Lawyer and Advocate Rachel Pickles Explains What We Can Learn From the Most Sustainable Tech Startups

Sustainability is the word on everybody’s lips. With 2050 net zero goal coming up on us quickly, businesses around the world have a duty to make some real changes. While there are many companies out there contributing to the growing carbon emissions debt, we cannot ignore the companies moving sustainability forward.

Sustainable business

Thanks to the hard work, innovation, and determination of some forward-thinking leaders, we can see a brighter future for the United Kingdom and the entire world. In the following article, sustainability advocate, Rachel Pickles, reveals what we can learn from the most sustainable startups.

Innovation is the Future of Sustainability

While we can all cut back on single-use items, use paper straws, and recycle where possible, these are minute changes in the bigger pictures. Driving real change – as we catapult toward the 2050 net zero goal — can only be achieved through innovation. That is a fact that we have seen proven true time and time again. When we take a look at the most sustainable tech startups, these are businesses with true creatives at the helm.

One such example of this is Britishvolt, a Midlands-based manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries currently used for electric vehicles. However, the company has its sights set on taking the new, sustainable power further afield. In the future, there are plans for the business to offer energy solutions to office buildings and even homes.

That move would change the way that we power our everyday lives and stop us being so reliant on fossil fuels. The company is collaborating with research bodies and has gathered investment from both  Citibank and the Scorpio Group. It is through this type of forward-planning that the businesses of the United Kingdom can play a real role in preventing climate change.

The remarkable tech business is geared directly toward overcoming the impact that fossil fuel-powered cars have on our environment.

Lowering Businesses Carbon Footprint

The business sector is a major player when it comes to the carbon emissions of the United Kingdom. However, there are ways that companies can lower their output and become altogether more sustainable as we move toward that looming deadline. Emitwise is a technology startup that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help businesses decrease their emissions. The software means that businesses can easily account for carbon emitted across all of its processes and operations.

Offering real-time carbon footprint monitoring means that each company has the opportunity to reassess its emission outgoings.

The central point here is that businesses need to be aware of their emissions before they can do something about them. When you’re running a company, you already know that sustainability should be at the heart of everything you do. However, without the gift of knowledge, it is hard to determine what actionable changes need to be made. That is where this technology comes into play.

By giving business leaders the information that they need to make informed decisions, the software changes the way that they act.

Funding a business idea

Funding the Sustainable Companies

Companies that are sustainable need funding to survive. That is no secret. Luckily, that’s where Clim8 Invest comes into the picture. The investment platform means that users can  fund companies that are in line with the UN Paris Climate Agreement. These businesses will have a sole focus on sustainability and preserving the future of the planet.

When investors have money to invest, they can use the platform to determine which businesses are doing “good” in the world. Armed with that knowledge, they can make the right choice.

Keeping tabs on a platform like this one is no easy feat. However, the business founders are continually updating the list of newcomer businesses for investors. It doesn’t end there. They also have a pledge to omit any businesses that are not upholding the standards of the sustainability agreement. That means that investors will only have access to startups that fit the criteria of the Clim8 Invest platform.

The move is a novel one — putting the welfare of the planet before that of profits. It is a lesson that all too many businesses in the United Kingdom and beyond could afford to learn in the coming years.


Starting a business and driving sustainability don’t have to be mutually exclusive goals. These three examples prove that it is possible to have great success while working toward a sustainable mission. Now that we are moving into 2023, I predict that there will be a keener focus on eco-friendly initiatives throughout the business sector. Not only is it excellent public relations for a business to commit to becoming more sustainable, but it is also the moral thing to do. I believe we will see a striking trend toward this in the future.

About Rachel Pickles

Rachel Pickles is an award-winning environmental lawyer and sustainability advocate. She holds a Masters of Law (LLM) with honours from the University of Bristol Law School in 2013 and a Law Degree (LLB) from the University of Edinburgh.

Having started working at her current firm in 2015, she has been involved in dealing with high-profile litigation cases with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and regulatory bodies including the Environment Agency. Her career has focussed on environmental issues including conservation, pollution, and wildlife protection. As such, she has written highly-respected legal papers on the topics which have gained traction among her peers.

Backed by her foundation of knowledge in Corporate Social Responsibility, she has expertly advised business leaders and CEOs on how to become more sustainable. She is an outspoken advocate on the prevention of climate change, deforestation, and Ozone layer depletion. She also subscribed to a range of organisations including the Legal Sustainability Alliance, Lawyers for NetZero, and the Law Firm Sustainability Network.

Charlotte is working on her first book, entitled “Net Zero to One Hundred: Advice on How FTSE 100 Companies Can (and Should) Be Saving the Planet.” She currently lives in Walthamstow, London with her long-time partner, three children, and a Cocker-spaniel.


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