Green living has been a household topic of interest throughout most of the last decade, and the pressure has been on for businesses to improve their use of materials and dramatically decrease their waste expenditure. Some companies and countries have taken the task far more seriously than others and are trying to substantially improve green living and sustainable options for businesses and families alike.
The top cleantech startups in Southeast Asia have proven that sustainability in tech is not only possible but beneficial to all, helping families, companies, big and small businesses, the animal kingdom, and the environment. Though there are impressive breakthroughs all across Southeast Asia, recently, the most remarkable innovations are seen in Cambodia, Singapore, and Indonesia. Here is a selection of the 5 companies making the most significant strides in the region:
Cambodia’s ATEC has taken a naturally produced by-product of farming and turned it into an energy source. The company’s innovative biogas plants take agriculture and household waste and create a gas that can be used to fuel cooking, heating and even electricity through specially designed generators.
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The waste can also be converted to fertiliser to help the farms’ crops grow, and there are potential savings of around $500 USD a year for energy charges.
Cambodia is already seeing dramatic improvements in their energy consumption, with an increase in mindful use of products, and less waste made by its overall population. With the help of cleantech companies such as ATEC, the country has a real opportunity to protect its environment.
Singapore’s EcoWorth Tech has developed the Carbon Fibre Aerogel, which effectively removes contaminants from wastewater through a sponge-like filter made from paper waste. When the waste is collected, it is processed and repurposed to create the CFA filter.
The CFA is infinitely reusable as when it is no longer useful as a filter, it is broken down and can be converted to sand for building or used as a binder for asphalt to build roads. It can also be used as a biochar soil for growing plants.
EcoWorth Tech’s ingenuity has earned recognition globally, having featured on CNN and recently making the shortlist for a Disaster Tech award.
Sensorflow, a cleantech startup in Singapore, focuses on hotel energy efficiency. They use wireless sensors to collect real-time data from hotel rooms and automate the room’s temperature according to guest behaviour.
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These adjustments enable hotels to save up to 30% in energy usage. Additionally, their model is considered flexible and easy to install, with predictive maintenance features that make it smart as well as green. By 2022, they hope to have 800,000 smart hotel rooms up and running around the world.
Indonesia’s Evoware actively encourages littering, but not in the way one might think. Its food packaging, made from algae and seaweed, is labelled, “Please litter me!”. This littering is encouraged as the wrapping and bags will decompose, becoming naturally nourishing fertilisers for the soil and helping to cleanse water. Some of the products are even edible.
The project began in 2016 and ensures sustainable living and job security for seaweed farmers, as the company needs more seaweed to create these eco-friendly packages. With parts of Indonesia, such as Bali, banning plastic, these eco-friendly alternatives are fast becoming the product of choice.
Much like Evoware, Cambodia’s Cleanbodia creates reusable bags from cassava, a root vegetable found throughout Southeast Asia. The dramatically increased need for this vegetable will encourage sustainable living and improved job security for farmers in the region.
The bags are affordable to create and distribute, making it easier and more cost-effective for stores, restaurants, and other businesses to move from plastic and paper to Cleanbodia products.
Each of these top cleantech startups in Southeast Asia has put into effect products that may have at one time appeared to be too simple to make a difference or caused concerns about costs and achievable implementation. By taking the chance and innovating with these products, these startups have proven that improved sustainability is possible across various sectors, promoting greener living for all.
These five companies appeal to the average consumer, not just the wealthy or those with easy access to products and services. As more startups in the region begin to see the value — economically and environmentally — of moving towards eco-friendly production methods and products, Southeast Asia will likely see even more innovation and growth. As cleantech becomes part of the mainstream industry and business landscape, startups leaning into this trend will become more valuable and thrive as the region and the rest of the world moves towards a more sustainable, cleaner, greener future.