Green tech is on everyone's lips. A mixture of rising growth rates and the crisis-proof nature of this industry, as well as the climate goals to be achieved globally, mean that green tech is now a player to be taken seriously in the global economic structure.
But what is behind the term? In short: technology whose use aims to mitigate or reverse the negative effects of human activity on the environment. A green tech company is therefore a company that primarily has positive effects on the environment - and that was usually founded for this purpose. Accordingly, it offers products or services in the field of environmental technology, for example to reduce CO2 emissions or pollution, to minimise waste or to protect the world's ecosystems.
Green tech companies use scientific knowledge to develop and/or deploy environmental technologies that contribute to sustainability. From finance to food, from supply chains to consumer behaviour: Green Tech companies have an unlimited range of focus as long as the following criteria are met:
- They were founded with the goal of protecting the environment
- They have a scientifically sound, measurable impact
- They stay true to their mission and do not engage in greenwashing.
As a rule, green tech companies are active in the following six lead markets:
1. Green energy and energy storage
This includes the market segment of renewable energies (with photovoltaics, solar thermal energy, geothermal energy, wind power, hydropower and biomass utilisation), but also the environmentally friendly use of fossil fuels, for example through combined heat and power or block-type thermal power stations, or low-CO2 energy generation. Energy storage technologies (thermal, mechanical, electrochemical or electronic) are also included.
2. Energy efficiency
This market includes energy-efficient production processes, for example in the manufacture of paper and cardboard, in the metal-producing industry, in basic chemicals, but also in logistics and trade. Cross-sectional technologies for industry and commerce also play a role, such as process control technology, electric drives, compressed air systems, lighting or refrigeration technology. The energy efficiency of buildings and appliances is also included - for example insulation & windows, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, building automation, lighting and green IT or green household appliances.
3. Raw material and material efficiency
Material-efficient processes in the metal and steel industry, construction and chemical processes are included in green tech, as are biotechnology, composite materials or bioplastics.
4. Sustainable mobility
This involves environmental technology to increase the efficiency of combustion engines, for example, but also environmentally friendly vehicle design (lightweight construction, aerodynamics) or technologies to reduce emissions. Alternative fuels such as vegetable oils, biodiesel, bioethanol, biogas or biomethane also belong to this segment, as do alternative drive technologies (hybrid drive, electric drive, fuel cell) or traffic control.
5. Circular economy
This includes all environmental technologies related to waste collection and transport, waste separation, waste recycling and waste landfilling.
6. Sustainable water management
Last but not least, Green Tech also includes environmental technologies related to water extraction and treatment, i.e. filtration, precipitation and flocculation processes, biological processes, mass transfer at interfaces, dosing of additives, irradiation processes. In addition, there is water distribution, increased efficiency in water use, wastewater disposal and sewage sludge treatment. Technologies have also already been developed for wastewater as a resource.
How to join the GreenTech workforce
But how does one become a "Green Tekkie"? More and more universities and colleges are offering courses of study in which the subjects of technology and environmental protection are closely interlinked. For example, courses like "Sustainability Management", "Environmental Engineering", "Energy, Water, Climate" or "Environmental Informatics" . While some subjects deal with the interface between energy and information technology, others focus on recycling or resource management. The wide range of different subjects has the advantage that you can choose a course of study that exactly matches your personal interests or strengths or a later job profile or business idea.
Green Tech on leverist.de
Speaking of business ideas: leverist.de is the matchmaking platform of German development cooperation, which focuses on attracting companies from the private sector to participate in development cooperation projects. Here, too, you will find numerous business opportunities in the field of environmental technology and green tech, from which all cooperation partners benefit: the companies, by opening up new and lucrative markets for their products and services in Africa, South America or Asia, for example, and making a contribution to sustainable development, and the developing countries, which profit from the know-how and/or the investments.
Discover here all profitable and at the same time sustainable business opportunities in the field of Green Tech.
Copyright Hero Image: Venti Views, Unsplash, 2022