Australia’s not just home to kangaroos and the world’s best coffee (don’t try to fight us Italy). In recent years some incredible startups in the sustainability space have sprung up Down Under to make positive change in the world.
Being one ourselves, we’re always inspired looking at these absolute pioneers who are showing that you don’t have to be from a big country to make a big impact.
So, here’s a taste of five awesome Australian sustainability startups, innovating across the board:
“Imagine a world without waste”. We know that we do and so do the sisters at Seljak. Sam and Karina Seljak launched their startup in 2016 to accelerate the change towards a circular economy and they’ve already made massive waves.
Seljak manufactures gorgeous blankets from different renewable fibres, from merino wool to mohair, at Australia’s oldest mill. And they don’t stop there - once it’s lived out it’s first life, they offer collection by a carbon neutral courier service to be reused into future blankets.
2. Energy Lab
Okay so strictly speaking this isn’t a startup, it’s a startup accelerator. Along with three major accelerator programs, Energy Lab also offer a Women in Clean Energy Fellowship to round out their mission to grow clean energy companies.
The importance of the programs they offer to startups cannot be understated, especially in the complex, expensive area of clean energy. As Australia’s leading platform for launching energy startups, Energy Lab has the experience, connections and knowledge that is absolutely critical to bringing innovation to the industry.
3. Sprout Stack
People are starting to realise just how much our current agricultural methods are damaging the environment and it means they’re coming up with solutions. One of the coolest to come out of Australia is Sprout Stack, who have jumped onboard the smart, indoor farming train to revolutionise the way food is grown in Australia.
And it’s a much needed revolution - their growing system uses 95% less water than traditional agriculture, shortens growing cycles, doesn’t require chemical pesticides and has countless other environmental benefits.
Pollinate Group started as a startup but have since scaled up way past it. They develop and deliver products such as solar lanterns, cookstoves, solar fans and water filters to impoverished people in India. While this has an amazing social impact, it also minimises kerosene usage and wood burning, to the tune of over 60,000 tonnes of C02 they’ve offset to date.
Pollinate Group’s business model is also a major startup innovation, delivering education, products and financial support through non-traditional distribution channels.
Finally, we’ve got to wrap it up in our favourite topic - compost! Perth-based Kooda is going Beyond Waste with it's grass-roots organic waste collection program. Just like us, founder Carly Hardy saw the environmental impacts of organic waste, as well as the opportunities that composting brings.
Whether you’re a household, restaurant or property, Kooda has the collection service for you but the most exciting part is that anyone can become a gatherer! Where Kooda is different to traditional organic waste collection is it’s “gig economy” offering, so you can earn money collecting waste, however and whenever suits you. Bringing this sort of innovation to the industry is absolutely vital, especially as environmental issues worsen and countries increasingly urbanise.
Plus, they take their super cool name from the Nyoongar indigenous word for a carrying basket, bringing a distinct Aussie touch to this unique startup.
6. Bonus Startup: EarthOffset!
We’re super proud of our fellow startups and can’t wait to achieve the impact that each of them have. If you love sustainable startups as much as we do, check out our previous instalment here.