Green Companies that Started as StartUps

Is there green in being green? Can an environmentally focused company make money? These five startups have not only turned profits by being green-focused; they’ve soared as industry leaders.

Ecovative Design

The unique approach that this company takes to several ecological problems, including overflowing landfills, makes it a company to watch. It uses mycelium to make a variety of products. Mycelium is much like the root of a mushroom, which where it gets one of its brand names – Mushroom Packaging. Ecovative uses it to make packing peanuts and other eco-friendly products. Compared with Styrofoam, which takes taking 1 million or more years to decompose,  mycelium begins decomposition in a matter of days.

Seven Seas Water

While our planet is mostly water, many areas in the world do not have access to clean drinking water. The company has been in operation since 1997 and its recent rapid growth and global expansion put it on our radar. Seven Seas offers a solution with its unique turn-key water management services. Its clients become partners as they work together to provide clean water supplies to areas of the world lacking in clean water. Seven Seas and its partners provide expertise and capital to design, build and operate water treatment facilities.

Solazyme

Oil based energy may be a great help to humans, but the damage it does to the water and land during the removal process makes it an ecological liability. Even without oil spills, the process required to remove oil from the ground is hard on the land. Solazyme has found a better, more effective and less damaging way to get biofuels — from algae. It has found a way to create natural oil quickly from a certain type of micro algae combined with plant materials. Not only will this eliminate the need for oil to be drilled from the ground, it also allows scientists to “grow” oil sources, removing the threat of a shortage. Solazyme went public in May 2012, and it caught the attention of analysts in May 2014 after its stock prices soared, thanks to an announcement of full-scale production on commercially salable products.

Project Frog

This little company creates modular buildings that are energy efficient and can reduce energy consumption by as much as eighty percent. The buildings can be used for health care facilities, clinics, retail stores, schools and community centers. All of the parts are constructed so when the building is put together all that is needed are the nuts, bolts and any other extras that the builder wishes to add. The buildings are built with tight seals to keep air-conditioning costs down while using natural light and an LED control system to cut lighting costs.

BrightSource Energy

This company makes solar panels, and it takes it a step farther by creating power sources that are eco-friendly — and made to power entire communities. They develop, design and deploy solar thermal technology that concentrates to produce steam, turning it into electric power. This significantly cuts the need for fossil fuels. They are already working on several large-scale projects, but they are just getting wound up.