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Top Climate Tech Companies To Look Out For In 2023

Meredith Mejia • August 7th, 2023.

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Climate tech companies are making huge strides in the innovation of sustainable climate technology. Even through the ups and downs of big tech in recent years, climate change tech investments remain strong, seeing a 3750% increase in investment over the seven-year period of 2013-2019.

This article spotlights some of the brightest and best climate tech companies of 2023; companies that are expanding the horizons of climate tech and paving the way for a more resilient future.

What is Climate Tech?

Before we get into our climate tech superstars, let’s clarify what’s meant by climate technology.

Climate technology is any system or machine that fights climate change by reducing greenhouse emissions or mitigating the effects of global warming. Climate tech companies either provide ways to reduce negative environmental impacts or adapt to the current, unavoidable consequences. The most basic example is a renewable energy company that produces solar panels or hydropower systems.

climate tech categories, renewables, hydrogen, mobility, adaptation, batteries, sustainable fuels, curcular economy, building tech, nature based solutions, carbon removal, industrial, ag and food systems

Why Is Climate Tech More Important Than Ever?

We’re at a pivotal moment, where climate change can be lessened if we act now, but to a certain extent, we must deal with the damage we’ve caused before it can be reversed.

Since the 2015 Paris Agreement that encourages international cooperation to combat climate change, there’s been a surge of enthusiasm surrounding sustainability and climate mitigation. The widely recognized sense of urgency around global warming’s immediate impacts gave way to a slew of climate change companies eager to join the battle.

Every environmental threat from toxic pollutants to greenhouse gas emissions is seeing technological innovations, followed by considerable investments in the most promising and influential.

What We Love About the Industry

What better way for capitalism to become self-sustaining than the coming together of innovators and investors to reach the common goal of climate change resilience? The industry is growing exponentially, with great minds collaborating in a way that’s changing the world for the better – not just better for their wallets.

Climate tech companies encompass a broad range of fields, including renewable energy, carbon capture, energy storage, and sustainable agriculture. The diversity of fields being studied makes us excited for a strong, low-carbon future economy.

How ClimateAi Has Disrupted Resilience to Climate Change Since 2017

ClimateAi has been a mover and shaker among climate tech companies, using AI to facilitate unprecedented climate forecasting since 2017. From the agricultural sector to supply chain and public policy, businesses can use this technology to identify risks years in advance and protect their assets. The goal is to secure a climate-proof future without food insecurity or harsh blows due to climate-related instability.

More recently, ClimateAi raised $22 million in Series B funding after 4x-ing its customer base and receiving numerous accolades including the 2022 Best Invention of the Year for TIME’s sustainability category. The new resources will facilitate expansion into new terrain, including developing countries in the global south, Japan, and India — areas that are feeling the impacts of global warming with severity. Read more here.

Clean energy

Clean energy, also known as renewable energy, produces little to no greenhouse gasses and therefore is the main focus of many climate and environmental startups.

ClimateAi’s energy-focused platform gives energy companies, both sustainable and natural gas-based, the opportunity to get ahead of changing weather trends. The advanced climate technology can model wind speed outlooks, projected energy consumption levels, utility rates, and more.

wind turbines
Photo by Nicholas Doherty on Unsplash.

Air pollution

Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and sulfur dioxide – the gasses emitted during goods production are the principal contributors to global warming.

The relationship between technology and climate change is now being flipped; whereas growth used to mean more greenhouse gas emissions, it can now mean the reduction of them. Climate tech companies are creating new ways to decrease pollution and filter out pollutants, helping businesses work toward the shared goal of lower global temperature averages.

Recycling and waste

The challenge of recycling is making it profitable enough for companies to partake in. Regardless of the positive externalities, businesses won’t recycle if it hurts their bottom line, as has been the case for decades.

Climate tech companies in the waste reduction realm are finding ways to make recycling help rather than hurt profits. Long term, this will save energy and natural resources.

