Senior Executive Sustainability reporters and editors are always on the lookout for sustainability innovators in the news. Discover new leaders hired by ag tech, climate tech, and clean tech firms, and read news about and insights from sustainability leaders earning mainstream news coverage.
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- Sustainability Leaders on the Move
- Sustainability Leaders Making News
- Sustainability Leaders Sharing News and Insights
- Sustainability Leaders Being Recognized
Sustainability Leaders on the Move
November 9, 2023 – Phil Wild, who has served as an associate director at UK-based Viritech since March 2023, will now lead as its CEO. Viritech, which builds hydrogen-powered pressure vessels and control systems for vehicles and machinery, was founded by Timothy Lyons in 2021.
Source: Viritech news
October 16, 2023 – Sumer Johal is the new CEO at Semios, a Vancouver-based ag tech data analytics company. Johal has more than 20 years of experience leading firms, including Pivotal Systems Corporation and Agni Corporation. He’s also a board member of the Sikh Health Network and an executive director at the Linux Foundation.
Sustainability Leaders Making News
January 4, 2024 – Himanshu Gupta co-founded ClimateAi, an AI-driven SaaS program, alongside Max Evans at Stanford University in 2017. Today, he continues serving as the company’s CEO. Most recently, he shared how ClimateAi is helping clients such as McCain Foods “see a 10- to 17-times return on every dollar they spend on his technology,” which forecasts extreme weather up to 20 years into the future and enables smarter crop planning to limit damage.
January 3, 2024 – The largest health care provider in New York, Northwell Health, will begin installing Envetec’s GENERATIONS technology across its healthcare system to remove regulated medical waste such as single-use laboratory plastics, glass, and PPE, which leads to less greenhouse gas emissions as GENERATIONS will “decrease waste-related Scope 3 emissions by as much as 90%.” Malcolm Bell currently serves as the CEO of Envetec, an Ireland-based clean tech company he founded in January 2022.
Source: Northwell Health
December 27, 2023 – SC Solutions Inc. CEO Cliff Beek shares that the space technology company is moving into agriculture with a focus on the corn and vineyard industries. It’s looking “to revolutionize agricultural practices and contribute to environmental conservation efforts” by merging remote sensing data and advanced analytics, such as AI and machine learning, to optimize farmers’ crop management. Beek shares, “We believe that technology can play a transformative role in modernizing farming practices, making them more sustainable and efficient.”
Source: Global Ag Tech Initiative
November 29, 2023 – American Airlines is buying 10,000 tons of carbon removal credits from Graphyte, a permanent carbon dioxide-removing company. Graphyte CEO and co-founder Barclay Rogers says the transaction “demonstrates the growing demand for affordable and scalable high-quality carbon removal credits and the ability of carbon casting technology to make a significant impact in the fight against climate change in the very near term.”
Source: ESG Dive
November 17, 2023 – Kind Designs, a climate and construction tech startup founded by Anya Freeman in May 2021, has secured approximately $5 million in its first round of funding. Freeman, who now runs Kind Designs as CEO, says, “Having investors with a global reach like Mark Cuban and Anthro Ventures on our team is a huge vote of confidence in our mission to regenerate marine ecosystems and protect coastal communities.”
Source: Business Wire
November 16, 2023 – Kenny Lee, CEO and co-founder of Aigen, and his co-founder and CTO, Rich Wurden, secured $12 million to continue developing the world’s first solar- and AI-powered robotic fleet. Lee and Wurden founded the company in 2020 and have been working toward decarbonizing agriculture since.
Source: World Bio Market Insights
November 9, 2023 – Heirloom, a California-based climate technology firm, was founded by Shashank Samala in April 2020. Reuters explains that the company’s recently unveiled plant in Tracy, Calif., will “suck planet-warming carbon dioxide from the air.” Heirloom is working with startup CarbonCure to store the captured carbon dioxide in concrete.
November 8, 2023 – Princeton NuEnergy, a lithium-ion battery recycling startup, received $16 million in its Series A funding round. Chao Yan and Dr. Xiaofang Yang co-founded Princeton NuEnergy at Princeton University in 2019. Today, they lead as the CEO and CTO, respectively.
Sustainability Leaders Sharing News and Insights
NeoCarbon’s René Haas and Silvain Toromanoff and Helin’s Joost Lasschuit Share the Pitch Decks that Helped Them Raise Nearly $7M
January 3, 2024 – In its first round of funding, NeoCarbon, a direct air capture startup based in Berlin and founded by René Haas and Silvain Toromanoff, received more than $3.7 million in funding. Helin, a data platform utilizing data and technology “to transform traditional industrial assets into intelligent, data-driven entities, enhancing efficiency, safety, and sustainability” also received more than $3 million. It was founded by Joost Lasschuit in 2017. Both companies shared with Business Insider the pitch decks that helped them land the funding.
