most successful rallycross team in history will be looking to build on last season’s performance, this time against new competition in the form of sustainably-fuelled combustion counterparts.

Led by 14-time European Rallycross champion Kenneth Hansen and European S1400 champion Susann Hansen, the squad is adding lessons learned from last year to an intense off-season ahead of its 2024 title challenge with the added support of Sparco.

The 2024 FIA World RX campaign kicks off in Höljes, Sweden (6-7 July), before heading to Hungary where the drivers will take on Nyirád’s ‘Red Cauldron’, which steps up to World Championship for the first time (27-28 July). Two familiar World RX venues follow in Mettet, Belgium (17-18 August) and Montalegre in Portugal (7-8 September). An exciting season finale is in store as the championship heads oversees to Australia (30 November-1 December).