The global Cleantech 100 keeps getting more global

The Global Cleantech 100, now in its 6th year released by the Cleantech Group, is a list of the top companies in this space worldwide.

The companies are judged on a large number of parameters within innovation in the Cleantech space.  I think their definition describes the scope well - economically viable products, services and processes that harness renewable materials and energy sources, dramatically reduce the use of natural resources and cut or eliminate emissions and wastes.

Making the Top 100 list

Companies in the Cleantech market could self-nominate or were selected by their peers. In 2014, 5,995 companies were nominated and 327 companies made it to the shortlist. A large expert panel evaluated the shortlist based on three categories:

1. Innovation (the problem it solves; uniqueness; sustainability of advantage, etc.)
2. Market (accessibility, size, growth dynamics, barriers to entry, etc.)
3. Ability to Execute (finances; team competences; connections and networks, etc.).

There is a strong focus on the economic success of the technology and the company, with less a focus on the overall potential of the technology to have a positive impact on health and the environment.  

What does it mean for Cleanleap countries?

There were some interesting trends and companies that specifically relate to our coverage at Cleanleap.   These include:

  • At least 25% of companies in the Global Cleantech 100 are now, or will be soon, focusing on growing their business into Asia and other emerging markets.
  • M-KOPA from Kenya is the first company from Africa to make the Global Cleantech 100.  You can read more about M-KOPA in our recent analysis of energy in Kenya.
  • One of the megatrends of the top 100 is Emerging market demand and the next go-to market. One of the standouts was Israeli seed technology start-up Kaiima who is developing new-generation high yielding crops and has expanded its activities into emerging markets, with customers in China, Niger, Madagascar, Brazil, Peru or Mongolia.
  • Another key trend is Waste to Wealth: Recovery of a Trillion Dollar Market. The companies shortlisted in this area are developing technologies to help emerging markets with their health and environmental challenges. One company that was recognised was Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies who are combining wastewater treatment with the production of a green fertilizer. Extracting pollutants from the water like nitrogen and phosphorus to develop a product - fertilizer to grow food.

In summary, the Cleantech 100 is no longer just a list of companies from places like the United States, Germany and Japan.  Emerging markets are seeing the benefits of clean technology and some of the leading companies in the world are starting to come from emerging markets like Kenya.  We think that’s pretty exciting stuff.