Source: Business Insider
December 29, 2023 – Kyle Mohler founded Insignum AgTech, a biotechnology research company, in 2019. Through it, he and his team have manipulated corn plants to react with their natural purple pigment sooner when they’re experiencing low fertility, pests, or diseases. The United States Department of Agriculture found these modified plants can be safely grown, allowing Insignum to start growing and selling their corn products.
November 27, 2023 – The Silicon Valley-based startup is helping farmers in India track weather patterns to understand which seeds to plant and when using AI. “The way we think about AI is it’s a time and effectiveness multiplier to the solutions for climate change,” co-founder and CEO Himanshu Gupta says.
November 9, 2023 – In a recent podcast appearance, Zarko Meseldzija, RecycLiCo Battery Materials’ CEO, examines how electric vehicles’ lithium-ion batteries can be turned into “black gold.” As the leader of the Canada-based battery recycling and upcycling company, he also dives into how the industry can better utilize urban mining.
Source: Clean Technica
Sustainability Leaders Being Recognized
November 28, 2023 – Electric vehicle charging station startup itselectric was named Winner for Sustainability in Fast Company’s annual Next Big Things in Tech list. Co-founders Tiya Gordon and Nathan King created the world’s first public EV charging system that can use buildings to power cars, which will assist with the U.S.’s goal to transition to zero-emission vehicles.
Source: PR Newswire
November 27, 2023 – Business Insider recently released its second annual Climate Action 30 list, which spotlights 30 global leaders addressing climate change. Among this year’s list of entrepreneurs featured are:
- Pablo Ribeiro Dias, co-founder and CTO of SolarCycle, a startup repurposing solar panels
- Amanda Hall, founder and CEO of Summit Nanotech, an organization sustainably extracting lithium
- Sandeep Nijhawan, co-founder and CEO of Electra, which is purifying ore to make steelmaking more sustainable.
Source: Business Insider
November 25, 2023 – The first-ever Canadian AgTech Awards hosted by Agribition, an annual agricultural trade show, recognized leaders in animal agricultural technology. The winner of the Business of the Year award was OneCup AI, which created BETSY, an AI-powered tool that identifies and tracks cattle. Mokah Shmigelsky has led as the company’s CEO since 2019.
Source: CTV News
November 25, 2023 – Brothers Katlin and Dustin Lang, co-founders of Canada-based FarmSimple, took home the Rising Star Award at the first annual Canadian AgTech Awards. They founded the company, which designs Internet of Things (IoT) products to monitor water levels and temperature for livestock, in 2020.
Source: CTV News
November 25, 2023 – Darren Wolchyn, founder and CEO of Smart Paddock, an Australia-based company that produces smart ear tags that offer real-time tracking of livestock, won the Innovation award at the Canadian AgTech Awards. Wolchyn founded the company in 2017 and now serves as its CEO.
Source: CTV News
November 9, 2023 – To recognize emerging Hispanic food and beverage businesses, PepsiCo held its first Juntos Crecemos (Together We Grow) annual Greenhouse Accelerator program. The winner, Chuza, a snack startup founded by Daniel Schwarz in 2020, was named winner of the $100,000 grand prize. Schwarz aims to sustainably bring Mexican spices and flavors to the snack food industry without using artificial flavors or colors.
Source: PR Newswire
November 7, 2023 – Jiani Zeng and Honghao Deng’s AI startup, Butlr, which they co-founded in 2019, was selected as a Top Innovator as part of the Yes San Francisco Urban Sustainability Challenge. The technology will be used in commercial buildings across the city to identify and optimize when buildings are in use, improving energy performance and sustainability.
October 31, 2023 – Carbon Limit rose above five other tech startups to be named media and events company GreenBiz’s Climate Tech Startup of 2023 at the annual VERGE Accelerate competition, a fast-pitch competition for entrepreneurs working on innovative technologies, products, and services in carbon, energy, food, transportation, and buildings. Carbon Limit was founded by Tim Sperry in February 2020 and aims to reduce CO2 emissions by trapping it from the air and storing it in cement.
Crafting compelling messages about your successes in sustainability takes time, and finding and engaging the right audiences for your messages can be even more challenging. The sustainability leaders featured here are models to follow for earning media coverage or search traffic to communicate progress on their respective sustainability initiatives — and for holding themselves accountable by stepping into the spotlight.