With the Covid-19 crisis leading the front page of every newspaper and occupying the collective consciousness, it can be easy to forget that there remains a much larger existential crisis to which we must respond.

Wednesday 22nd April 2020 is the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day – a day on which we mark the urgent need to take action to protect our natural environment and ensure that our planet continues to be a thriving home to the millions of species that call it home. 

Technology companies can earn themselves a bad reputation when it comes to environmental issues; but a growing group of companies are taking a stand, and are proactively working to take decisive action to solve, mediate or even reverse a diverse set of threats to the planet. 

Startups – with their technologies often conceived as a solution to a particular problem – are uniquely placed to provide answers to particular environmental issues. To mark this important day, we’ve taken a look at some key environmental pinch points and a few of the most promising solutions to each.

Food Waste

Too Good to Go claims that ⅓ of all food is wasted, and their mission is to change this. Their mobile app allows users to find favourite foods and save them from being thrown away at the end of the day by restaurants and stores. The British startup was founded in June 2016 and since then have saved 35,877,170 meals globally which equates to saving 89,693 Tonnes of CO2! You can download their app here.


Olio allows communities to share unwanted food that would normally be thrown away. Users simply take a photo, choose who to share with and then arrange a pick up location. Olio brings neighbors and communities together and has so far saved 548,110,403 litres of water by preventing food from being thrown away. Download the app here



Kudos claims that it will be the first and only startup to produce a natural disposable nappy with 100% breathable cotton. With 3 billion nappies used in the UK each year, this startup will be solving a huge environmental issue once it launches in summer 2020.


Vehicle Emissions

Ola is the startup part of India’s Mission:Electric to bring 1 million electric vehicles to India for everyday use by 2021. More than 200 of Ola’s electric vehicles are already running on Ola’s app platform in the Nagpur city – greatly helping to reduce India’s Co2 emissions.

Green system automotives have developed a solution to the Co2 emissions produced by the 150 million two-wheeled vehicles across the world. The French startup has produced a ‘FlexFuel’ kit allowing motorcyclists, and other two-wheeled vehicles to use Ethanol instead of conventional fuel which reduces emissions making them eco-responsible. Find out more here.


Clime Works is a Swiss startup which, put simply, removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Claiming to have built the world’s first commercial carbon removal technology, Clime Works capture plants in Switzerland remove Co2 from the atmosphere to supply to customers and help to reduce emissions. You can read more about how the technology works here.


Sunleavs is a French startup which allows communities to share solar panel energy through a collective solar energy production facility. The startup was one of the 6 winners of the CES 2020 Climate Change Innovators challenge.


Packaging and Plastic


Notpla has created disappearing packaging – also named Notpla – made from seaweed and plants that dissolve naturally. The material bio-degrades naturally in weeks, a stark comparison to plastic which can take up to 1,000 years to decompose in landfills. Check out Notpla here.




LettUsGrow has designed cutting edge technology to improve the efficiency and sustainability of indoor farming. The Bristol-based startup allows local farms to reduce food waste and improve local food security as well as reducing emissions.


Fast Fashion

Worn Again believes that there are already enough non-reusable textiles in circulation to satisfy the population’s demand and claim ‘we need to be better at turning old into new’. Their technology works to separate, decontaminate and extract polymers from cotton, turning old clothes back into new textile raw materials.

Want to be part of the GovTech community? Sign up to PUBLIC’s newsletter here.