Our carbon and water impact for 2016

Thanks to our portfolio companies, we have been able to create real impact

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Our purpose is to improve the Earth’s ecosystems through investing in and accelerating companies that solve global environmental challenges.

This means it is our job to help our portfolio companies maximize the positive impact they are having.

We want to show that this is not just a philosophy, but that our companies have already started performing. So, to track how we are doing in achieving our purpose, we have started calculating our yearly environmental impact.


Initially, we calculated the carbon impact for six of our firms and for Cleantech Invest.

For two of our companies (Swap.com and Sofi Filtration) we are calculating also the impact on water use.

We base our calculations on the real effect of the past year, meaning that we look at the impact of actually sold goods and services. No projections, only actual savings. We also take into account the negative impact of the operations of each firm as well as our own, to calculate the net effect.


The carbon emissions avoided from products or services in use during the year was calculated for 2016. This is the ‘emission effect’ of purchasing a certain company’s particular product or service. This ‘emission effect’ is compared to a baseline in that particular industry, which is typically the current status quo. We are in other words calculating last year’s emissions based on the emissions generated with our company’s solution in use vs. the emissions that would have been generated if they had not been in use.

Finally, the carbon emitted due to operations of our portfolio companies is added (this includes items such as office heating, electricity, travel, energy use in production of hardware or in factory processes). We then added Cleantech Invest own negative impact as well (largely from emissions due to travel).


It can be tricky to understand the environmental impact of an industry and how our companies play a role in it so we have tried to explain it for you in more detail!

SWAP – Fast Fashion vs Pre-Loved

We buy more and more clothes, ship them longer distances and use them less, discarding them sometimes even after only a couple of uses. The second-hand clothing industry can simply not keep up, and much of the clothes end up in landfill.

The negative environmental impact of all these new clothes comes from growing the fibres used in them, such as cotton (typically a pesticide and water intensive crop); synthetic fibres (which are essentially a type of plastic made from petroleum); leather; and from the textile manufacturing process. The textile industry also uses vast amounts of water and energy to dye and bleach textiles.

Swap.com is an efficient platform that enables more consumers to easily sell and buy second-hand items in the US. Buying second-hand from Swap.com reduces the need for new clothes, which means wearing the clothes longer, and saving water and energy by reducing the need for new production of clothes.

Sofi – Re-circulating Waste Water vs. Fresh Water

Sofi’s contribution to the global environment is straightforward and vitally important. In recent years, ground water levels have been dropping ever faster due to overuse of water resources, and in recent years droughts have struck places like California, Syria, India and Australia. But even in countries typically known for an abundance of fresh water such as Sweden, drought is a growing concern. Sofi’s solution is a more effective self-cleaning micro filter, which can clean polluted water from industry for reuse in industrial processes. This reuse of waste-water significantly lowers the need for industry to use fresh water for production.

Eagle Filters – More Electricity per Input of Gas

We are still dependent on fossil fuels as a source of energy and will be for some time as we transition to a low carbon economy. The cleanest fossil fuel when burnt is natural gas and its ability to balance renewables in a flexible way means that it is likely to be used well into the future. By cleaning the intake air and decreasing the fouling of blades, Eagle Filters makes gas turbines run more efficiently, increasing the kWh gained by every unit of gas burned. This brings down emissions for gas-fired electricity plants, and is having a tremendous impact due to the big scale of the units that have installed Eagle Filters.

Nuuka – Reducing Energy used in Buildings

Buildings consume some 20% of the world’s energy output. Residential and office buildings, shopping centers - most buildings - require electricity, heating and/or cooling, and ventilation for people to live comfortably. Nuuka targets a low hanging fruit, which is making existing buildings more energy efficient. Lights are on and no one using them; the thermostat settings are wrong; vent ducts get broken; air conditioning is running when nobody is in the room; the list goes on. Nuuka helps ‘Big Real Estate’ identify these inefficiencies, and lower their energy use.

ResQ Club – Selling Meals Otherwise Wasted

About a third of all food produced every year disappears as food waste. That is a lot of food, and one place where it gets wasted is in restaurants, where ingredients need to be fresh, and where meals prepared are sometimes not sold. This ends up in the bin. With ResQ Club, people can order and eat a meal that would have been thrown away instead of cooking at home or eating a regular meal at another restaurant. Lowering food waste lowers the need for food production, which among other things uses fuel and water. Also, energy using equipment at home and in restaurants doesn’t have to be used for a new meal.

Enersize - Reducing Electricity Used in Compressed Air Systems

A vast majority of the manufacturing industry use compressed air in their processes. It requires a lot of energy, around 5% of global electricity consumption. These compressed air systems are often not well maintained, with inefficiencies such as air leaking and over or under sized systems, bringing down efficiency. Enersize uses software to manage compressed air systems, find inefficiencies and lower energy waste. The effect is typically 20-30% savings in energy use. This all translates into less electricity generation, and less emissions. Enersize is poised to make a huge impact because their main market is China – the country that emits the most CO2 and uses most coal in the world.