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Sustainable Startups in CEE

Climate change and its already noticeable effects make it necessary for everyone to rethink. In a world of limited resources and in order to cope with the global challenges, the world needs new ways of production and consumption. Innovative and sustainable ideas are needed that contribute to shape our world in a more ecological way. 

  • By Benedikta Schlange, RBI |

Many entrepreneurs and young start-ups take the environment very much to heart. Social entrepreneurs want to help solve our biggest environmental problems by providing innovative solutions. Therefore, start-ups or SMEs are contributing a lot when it comes to developing a greener economy and supporting eco-innovation. Green Economy offers a competitive edge to companies and provides operational advantages. Resources often are used in a more efficient way which again leads to reduced use of energy etc. – this can overall lead to cost savings.

Fortunately, there are start-ups around the globe that are working to make the world a greener place and are successful with their ideas. These five Eastern European start-ups have set themselves the goal of optimizing various processes within the value chain and thereby drastically reducing the ecological footprint. See for yourself:

Aeriu - Hungary

Since the online business has been booming, the inventory management system has been more and more in the focus of companies. In most companies it still goes through a manual process which is very complex. Slow, uncertain and it requires more resources: working time, forklift trucks and energy. Aeriu focuses on simplifying and optimizing this process.

Aeriu found a replacement for Forklifts and Electric Scissor Lifts which are using 72 kW electricity in one hour. Their Drone Solution only needs 0,72 kW / hour.

Handerek Technologies - Poland

Handerek Technologies created a patented technology which transforms waste plastic into low carbon alternative fuels. The team has built a prototype reactor which works via a circulating liquid heat carrier, that allows a controlled surface heating. The controlled heating is important to prevent the raw material from burning. The fuel has been tested by the Automotive Industry Institute in Warsaw and the fuel complies with European Standards.

RV Magnetics - Slovakia

RVmagnetics MicroWire replaces several sensors and interfaces with just one. It senses on low power consumption therefore it reduces the environmental footprint.

RVmagnetics MicroWire Supermarket example: Smart Shelves can detect the addition and removal of items placed on them and give real time information to the management.

The Sensor can solve inventory management issues, especially overstocking and waste reduction.


Have you ever thought about how goods that are produced in the world get to their destination? 95 per cent of them are transported by container ship. Nevertheless, there are still problems in the shipping industry, the problem of unloaded containers. Every third container that is being moved is empty. It is estimated that around 60 million empty containers are transported every year, costing the industry 20 billion dollars. Apart from that, it is also bad for the environment when you think of the high additional fuel consumption and the associated emissions.

This problem can be counteracted by optimizing the logistics process. Transmetrics has developed an AI software that makes a forecast of customer demand eight to twelve weeks in advance. This enables data-driven empty container management at all levels (station/depot, regional, global) and provides full transparency of business processes.

Make Grow Lab - Poland

The Polish Startup Make Grow Lab transforms organic waste such as fruit or vegetables into sustainable packaging or leather alternatives. The organic waste is woven through a biological process, and thus turned into material. This form of pure cellulose has unique features. It does not require the addition of fossil fuels or other non-biodegradable toxic substances. The final product is free of polylactides. Of particular importance is that the final product is 40 times stronger than paper, 100% plastic free, not water soluble, self-adhesive and best of all, you can compost it at home.

For this great product the start-up has already received numerous awards. Let's hope that in the future you will find more of Make Grow Lab packaging in supermarkets.

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