Agritech

Agritech and climate companies are putting their heads together to not only reduce greenhouse emissions but to protect the global food supply from the perils of climate change. Using agriculture risk management tools like ClimateAi, growers can achieve market stability and maximize yields with advanced machine-learning climate forecasting tools. Other innovations include aeroponics and hydroponics, which grow plants without the need for soil, preventing deforestation and soil degradation.

agriculture field tractor
Photo by no on cars on Unsplash.

Climate Intelligence

Combining business intelligence and sustainable values, green tech companies are using climate change mitigation to create new, profitable business opportunities.

Take consumer goods, for example. If average summer temperatures are expected to increase, the demand for items like beach umbrellas, ice cream, and swimming pools will rise. Merchants can use climate-based demand planning software to forecast the necessary inventory levels needed to meet future demand.

Carbon capture

When it comes to meeting global sustainability goals, carbon capture is high on the docket of conversation. Climate change companies across the globe are racing to create the best carbon capture technology that not only stores CO2 but can convert it into a safer form or reuse it as a power source. A successful green tech company can partner with big oil and power plants to reduce carbon emissions and allow them to claim climate-friendly practices

Geoengineering

Geoengineering is the manipulation of climate systems to soften the impacts of climate change. Engineers and climate tech companies are involved in advanced carbon engineering and solar radiation management (SRM) efforts that slow the greenhouse gas effect. UV rays can be diverted back to space, and carbon can be removed from the air by aforestation or underground storage. Such innovations are promising, demonstrating how we can change the conversation around climate change and technology.

Dealing with the Water Crisis

Storms, flooding, pipe bursts, droughts, and sewage spills pollute drinking water reserves and threaten access to safe, potable water. With the increasing severity of natural disasters, water management software is helping to predict events that will put water reserves at risk. We can even use the tools for predictive maintenance, warning of insufficient infrastructure and weak links before a disaster occurs.

Efforts in water sustainability bolster seasonal and long-term water security, with climate change companies like ClimateAi using machine learning to achieve more accurate predictions than ever.

Afforestation

Afforestation means establishing a forest or vegetation in an area where there was no forest or woodland due to deforestation, urbanization, or natural disasters. Governments take part in afforestation to improve carbon capture and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, things that were directly facilitated by centuries of deforestation.

By supporting these initiatives with smart technology, climate tech companies can speed up the creation of these carbon sinks and add oxygen to the atmosphere. Other green tech companies use afforestation to combat soil erosion and the loss of biodiversity being experienced worldwide.

forest
Photo by Steven Kamenar on Unsplash.

Top Climate Tech Companies

Let’s take a look at the best climate tech companies to watch in 2023. These innovators are on the frontlines in terms of tackling climate change in just about every industry. We’ve included some climate change start-ups and more established businesses.

Infinited Fiber Company

  • Location: Finland
  • Year founded: 2016
  • About: Infinited Fiber Company is taking the textile industry’s “virginity,” making it easier for merchants to make use of recycled clothing material. By partnering with top clothing brands like Zara and Adidas, their Infinna super-fiber has put them on numerous top climate change technology lists for their efforts in waste reduction. The fabric is recycled, biodegradable, and made with natural ingredients.

ZeroAvia

  • Location: Hollister, CA
  • Year founded: 2017
  • About: Carbon dioxide emissions from aviation have quadrupled since 1966, reaching 1.04 billion tons in 2020. The climate tech company ZeroAvia aims to squash that by creating the first practical hydrogen-electric airplanes. Their sustainable propulsion system will be available for commercial and cargo use, having the potential to revolutionize clean aviation. This groundbreaking climate technology will do wonders in reducing air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and ozone layer depletion.

Volta Charging

  • Location: San Francisco, CA
  • Year founded: 2010
  • About: Volta Charging delivers free-to-use power charging stations to EV owners in public areas like shopping plazas and large venues. With over 3,000 charging stations across the U.S., Volta is making clean energy accessible to all. In 2023, the Shell oil company acquired Volta, combining two leaders in energy production and hopefully allowing the climate tech startup to reach its full potential: expanding clean energy and reducing global air pollution.

