Sustainable Innovation Drives New Businesses in Sweden

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – In the last few years, a number of countries have taken steps to increase their reliance on non-fossil fuel energy sources. Sweden has chosen to lead from the front to create a green economy. It aims to become of the one world’s first nations to end its dependence on fossil fuels.

The country has increased its budget for solar energy investments by 800 percent. Its capital Stockholm has set a goal to be powered only by sustainable energy sources by 2050. The race to zero emissions has spurred on a number of Swedish businesses that are responding with green innovation.

Charge Amps

Charge Amps produces portable and stationary chargers for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The company expects to quadruple its sales in 2016, courtesy of a shift toward electric vehicle usage as European Union targets call for 10 percent of all transport fuel to be derived from renewable sources by the end of the decade.

Charlotte Eisner, CEO of the company, said that they are ready to take on the fossil fuel industry. Fossil fuel companies have a lot of money, but innovative companies like Charge Amps have the goods. Charge Amps aims to find all possible solutions to drive the change from the fossil fuel industry over to electric energy, according to Eisner.

Bee Urban

Commercial beekeeping has become a growing trend in Sweden in response to declining bee populations. Bees are the most important pollinator of fruits, vegetables and flowers, but populations are under threat as a result of pesticide use, monocultures and other environmental hazards. Even in Sweden, a country with robust environmental policies, a large percentage of native species of wild bees and bumblebees are threatened.

Josefine Oddsberg, ecologist and entrepreneur, launched Bee Urban with co-founder Karolina Lisslö. Oddsberg and Lisslö ventured into beekeeping initially to save various species of flowers, but it soon became apparent that the bees themselves were also under threat. That is when they decided to turn their environmental effort into a business venture.

For a fee, Bee Urban provides “ecosystem management services” to organizations that adopt hives. Since its inception in 2011, Bee Urban now has about 100 hives and dozens of clients, mostly in Stockholm. Fee charged by Bee Urban covers the costs of equipment and maintenance. Sponsors get to keep the honey produced by their hives.

Deadwood Leather

Carl Ollson and Felix von Bahder decided to pursue the fashion of rock, and created a unique fashion brand, Deadwood Leather. The company has built up a loyal following for their leather jackets made from up-cycled leather and recycled plastic water bottles. The company uses mainly post-consumer waste.

According to von Bahder, the clothing industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. Producing one new leather jacket generates about 440 pounds of carbon emissions. But Sweden’s secondhand clothing market, both in stores and online, is growing and offering a cleaner alternative.

Vintage leather garments and even old furniture upholstery are repurposed and used to make new Deadwood pieces. Jacket linings are made from PET plastic extracted from the recycled plastic bottles. For Deadwood, being sustainable has paid off. Nearly 200 retailers worldwide now carry the Deadwood brands.

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