A dozen start-ups have been selected for the newly launched Amazon Launchpad Sustainability Accelerator – all with the common aim of developing greener products.
The companies on the programme come from across Europe and represent multiple sectors, and their strategy to be eco-conscious covers their supply chain, materials and packaging used.
The Amazon Launchpad Sustainability Accelerator will provide them with a support package worth more than £30,000 through an equity-free grant, and credits for Amazon Web Services and Amazon Advertising. Participants will also benefit from expert mentorship and a tailored curriculum to aid their development.
All start-ups will be given a home at Amazon’s London headquarters for the duration of the 12-week programme, and they will receive free access to Amazon Launchpad for a year which includes strategic account support and marketing benefits specifically focused on helping fledgling businesses.
The accelerator – which is run in association with EIT Climate-KIC, the European Union’s climate innovation initiative and received 1,200 applicants – will ensure participants complete a Climate Impact Assessment by Impact Forecast to help ensure their products are quantifiably more sustainable than what is currently available, according to Amazon.
This will also help them consider new ingredients, raw and recycled materials, and other innovations to develop and offer more sustainable products.
The first Amazon Launchpad Sustainability Accelerator start-ups – described in their own words – are, as follows:
Adrop (Germany) – a refillable hand sanitiser start-up made from 100% natural ingredients, using recycled materials in their packaging
Baybies (Germany) – vegan, gender-neutral baby care products on a mission to save the planet for kids
Cleannest (UK) – a digitally-native nappy company blending high performance sustainable materials with a long-term vision to create a 100% biodegradable diaper
ETHOSA (UK) – waterless, powder-to-gel shower products designed with simplicity and sustainability in mind
Grub Club Pets (UK) – naturally hypoallergenic, vet-approved, insect-based pet food that delivers the nutritional goodness of regular meat, without the carbon footprint and meat-related allergies
Home Things (UK) – refillable and sustainable home cleaning products to help people minimise single-use plastics
KLIR (UK) – a research-based supplements brand to boost brain function, building sustainability into each step of their supply chain, from sourcing to packaging
Laundry Leaves (UK) – waterless laundry detergent sheets that replace plastic bottles and can be shipped more sustainably than heavy traditional detergent
OMNI (UK) – vet formulated and nutritionally complete plant-based pet food which uses less land, water and creates fewer greenhouse gases compared to meat-based equivalents
Skingredients (Ireland) – a natural skincare brand with a refillable, recyclable packaging system
SURI (UK) – electric toothbrushes which are reusable and repairable, with replaceable heads made from plant-based materials
YOKUU (Belgium) – waterless, probiotic-based cleaning products
Research commissioned by Amazon and published last week found that start-ups with a strong sustainability profile can attract a 16% higher valuation from investors, with eight in ten of those surveyed saying they want to invest in more environmentally sustainable start-ups in the next 12 months.
More than half of early-stage investors have declined an investment in the last year due to sustainability concerns, according to the study.
An overwhelming majority (85%) believe start-ups perform better in the long-term if they have sustainability and purpose built into their business models from the outset. Those investors say the biggest challenge facing start-ups in the next year will be accessing and securing finance (38%), followed closely by mitigating or lessening their environmental impact (36%).
Aditi Singh, general manager for Amazon Launchpad in Europe, commented: “Entrepreneurs are finding ways to turn the challenge of climate change into a growth opportunity, and investors are backing those start-ups with sustainability in mind from the outset, moving away from businesses where those credentials are missing.
“This is where the Amazon Launchpad Sustainability Accelerator comes in – we have designed a programme to help founders start and scale more sustainable product-based businesses with expert-led virtual workshops, specialised mentorship, a tailored curriculum, and access to a network of like-minded founders.”
She added: “Impact can only happen at scale, and scale will only happen if businesses large and small are choosing to lead at pace.”
[Image credit: Richard Cannon for Amazon Launchpad]