Pachama

  • Location: San Francisco, CA
  • Year founded: 2018
  • About: Pachama, named after the South American indigenous name for Mother Earth, is bringing transparency to the world of carbon capture. Using satellite technology and machine learning, companies can offset their carbon emissions in a trackable and trustworthy way. One of the most successful environmental technology companies to encourage corporate responsibility, Pachamama allows investors to achieve verifiable carbon credits from their efforts. Investors include Amazon, LowerCarbon Capital, and Breakthrough Energy Ventures.

Ubiquitous Energy

  • Location: Redwood City, CA
  • Year founded: 2011
  • About: Ubiquitous Energy is one of the climate change tech companies altering the way we think about renewable energy, asking why solar power is limited to solar panels. Their UE Power technology harvests UV and infrared light while letting visible light pass through. With natural coating and invisible dyes, they generate electricity invisibly, with no sacrifice to aesthetics or functionality. They’ve generated over $75 million in funding, including noted investors like Red Cedar Ventures and Anderson Investors.

Northvolt

  • Location: Stockholm, Sweden
  • Year founded: 2016
  • About: Northvolt creates lithium-ion batteries using upcycled materials. They aim to create batteries that produce 80% less CO2 than cells created from coal. What sets them apart from other sustainability startups is the product’s versatility; the same battery can power a snowmobile or a power drill. Northvolt is making waves in various industries, from transportation to construction to power grids. Like many climate change companies, they’ve generated substantial funding over recent years, totaling $7 billion to date

Proterra

  • Location: Golden, CO
  • Year founded: 2004
  • About: Proterra is one of the largest climate technology companies to design and manufacture electric buses and electric vehicle technology. Proterra is focused on developing sustainable transportation solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and decrease dependence on fossil fuels. Known to large and small investors worldwide, Proterra has received over $1 billion in funding from stakeholders like BlackRock and Fidelity.

Redwood Materials

  • Location: Carson City, NV
  • Year founded: 2017
  • About: Redwood Materials is a recycling and materials company that was founded by Tesla co-founder JB Straubel in 2017. Their mission is to create a more sustainable and circular supply chain for materials used in consumer electronics and energy storage. The company recycles and processes materials from electronic devices, batteries, and other products to extract valuable materials such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel. Customers include big names like Panasonic, Volkswagen, and Ford. Redwood Materials is among other climate change companies that aim to reduce e-waste, a consequential downside to certain battery-powered innovations.

Universal Hydrogen

  • Location: Hawthorne, CA
  • Year founded: 2020
  • About: Universal Hydrogen aims to decarbonize the aviation industry by providing a low-carbon alternative to traditional jet fuel. The sustainable startup’s plan involves using low-cost renewable energy sources like wind and solar power to produce hydrogen through electrolysis. Investors include Airbus, Toyota, and American Airlines, investing in climate tech companies like this one that are widely considered the future of the industry.

Form Energy

  • Location: Somerville, MA
  • Year founded: 2017
  • About: Form Energy is developing a new type of battery technology that uses earth-abundant materials and is optimized for long-duration storage. The climate change startup’s battery system is designed to be used in conjunction with renewable energy sources to store excess energy generated during times of low demand and release it during times of high demand. They’ve received $923.8M in Series A, B, C, D, and E funding from investors like VamosVentures and The Rise Fund.

Space Forge

  • Location: Cardiff, Great Britain
  • Year founded: 2018
  • About: From humble beginnings in the founder’s garage to a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, Space Forge aims to be a part of the clean industrial revolution from outer space. By taking advantage of zero gravity, extreme cold, and alternative air pressure, they intend to manufacture high-quality materials in space to be returned to Earth. Though it may seem like they’re reaching for the sky (pun intended), this climate change startup’s list of investors is quite promising.

Rad Power Bikes

  • Location: Seattle, WA
  • Year founded: 2007
  • About: Rad Power Bikes designs and manufactures electric bicycles that are affordable, practical, and fun to ride. In addition to its product offerings, Rad Power Bikes has a strong community of riders and advocates. They frequently host events, organize group rides, and maintain an active social media presence to connect with their customers and promote the benefits of electric biking. They are among the climate tech companies that aim to make a change at the micro-level, providing consumers with quality, eco-friendly choices.

