From blockchain energy trading to “robots filled with maggots,” here are eight sustainability startups in Australia working to improve our ecosystems and transform our future.
With the impacts of climate change ever prevalent globally, sustainability is something individuals, businesses, and countries need to invest in now, especially since Australia’s ecosystem is collapsing. In the wake of the 2019 Australian bushfires and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we need to acknowledge that the way we are living is not sustainable. Fortunately, as consumers become more aware of this issue, many businesses are pivoting to becoming more green. While it is very important for businesses to tailor their products to fit societal agendas, it is also crucial to not just put out empty words, but actually make a difference. Here are eight sustainability startups in Australia innovating to promote green living.
1. Redback Technology
Redback Technology is a CleanTech company that manufactures and distributes smart solar storage throughout Australia. CleanTech aims to improve environmental sustainability and reduce negative environmental impact through the use of technology. Redback’s Smart Hybrid System is an advanced hybrid technology that uses solar panels to convert sunlight into power, which can be used by your household appliances. You can monitor your energy usage through the Redback portal and mobile app, and energy that isn’t consumed can be stored in case of a power outage.
2. Hive Haven
Each winter, more than 300,000 bees die, due to the over-moisturisation and humidity of their hives. Temperature fluctuations can also cause bees’ clusters to break, which results in them struggling to protect one another. Since 2011, founders Ann and Jeff have created Hive Haven to keep bees safe from harsh winters. Their V9 Native Bee Box is made out of compostable bioplastic so it can be easily insulated. The Bee Box also contains smart technology for beekeepers to easily record temperatures and be able to adjust the hive based on weather changes.
3. Power Ledger
Blockchain Energy Trading
Blockchain technology and IoT devices are transforming the energy industry, and combining the two allows consumers to purchase energy directly from the source, rather than from retailers. Around 30% of households in Australia have already installed rooftop solar panels, and Power Ledger is a startup that uses blockchain to provide peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading services. Currently, Power Ledger has gained US$8 million in funding, their technology enabling residents to track and trade energy at a low cost. This gives consumers more options and makes the energy market more efficient as users are able to adjust purchases according to their needs.
4. Solar Analytics
Smart Solar Devices
Solar Analytics is a solar monitoring company that collects data from inverter consumption metres to maximise the value homeowners get from their solar power system. Using their Solar Smart Monitor, individuals can track how much energy they are consuming and adjust or reduce their usage accordingly. To save money, the smart monitoring system will also self diagnose and send alerts if the solar panels aren not working properly.
Waste Management Ecosystems
Consuming one burger is equal to taking a 90 minute shower, and Australia wastes around 7.3 million tonnes of food each year. Since it is often difficult to control how food is wasted, we can control how food waste is processed. Goterra was founded by Olympia Yarger in 2016, labeled as the company that created a “robot filled with maggots,” their company has created a robotic technology that uses maggots to offer a new way to manage waste. Maggots have been an excellent solution for dealing with food waste as they are able to eat twice their weight in food waste, can be a protein source to be fed to livestock, and are also able to break down and recycle nutrients back to the soil.
A multi-utility service provider with the goal of building water recycling micro-ecosystems, Altogether Group collects, reuses, and purifies rain, storm, and wastewater. Managing the water cycle can supply suburban houses, gardens, and sporting fields with water all year round and can also optimise water recycling needs for an entire building. Recycled water will be able to save water supplies, improve river systems, and reduce costs, creating a more sustainable future for water consumption.
7. Wildfire Energy
Like Redback Technology, Wildfire Energy is also a CleanTech startup. Taking landfill waste and turning it into renewable energy and hydrogen by using their Moving Injection Horizontal Gastification (MIHG) Reactor, this innovation provides a low cost and reliable solution to reducing the quantity of waste being sent to landfills. Boosted by Brinc, a Hong Kong based venture capital firm, Wildfire Energy received US$116,600 in funding in hope that they will pave the way for how we deal with waste.
8. Nightingale Housing
Nightingale Housing is a Melbourne-based startup which focuses on creating affordable and sustainable housing. Eliminating gas supply bills, each building is powered by certified green power, which is renewable energy that comes from natural gases like hydrogen, wind, biomass, and solar power. Focused on simplistic and minimalist living, Nightingale cuts out any unnecessary interiors such as second bathrooms, individual laundries, and carparks. Through an active street frontage, shared garden, and recommended green transportation, Nightingale is committed to building a tight-knit and green community.