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New Technology Measures Whether Green Inventions Can Really Help Planet Earth

Digital tool lets startups see how much their methods would reduce greenhouse gas emissions over five years.

If an entrepreneur proposes a new technology to benefit the environment, there must be a way to quantify for potential investors and customers exactly how much impact the invention would have.

Israeli startups now have a free online tool to evaluate their technology’s ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

Impact Hypothesis was introduced by the PLANETech innovation community, which provides knowledge and implementation assistance to startups targeting climate change.

The nonprofit organization was established jointly last February by U.K.-based Consensus Business Group (which has so far invested $700 million in Israel clean-tech companies) and the Israel Innovation Institute, a nonprofit that supports Israeli entrepreneurs and companies trying to address global challenges.

Uriel Klar, director of PLANETech at the Israel Innovation Institute (Courtesy of PLANETech)

“Carbon footprint reduction is one of the most important issues today to foreign investors, funds and international clients,” said Uriel Klar, director of PLANETech.

“Having the ability to quantify that reduction creates important business opportunities for Israeli startups seeking to break through and scale, with the possibility of collaborations with corporations and funds that specialize in climate-tech.”

Klar said that assessing the climate impact of a technology usually is a long and expensive process that startups can’t afford.

PLANETech found that the Dutch company Impact Forecast had developed a user-friendly digital assessment tool tested on about 1,000 startups across Europe. PLANETech worked with Impact Forecast to build a dedicated version for Israeli startups. Built for the “bottom line” Israeli mindset, the tool takes roughly half an hour to calculate from inputted data the number of tons of harmful emissions that would be avoided or reduced by the technology over five years of use.

Klar said PLANETech invited 15 ag-tech startups to the office of drip-irrigation pioneer Netafim to try Impact Hypothesis to evaluate their technologies. Now there’s a waiting list of investors eager to use it with their portfolio companies.

Israel Innovation Institute’s PLANETech offers a new tool to evaluate the impact of climate-change technologies. (Courtesy of PLANETech)

Positioning Israel as global hub

Impact Hypothesis is just one way that the PLANETech community assists Israeli startups seeking, for example, to reduce the use of energy and private transportation, cut industrial and food waste, increase agricultural output, and create alternative proteins that don’t rely on livestock.

Some of these startups will be showcased on Nov. 2 as PLANETech hosts an event during the United Nations’ COP26 climate change summit.

Intending to position Israel as a global hub for climate-change technologies, PLANETech offers events, like a recent one with Amazon’s $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund.

The community also helps startups pinpoint areas of focus through its Climate Challenge Map and calls for proposals for specific challenges, such as zero-carbon hospitals and cleaning up oil spills.

PLANETech now is releasing a first-of-its-kind climate-tech map in cooperation with the Israel Innovation Authority.

For more information, click here. 

Produced in association with Israel21C.

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