For these companies, tech isn’t just about innovation, it’s about finding ways to help businesses act sustainably.
The UK aims to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, a goal that’s led many companies to change the way they do business – and the city’s tech community is more than playing its part in this push. These three companies have all received recognition for their focus on developing products and services that will help businesses become more sustainable. They might be start-ups, but their innovations have the potential to make a global impact.
Leeds-based Hark wants to improve the way the world performs. They’re an IoT (Internet of Things) and energy analytics company that has developed a platform to help companies monitor their energy use. The aim is to provide a simple way for stakeholders such as asset operators and energy managers to identify issues at a glance, allowing them to make changes as soon as something is flagged.
The Hark Platform is cloud-based and collects sensor data from the businesses that use it in real-time – from energy meters, for example. The data lets people identify areas that need energy management, so they can schedule preventative maintenance and find solutions before it becomes a huge issue. That should help to increase efficiency and reduce waste. They’ve already assisted companies such as Sainsbury’s, ASDA and Microsoft to reduce their carbon emissions.
Tred founders Peter Kirby and Will Smith were fascinated by the everyday ways in which individuals can reduce their carbon footprint. So they asked themselves, ‘with everything we buy having an environmental impact, how can people keep on top of their carbon footprint?’ The end result is Tred, a green debit card that helps individuals and companies make small, realistic lifestyle changes.
The card, the first of its kind in the UK, lets you track the carbon price of everything you buy, whether that’s groceries, your morning coffee or a flight. You’ll get a clear picture of the emissions linked to your shopping habits, arming you with the power to make changes to your habits. You can also pay into carbon offsetting schemes through the app to allow you to go carbon neutral. For businesses, it’s a great way to manage expenditure in an ethical way.
The award-winning team at Yonder are building physics experts. They work with construction companies and professionals to create better and more sustainable buildings. Combining elements of design and creative engineering, they analyse plans and blueprints with the aim of making them more sustainable. They take a ‘three pillars’ approach – buildings need to be low carbon, comfortable and cost-efficient. If you’re a business that’s building or renovating your office or HQ, they’ll work with you towards targets such as zero carbon.
You may already have visited one of the buildings they’ve consulted on – Yonder were the energy assessor for First Direct Arena. For businesses, the Yonder approach makes sense as it can lead not just to lower carbon emissions, but also staff-friendly environments as well as reduced running expenses and lower construction costs. They do this by working with businesses on the concept stage of their building, through thermal and solar modelling, but also through monitoring once the building is in use.