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IMPACT Series: Small Startups, Huge Influence

Produced by The Startup Team

Climate change has been a buzzword at the forefront of many conversations over the past decade; though this is not a new discussion. Mounting evidence of a warming trend dates back to the 1970s when it first began to garner national attention. Since then, the climate crisis has rapidly gained momentum; and in more recent years, international outcries over the severity of global warming can be heard in nearly every corner of the planet. However, merely recognizing the threat is only a fraction of the battle ahead.

Here at Startup Grind, we are proud to use our Membership Program as an initiative to support and serve companies engaged in positive social and environmental change. For this series, we had the pleasure of speaking with four startups that are dedicated to creating innovative solutions to aid in this global crisis.

These impressive teams are on a mission to lead the change within their communities and beyond. Read on to learn more about how they are reimagining existing resources, and the extraordinary results they have achieved.

Apply here to join us in-person at Global 2022

Headquarters: Mexico

What’s better than discovering a local solution for a global problem? Pellet México is on a mission to do just that; by starting small and building something truly spectacular. Utilizing residues from the forestry, food, and agriculture industries, Pellet México seeks to harness the energetic potential of biomass and convert it into pellet form; developing a circular economy model in which agricultural activities will lead to the production of energy, providing a much-needed solution for the climate crisis.

Pellet México estimates that they are on track to produce approximately 26,000 tons of solid biofuel in only two years' time. They believe this accomplishment will drastically reduce CO2 emissions as well as lower the cost of heat-based emissions by 35%. Did you know that 26,000 tons of biofuel can produce the energy equivalent of 13.2 million liters of diesel fuel or 19.4 million liters of traditional gasoline? With Pellet’s method, their impact alone would mitigate 21,516 tons of CO2 emissions over the course of a single year.

Imagine what they could do over the span of a decade.

“Climate change is the greatest challenge humanity has faced throughout its history. If we do not change radically the way we use our resources, our planet and species are threatened with extinction. Access to renewable, efficient, competitive, and green fuels, has become a vital necessity. Now is the time to raise our climate action and ambition.”— Oscar Espinosa, CEO of Pellet México Bioenergia

By utilizing environmental waste such as pine pellets and natural debris from farmers, the team behind Pellet is creating solutions that will change and even save lives. Waste not, want not. Pellet México turns scraps into fuel; a true win-win scenario.

Headquarters: Italy

The incredible team behind Ecoplasteam has created what they think could be the next big solution for plastic waste: a 100% recyclable plastic alternative. Since its invention in 1970, plastic has rapidly become one of the most useful materials for a variety of products and industries. Yet despite its utility, oftentimes people don’t consider the environmental impact— it doesn’t decompose. Every form of plastic that has ever existed will always exist in some form.

On the contrary, EcoAllene™ is made of entirely recyclable materials and can be produced at scale. This aluminum-centered material has strikingly similar properties to virgin plastic but, unlike its wasteful “twin,” will decompose over time. It also has the potential to be continuously produced, replacing the need to produce virgin plastics in the future. With growth in mind, their team is on a mission to erect EcoAllene™ plants all across Europe, with each plant holding the potential to process up to 7,500 tons of aluminum while producing around 6,000 tons of EcoAllene™.

Their goal of increasing the number of processing plants across Europe would not only lead to a more sustainable future, but it also creates jobs and new opportunities for local communities. Their ambitious goals have a tremendous amount of potential for environmental impact, and people are starting to notice. In February 2021, they won the Impresa Ambiente award for “Best Product,” which is regarded as the most prestigious award for private and public companies in Italy.

“Let’s fight together for a world with less waste, one step at a time but all together!” — Stefano Giacchetto, CSR of Ecoplasteam.

Change is coming, and Ecoplasteam is leading the way to a more sustainable and eco-friendly future.

Headquarters: India

In order to know Rimagined, you need to know upcycling. The act of upcycling is an amazing way to have a positive impact on the world, while simultaneously creating something functional and even beautiful. This process is about taking previously useless or unwanted products or materials and creating something new entirely. Unlike recycling, upcycling does not require that those discarded materials undergo a change in form.

Rimagined created a new method that reaps the benefits of recycling while using significantly fewer resources. Their approach to this process has allowed them to reach several crucial milestones, including saving approximately 500 metric tons of CO2 emissions. After seeing the massive impact in their home country of India, they now have their sights set on transitioning to the global market.

This startup is far more than an eco-friendly shop selling products to the public. Rimagined is producing a lasting, real-world impact on our climate. Every elegant design is thoughtfully crafted for the consumer and ranges across a variety of products. They’ve successfully produced a spectrum of merchandise from bedding, clothing, luggage, jewelry, and everything in between.

“Sustainability is the future. The world is now fast adopting better consumption models. This decade will be the decade of “Re” — repurpose, reuse, recycle. We can all do it through innovative designs, collaborative approach.” — Shailaja Rangarajan, Founder and CEO at Rimagined.

Headquarters: Nigeria

With a population of nearly 200 million people, Nigeria struggles to provide adequate electricity to every household nationwide. The brilliant minds behind National Solar Power Authority (NASPA) have made it their goal to provide energy for those in the more rural areas of Nigeria, where it’s estimated that 85 million people do not have access.

There is a common misconception that renewable energy sources come at a major cost and are simply unattainable due to the expense. NASPA partners with organizations like the World Bank and African Development Bank Group to help with this and offers a pay-as-you-go model for their customers. Some citizens in Nigeria have found that NASPA’s solar power may be the first and most reasonable form of energy they have access to.

Like so many of us, Tommy Majekodunmi, CEO of NASPA, knows that “clean energy is the future.” NASPA is hoping to establish solar home systems as well as “mini-grids” to supply electricity to smaller towns that would otherwise remain dark.

At Startup Grind, we are thrilled to feature the innovations from Pellet México, Ecoplasteam, Rimagined, and NASPA as the first four startups in our Impact Series. As they work to transform our systems to fight the climate crisis, it is comforting to know swift action is indeed being taken in multiple continents, despite it not always making headlines in the news.

If you enjoyed this article, make sure to check out our Membership Program to find out what we as a company are doing to aid these startups in their mission to save our planet.

Apply to join the Scaleup Exhibition at Global 2022 here ☝🏾

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The Startup Grind Team

The Startup Grind Team

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