With the debate on climate change getting stronger over the passing years, it is now more important than ever that companies look to clean up the environment, not only through their own individual efforts, but through innovation, products, and alternative energy solutions. Because the population of Southeast Asia (in particular) is growing and has historically been a step behind in its development compared to other regions, it is important that the green startups of this region are recognised.
With 4.5 billion people in Asia, among them 1.7 billion having no access to safe drinking water and 700 million having no access to electricity, the green movement must lead the way toward a cleaner future.
Here are 10 “green” startup companies to watch:
Green Koncepts, Singapore
Started in 2008, Green Koncepts tracks energy consumption for companies using a cloud-based system. Its aim is to achieve costs savings, and to help mitigate the corporate carbon footprint. A recent participant in the Smart Nations Project, where businesses and government work together to achieve better living through technology, Green Koncepts is deploying sensors to gather information such as lighting and human traffic conditions. It currently tracks over 800 million transactions of data every day.
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Soara Industries, Malaysia
Soara Industries’ main focus is to provide access to clean water, which the founder saw as a huge problem when travelling through India. The startup uses a compact water purification design. In the long run, the company helps to drive social change and create an environment of sustainability among rural communities. The company is also brainstorming other green initiatives that can eventually be scaled up to bring products to a commercial level.
SALt, The Philippines
With an original aim to help the remote communities in the Philippines access electricity, SALt (Sustainable Alternative Lighting) is fighting against traditionally-used alternative sources such as kerosene lamps and candles that may cause health risks. The answer is a saltwater solution that can power a lamp-called the SALt lamp, for up to eight hours. The only component in the lamp that needs to be replaced is very inexpensive and only needs to be replaced once every six months. Already the product has received numerous awards, and the founder is preparing to scale up to a commercial level.
Transkinetic has invented a technology called Movnetic, which is based on a” smart road hump that absorbs kinetic energy from moving vehicles, converting it into clean energy.” Transkinetic works with the Department of Engineering of the National University of Singapore and receives funds from several government agencies and a regional venture capital company.
ChuChu Design, Myanmar
Trash is a big problem in Myanmar and many Southeast Asian countries. An innovative social enterprise is looking to tackle that problem by turning that adversity into advantage. Tucked in the rural backwaters of Dala near Yangon city, ChuChu Design is an eco-friendly startup that employs local families to upcycle the trash into sellable items. The ChuChu project collects trash and waste and teaches locals to transform them into recycled crafts with an environmental message.
Hi-Gi Energy, The Philippines
Hi-Gi Energy is a Filipino based startup that changes water hyacinth into briquettes, which provide an alternative energy source for cooking. This could be a huge step forward in the area of green technology for the Philippines where 65% of the 100 million population still use firewood and charcoal. The company received an award at the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit held in Silicon Valley.
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Endapo is a tour agency with an eye toward the environment. Its founder created the company to balance a desire for travel with an awareness of the environment. What Endapo does best is to attract people with an environmentally friendly consciousness, where it is currently popular with the local tourist market.
Sun Electric, Singapore
An up and coming solar energy startup, Sun Electric claims to be Singapore’s first clean energy retailer. As its name suggests, it focuses on solar energy. Through its SolarSpace platform, you can connect to other solar-producing sources in the area, so you don’t even need a rooftop to make the switch to solar power. Switching is easy, it saves on your bills, and is good for the planet. Sun Electric also has an online dashboard that allows users to track their energy usage, and see the source of their solar energy.
Ecoworth Tech, Singapore
A Singapore-based startup, Ecoworth Tech cleans up liquid industrial waste. The company is eco-friendly using Carbon Fibre Aerogel, a reusable material created from natural materials like waste paper, that treats the liquid industrial waste. The company was founded through Singapore’s Nanyang Technical University.
RAD Green Solutions, The Philippines
Developed by a team of engineers, RAD Green Solutions has manufactured a “revolutionary, non-burn system for the destruction of bio-medical wastes.” The system decomposes medical waste by using heat without oxygen in a process called Pyrolysis. It is different from incineration because “it produces fewer byproducts and carbonises waste with 50% less carbon dioxide.” The company has also won many awards for its process and was the runner-up in the 2016 National Invention Contest and Exhibit by the Philippine’s Department of Science and Technology.