Study places UK 4th in Europe’s “green innovation race”


B-corp Bower Collective has released a 6-factor tool which maps current ‘Green Innovation’ across Europe. The UK scored in the top 10 for half of all six factors in the study and scored 4th in the study overall.

B-corp Bower Collective’s latest study analyses European Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) startups, funding for environmental SDG startups, and green technology data filed per country to reveal how European businesses are contributing to the race against climate change.

This is how the UK ranked across all factors:

Overall rank Total number of green startups % of all startups which are green Number of issued green tech. patents % of all tech. patents which are green Total amount of  green startup funding over 5 years % increase of green startup funding in 5 years
4th 13th 1st 3rd 11th 5th 5th

The study shows that 55% of all UK startups in the European startup’s database are classified as working towards at least one of the UN’s environmental sustainable development goals, which is far above the European average of 9%.

The most popular of these is towards affordable and clean energy, with just under 4 in 10 green startups working towards this SDG.

Data on green startups was collected from EuropeStartups, which looks at founded startups over the past 5 years.

According to the study, the UK’s next highest scoring category was for the number of issued green technology patents.

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In the most recent data from 2019, the UK issued 1,066 green technology patents, the third most in Europe behind Germany and France. B-corp Bower Collective says this means that around 11% of all issued technology patents were contributing towards a greener and more sustainable future.

Germany came top of the study, contributing more green startups and green patents than any other country in the study. Germany also has the 2nd greatest amount of funding for green startups and 2nd largest growth in funding over the past five years.

In 2nd position, with the most investment in green funding and growth in investment over the five years, is Sweden. Over the past five years, €7.6 billion has been injected into Swedish sustainable startups, more than any other European nation.

Co- founder of Bower Collective, Nick Torday, said: “As Bower Collective is part of the flourishing sustainable startup ecosystem, we thought it would be interesting to see who is driving innovation across Europe.

“Overall it is heartening to see significant capital coming in to support businesses focused on creating a more sustainable future.

“The UK is in the top 5 and we certainly see lots of opportunity and innovation happening in our space, with increasing appetite from investors to prioritise impact as one of their key investment criteria.”

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