Even as the world is debating the next stages or even the reset of capitalism, middle-aged men waging a Twitter war on Greta Thunberg shows us that green growth remains a topic of interest. While you’re in Helsinki, maybe you should search for interesting Finnish companies with sustainable stories to tell – and rather than taking sides, place your bets on a dark (green) horse like Finland?
I know you only got a minute or two, so I compiled a short list of companies that have been bubbling under the surface, been applauded by international companies or have even found their way to global front pages. Mostly, dare I say, through their kickass purpose talk.
They have stories that resonate and possibly even change the way we see the world. But what’s most important, they have stories that stick and are easy to grasp. Let me introduce Solar Foods, Betolar and Fluid Intelligence.
Espoo-based Food tech company Solar Foods produces a natural protein source (Solein) from a mix of carbon dioxide, water and renewable electricity.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, Dr Pasi Vainikka, the chief executive of the company, said they have developed a carbon-neutral way of producing a fully natural protein source with the smallest environmental footprint possible. Solar Foods is planning to launch the product commercially in 2021.
Why has the company’s message been received so well lately?
”I think it’s about right timing and the relevancy of the message itself. People are experiencing strong anxieties towards climate change. Overall, the concern towards unsustainability and especially the carbon footprint of food production is on a completely different level than it was five years ago.
I believe that as entrepreneurs our mission is to provide new solutions to these challenges and empower the individual. The way we see it, we need to rethink our approach to modern food production and provide solutions that are free from agricultural limitations”, says Pasi Vainikka, CEO of Solar Foods.
Betolar has found the solution to turning different industrial side streams into low carbon construction materials. These materials, called geopolymers, are known to perform as well as or even better than conventional cement-based concrete, which was used in the building of ancient Egyptian pyramids.
How Betolar’s solution fights climate change?
“The cement industry alone creates up to 8 % of global greenhouse gas emissions – more than any country besides China or the US. Replacing concrete with geopolymer concrete has the potential to cut the industry’s CO2 emissions by up to 90%. Betolar is working with leading Finnish construction and engineering companies to productize its solutions and deploy them in high volumes in key global markets”, says Juha Pinomaa, Chairman of the Board.
Fluid Intelligence, an oil performance monitoring company, aims to halve the amount of waste oil generated by heavy industry and logistics, thus helping to reduce CO2 emissions.
According to Business Finland, the heavy industry and the logistics sector use more than 40 million tons of new lubrication oil in a year. This corresponds to 1.5 million tanker truckloads of oil, and a large share of it ends up as waste oil.
How does heavy industry and sustainable goals fit to the same equation?
“We have set our sights on reducing the amount of excessive waste oil. We want to be pioneers in showing that heavy industry can act sustainably while maintaining high operational reliability and effectiveness.
So far we’ve had successful partnerships with over ten clients. On a global scale, the costs related to the use of lubrication oil and hydraulic fluid amount to more than EUR 250 billion annually. The environmental impact of this cannot be overlooked”, says Mika Perttula, CEO of Fluid Intelligence.
**Disclaimer: Companies mentioned are not current clients of communications agency Ellun Kanat.