How Indian Startups are Leveraging Tech to Create a Greener Future

Every year, on April 22nd, the world observes World Earth Day to promote and increase awareness about the various threats that our planet is facing. Among these threats, climate change is one of the most significant. It is primarily caused by human activities like burning fossil fuels and deforestation, which leads to the emission of greenhouse gases that alter the climate. This phenomenon affects all living beings on earth. In response to this issue, Indian startup companies have focused on sustainability and eco-friendliness, with many striving to reduce carbon emissions, promote renewable energy, and preserve natural resources.

There are several Indian startups that are at the forefront of creating a greener future. These startups are leveraging enterprise tech to promote sustainability and address the environmental challenges that we face today. From sustainable clothing to electric vehicles and recycling plastic waste, these startups are making significant strides in creating a cleaner and more sustainable world.

Going electric for the future

Electric tech focuses on addressing global warming and containing carbon emissions by shifting away from the use of fossil fuels. In October 2021, India was in the top ten countries that received the most venture capital investment for climate tech businesses. With making advances in the electric vehicle technology being a major focus area. The country presently is on track to becoming the fourth largest Electric Vehicle market in the world in the next 20 years, and it is projected to rise by 44 per cent between 2021 and 2027.

Eto Motors is India’s leading EMaaS (Electric Mobility as a Service) provider that prioritizes the widespread deployment of multi-brand electric fleets to create cleaner cities. The startup, incubated at T-Hub, is committed to developing and implementing a range of sustainable clean mobility services. Eto Motors has set its sights on revolutionizing the electric mobility landscape, not only in 100 major cities across India but also on international roads. The company deploys electric vehicles nationwide and aims to improve the livelihoods of drivers by owning and operating the fleet. Through its Shared Mobility program, Eto Motors has observed a shift from the traditional vehicle ownership model to a vehicle access model among many people.

In collaboration with Atal Incubation Centre (AIC), T-Hub, in April this year, chose 20 startups to participate in its automobile industry program. The three-month program is geared towards offering startups an exclusive opportunity to receive 1:1 mentoring, attend group sessions, make investor connections, and engage in market pilots. By participating in this program, startups can find their first customers, interact with investors, gain access to government incentives and grants, and develop new business models to structure their companies.

Tride Mobility is one of the 20 startups that have been selected to participate in the program. It was established in 2020 with the goal of assisting individuals in making a smooth transition to electric vehicles. Tride Mobility recognized the need for a comprehensive platform that would provide users with all of the necessary information about EVs in one location.

Their platform is a technology-driven, 360° digital platform that allows users to conduct research, explore, and compare electric vehicles, enabling them to make an informed purchasing decision and switch to sustainable modes of transportation. Tride Mobility provides an end-to-end tech-enabled solution platform that caters to all stakeholders, including OEMs, and utilizes the latest data science technologies to meet their needs, understand their preferences and behavior. Their platform offers genuine EV expert and user reviews that assist everyone in making their best purchase decision. Furthermore, their AI/ML-based recommendation engine assists people in selecting the appropriate EV based on their specific requirements.

Putting the spotlight on sustainability

The fashion industry is attributed to contribute towards 10 per cent of  the global carbon emissions. This has created the need for startups that focus on sustainable clothing using biodegradable components from recyclable natural fibres without the use of pesticides and fertilisers or chemicals.  These startups focus on consuming less energy and water aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of the fashion industry.

Take the case of Ewoke Studio a sustainable fashion design label incubated at T-Hub, that focuses on creating environmentally friendly clothing. The brand exclusively uses biodegradable and recycled materials, such as hemp, to reduce its carbon footprint. In addition, the studio sources trims made from wood and shell to ensure the utmost sustainability. By prioritizing eco-friendliness in its designs, Ewoke Studio aims to contribute to the growing trend of sustainable clothing.

Banyan Nation is another innovative startup, incubated at T-Hub, that specializes in recycling plastic through vertical integration and data intelligence. The startup encourages global brands to use more recycled plastic instead of virgin plastic by utilizing its proprietary plastic cleaning technology to convert post-consumer and post-industrial plastic waste into high-quality recycled granules called Better Plastic™. These granules are comparable in quality and performance to virgin plastic. 

Additionally, Banyan Nation has received numerous awards for its data intelligence platform, which seamlessly integrates thousands of informal recyclers into its supply chain while also helping cities manage their waste more effectively.

With more Indians focusing on cleaning the environment and planting trees, some startup companies have taken their business to another level by adopting cleaner practices. Phool, India’s first biomaterial startup came up in 2017 and is a fragrance-focused wellness brand, which uses flower recycling technology. It has raised USD eight million in Series A round fundings. This company uses floral waste and turns it into charcoal-free luxury incense products. 

Other notable Indian brands include Mio Borsa, No Nasties and sustainable clothing brands that use fibres and are animal-cruelty-free. Sadly, these companies do not get funding like the other sectors. They are known as slow sustainable brands. 

Enabling eco-friendly, green choices

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in nature and natural lifestyle, as people become increasingly aware of the impact of their choices on the environment. This has led to the rise of startups that are dedicated to promoting sustainable and eco-friendly practices in waste management and in what we consume.

Eeki Food, is one such example, an agritech startup, which has developed large-scale, climate-proof farms that allow the food to be grown throughout the year without affecting the crop. Founded in 2018, this farming facility does not use soil or coco-peat for the vegetables. The startup leverages advances in hydroponics for growing vegetables with reduced use of water and fertilizes thus bringing down [AL1] costs. In April 2022, this startup raised USD 6.5 million in Series A funding.

Another startup, Sprucegel, incubated at T-Hub, specializes in producing sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging solutions. Their product range includes various types of bags, such as carry bags, shopping bags, bio-hazard waste bags, and more. The company’s products are 100 per cent biodegradable and compostable, with the ability to break down completely under controlled conditions in industrial composting, without leaving any harmful residues or microplastics behind, within a span of six months.

Indian startups are contributing to a greener future by developing innovative solutions to address environmental challenges. The startups are now promoting more sustainable and conscious choices on environmentally friendly living where issues of waste management, energy efficiency and sustainable agriculture are being addressed. With continued support from the government and the general consumers and public, the startups can drive significant change towards a more sustainable future for India and the world.

 [AL1]Are you referring to hydroponics? Please check.