Bloomberg news and analytics company has picked 12 companies to watch that could decarbonize our planet. BloombergNEF is a strategic research provider covering global commodity markets and the disruptive technologies driving the transition to a low-carbon economy.
They help commodity trading, corporate strategy, finance and policy professionals navigate change and generate opportunities. The winners of the annual contest were selected as their innovations fill important gaps in optimizing long-haul freight, making sustainable materials, tracking greenhouse gases, valuing carbon sinks and reducing energy and chemical use.
Since the inception of the BNEF Pioneers program more than a decade ago, cheap, clean technologies such as renewable energy and electric vehicles have changed the world.
Although these technologies will decarbonize large parts of the world economy, there are still significant challenges to address in achieving net-zero emissions and slowing climate change. The 2020s will arguably be an even more pivotal decade in the fight against climate change, and the Pioneers competition this year has recognized transformative technology solutions filling some remaining net-zero innovation gaps. For instance, in:
- Managing and optimizing long-haul freight
- Advancing materials and techniques for sustainable products
- Monitoring and understanding our changing planet
The 2021 BNEF Pioneers are:
Challenge 1: Managing and optimizing long-haul freight
- Convoy (U.S.) provides a digital freight network and moves thousands of truckloads around the United States each day through its optimized connected network of carriers, saving money for shippers and eliminating carbon waste.
- Nautilus Labs (U.S.) advances the efficiency of ocean commerce through artificial intelligence. It provides a predictive decision-support solution that drives sustainability and profitability in global maritime shipping.
- Ontruck (Spain) is a digital transportation company that combines automation and machine learning to drive out waste in the logistics process. Ontruck offers an efficient and low-carbon solution to move freight, helping shippers to reduce transportation costs, increasing earnings for carriers, and removing carbon emissions generated from empty trucks.
Challenge 2: Advancing materials and techniques for sustainable products
- Cemvita Factory (U.S.) engineers microbes that use carbon dioxide or methane as a feedstock for the production of carbon-negative industrial chemicals. These chemicals are used by oil and gas, chemical, mining and aerospace companies that seek to apply nature-inspired technologies for reducing their carbon footprint.
- Pyrowave (Canada) electrifies chemical processes in the circular economy of plastics. Pyrowave uses microwave technology to supply the chemical industry with recycled raw materials that are drop-in substitutes for virgin chemicals.
- Via Separations (U.S.) targets U.S. energy consumption that is wasted each year through the process of separating chemicals, by electrifying energy-intensive steps in chemical production.
Challenge 3: Monitoring and understanding our changing planet
- Pachama (U.S.) uses machine learning with satellite imaging to measure carbon captured in forests. Pachama brings the latest technology in remote sensing, satellite imaging and AI to the world of forest carbon in order to enable forest conservation and restoration at scale.
- Planet (U.S.) provides global, daily satellite imagery and geospatial solutions to better manage risk across various sectors, such as agriculture, forestry, energy and natural resources.
- QLM Technology (U.K.) offers its quantum technology to provide an understanding of greenhouse gas emissions in an affordable, accurate, scalable way using camera systems that visualize and quantify emissions as they occur.
- 75F (U.S.) is an IoT-based building management system using smart sensors and controls to make commercial buildings more efficient, comfortable and healthier.
- ECOncrete (Israel) provides technology for coastal and marine infrastructure – increasing concrete strength and durability, while creating ecological value and an active carbon sink. Their CEO was sadly killed on a scooter last month in Tel Aviv, but the great idea lives on.
- Pivot Bio (U.S.) makes nitrogen-producing microbial products that can replace the use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer for cereal crops, giving farmers a crop nutrition solution to achieve more consistent yields and improve air and water quality.