What are The Challenges Climate Tech Companies Face

While climate tech companies are seeing exciting and significant attention from investors, the capacity needed to fully address the issue of climate change is still far away. Major challenges to the climate technology sector include growth initiatives and scaling; startups are struggling to find talent and get sufficient funding needed to scale.

At any rate, platforms like ClimateAi are redefining green tech and how it relates to broader business objectives. Let’s take a look at how the industry is facing these challenges head-on.

green technology
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

Technology

In many industries, those who came before us have laid the groundwork of standard operations and roadmapping. On the contrary, there is no historical climate technology development process in the context of a rapidly approaching threat. In this way, innovators are inventing the wheel as they go, requiring flexibility and some level of leeway in terms of R&D.

On the theme of R&D, another setback is the uncertainty of success that leaves investors weary. When there’s no precedent or proof of success, it’s harder to get the funding needed to achieve that success.

Finance

Consider some of the goals and promises of climate technology companies — to contribute to greenhouse gas reduction, increase accessibility to clean energy, or normalize eco-friendly habits. Such business objectives, though noble and highly necessary, are difficult to attain financing for because of hard-to-measure results and long waiting periods.

Capital is expensive, considering many ideas are the first of their kind, and stakeholders must be patient, with sustainability goals sometimes spanning decades. While some climate change software generates immediate returns, many have farther horizons.

More positively, climate tech stocks perform well and are generating more and more buzz as investors see success.

Policy

Climate change technology companies are facing stringent and complex regulations, hindering growth in many places. For example, markets remain fragmented across city, state, and international borders, making it hard to scale and manage costs. Climate startups in the carbon capture market face irregular pricing and a lack of consistency, restricting innovation and spooking investors. It is hoped that policy gets ironed out as the climate tech industry grows and requires more thorough regulatory procedures.

Society

Being a relatively new sector, companies working on climate change find it hard to attract skilled talent with valuable experience. Firms have a relatively small talent pool to pull from, especially when you consider the scope of climate-related goals. For climate tech companies, it’s important to must find individuals with interdisciplinary backgrounds and seasoned critical thinking skills.

Climate Tech Companies Pave The Way To A Better Future

Continuously, climate tech companies are producing new, smarter ways to resolve and cope with future climate predicaments. From aforrestation to renewable energy, companies working on climate change have birthed creative and game-changing ideas.

Among this bunch is ClimateAi, climate risk management software allowing firms to forecast climate events on a seasonal or decades-long basis. In the present, companies can stay ahead of the curve to avoid disruptions. Long-term, the tool allows them to create sustainable, resilient business practices based on world-class data.

Technology for Climate Change, Research, Science, and Engineering

Overall, climate tech companies are revolutionizing the agricultural, manufacturing, and transportation industries with novel insights into sustainability measures. By creating new solutions and generating unexplored research findings, we can get a firmer grasp on issues like water management and food security.

At the forefront of these measures, ClimateAi’s risk management tools provide a new approach to the cause. Businesses can use advanced forecasting to turn climate change risks into advantages. As a leading agriculture technology service provider, we’ve helped the agri-commodity sector protect assets and improve bottom lines with simple, user-friendly technology.

climate tech investing
Via CTVC.

Are Climate Tech Companies Worth Investing In?

Though climate tech stocks are seeing increased attention, the top climate-friendly industries that could reduce emissions by 80% received only 25% of investments between 2013 and 2021. That’s a ton of untapped potential being sat on.

Investing in climate tech companies not only is an investment in humanity, but can even deliver quantifiable gains. Some research suggests that portfolios based on carbon efficiency can generate outperformance between 3.5% and 5.4% per year.

Of course, investors of all sizes should research the company, industry, and outlook before investing solely because of a company’s do-good factor. However, public climate tech companies give investors the chance to make money and contribute toward global goals simultaneously.

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