It has been 107 days since the Russian war in Ukraine began. The world has split to some extent and is reorganizing itself to continue supplying the various countries despite the blockades by Russia. Likewise, climate change continues to be on the front page. So much so that, during the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, it occupied a great deal of space in the different agendas.
Thus, in this edition, we will talk about the reorganization of world trade, startups that fight climate change and a best seller on business creation in scenarios of extreme uncertainty.
The Russian war in Ukraine has been titled in many, many ways because of the effect it has on the world economy. Among the headlines, El País headlined it as “a devastating economic tsunami”.
This tsunami would lead to a reorganization of international trade. The regionalization of the economy would be further enhanced by creating shorter supply chains with reliable partners.
Thus, such reorganization would be in 2 or more distinct blocks: on the one hand, we have the allies (the United States and the European Union, with the possibility of the United Kingdom and Japan joining) against Russia, and another block with China and India, which have a constant flow of exchange of goods with the country.
What occurs when these blocks are generated, according to Business Insider, is that however much those on Russia’s side (getting a large supply of energy and resources from it) cannot ignore that the large Western economies belonging to the antagonistic bloc account for a significant proportion of their export demand.
“What we expect to see in the coming times is less reliance on the large east-west trade routes between China and Europe, as well as between China and the U.S. Those are the legs where there are typically mega-ships making 2-5 calls in China,” predicts Christian Roeloffs, founder and CEO of Container xChange (a container booking company), in remarks published by CNBC.
To comply with the Paris Agreement, carbon removal has a significant portion in terms of mitigating the effects of climate change. No wonder, then, that the global carbon capture and storage market is growing from €1.9 billion last year to €7 billion, according to research by Fortune Business Insights.
Thus, below, we will see what actions are being taken by the 11 startups selected by venture capital investors and industry experts at the request of Business Insider in this area:
- Ecolocked, founded in 2021 and based in Berlin, enables building owners, architects and civil engineers to use biochar as a building material, mixed with concrete. In this way, the positive impact on the climate is threefold: it reduces emissions in the construction sector by replacing part of the cement, increases the energy efficiency of buildings and stores excess carbon dioxide over the life of the building.
- The Cool Corp, established in London (2021), aims to create a cost-effective, scalable, carbon-neutral solution for all carbon emitters, using captured CO₂ to create carbon-based materials. The company says its thermo-catalytic process is mainly used to create carbon nanotubes – which can be used for energy storage and in-car parts and boat hulls – but it also creates other nanomaterials.
- London-based Seabound (2021) equips cargo ships with its carbon capture technology to extract CO₂ before it is emitted into the atmosphere. Its technology converts CO₂ into limestone through a mineralization process; it is stored on board and then sold. The product can be used as a carbon-neutral building material or to manufacture synthetic fuels.
- Climeworks, based in Zurich (2009), is a carbon dioxide removal company with a commercial-scale plant called Orca in Iceland. Climeworks partner Carbfix mixes the captured CO₂ with water and pumps it underground, where it is stored in the form of stone due to rapid subway mineralization.
- Mash Makes, in Copenhagen (2015), is a company created by the Technical University of Denmark that specializes in converting waste into electricity, biofuels, hydrogen and biochar. Agricultural residues, invasive species such as water lilies, and sewage sediments are burned or decomposed, releasing emissions. Mash Makes uses these materials to manufacture green fuels, at a competitive price to encourage their purchase, and to produce biochar. The company says it handles everything from the procurement of biomass waste to the manufacture of the machines and the production of fuels and biochar. He says his machines are portable and can be deployed “basically anywhere it makes sense.”
- Bluemethane, of London (2021), is developing a “breakthrough technology” with which it plans to capture methane emissions from water, removing methane and unlocking a new source of bioenergy. The company is starting with hydropower plants and plans to scale up to non-hydro power reservoirs, wastewater treatment and natural water bodies.
- Tierra Foods, based in London (2021), is dedicated to carbon sequestration through regenerative agriculture, developing ingredients to improve soil quality and restore biodiversity. The company says it uses land “that used to be fertile but has been rendered infertile by over-farming”. Plant trees, perennials and annuals to help feed the soil, sink carbon and attract greater biodiversity. It focuses its work on the tropical forests of Central America. “By creating markets for novel, underutilized and highly nutritious ingredients from rainforests, we sequester carbon and deliver measurable comprehensive social impact and net biodiversity benefits,” the company tellsBusiness Insider.
- Brilliant Planet, London (2015), breeds algae to capture carbon “on a gigaton scale.” Their outdoor pond in the desert collects seawater, which is used to reproduce algal blooms that occur in the oceans.
- Carbon Clean, London (2009), has built a modular carbon capture device called CycloneCC to fit into the production lines of highly polluting industries such as cement or steel and refineries. The company claims that its technology captures 90% of carbon dioxide before it enters the atmosphere and reduces carbon capture costs compared to existing solutions. On its website it says it plans to reach $30 per metric ton of carbon captured.
- Agreena, established in Copenhagen (2018), helps farmers get paid for turning their land into carbon stores through regenerative agriculture. Its carbon marketplace connects companies with farmers to sell carbon credits.
- Mission Zero, London (2020), a spinoff of Deep Science Ventures, says it is developing direct air capture technology to recover carbon dioxide from the air “at a fraction of the cost and energy needed today.”
This edition is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. The Lean Startup method is a new approach being adopted around the world to change the way companies create and launch their products.
Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is as true for those working out of their home garage as it is for a group of seasoned professionals at a Fortune-ranked company. What they all have in common is a mission to move beyond uncertainty to find the path to a sustainable business.
The approach the author shows us in The Lean Startup Method makes companies more efficient in their use of capital and more effectively supports human creativity. It’s about implementing a variety of practices that shorten the product development cycle, measure real progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and help understand what consumers really want.
In addition, this method allows the company to change direction with agility and alter plans on a minute-by-minute basis.
Instead of wasting time designing elaborate business plans, the Lean Startup Methodoffers entrepreneurs of large and small companies the best way to continuously test their vision, to adapt and adjust it before it is too late.
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