Innovation That Matters

Six solutions that will change the world in 2022

Innovation Snapshot

From biocarbons to batteries, discover some of the best solutions to the world’s most pressing issues

The world is facing unprecedented challenges – from climate change to biodiversity loss. And this decade is the decade to act. But to effect change we need solutions – today. Thankfully, entrepreneurs and innovators around the globe are working hard to find them.

Many of these innovators will be coming together later this year at the annual ChangeNOW summit in Paris to share their ideas and meet other members of the community working to create a better planet. And with two months to go until the event, Springwise is highlighting six exciting solutions that attendees can look forward to discovering.

Tackling topics from circularity to cities with everything from biocarbons to batteries, these groundbreaking innovators embody the visionary, humanistic and action-oriented spirit that we believe are fundamental for driving real change – now.

Photo source: Carbonauten


Negative emission technologies—known in industry jargon as NETs—remove greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, from the air. These technologies range from the low-tech—such as tree planting—to the technologically complex. Whatever form they take, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has highlighted that carbon removal and storage is necessary to meet net-zero targets. But as commentators have pointed out, this is easier said than done.

One company that is making progress, is German startup Carbonauten. From 2022, the company will begin producing large quantities of biocarbons made from waste produced by the forestry, agriculture, food, and wood industries. This type of waste would normally be burned, buried, or left to rot, but, instead, Carbonauten’s carbonisation process turns it into useful products that lock away carbon permanently. And by preventing the rotting process, Carbonauten also prevents the release of other greenhouse gases, such as methane and nitrous oxide.

The woody residues that are used to create the biocarbons absorb carbon dioxide during their lifetime, and this carbon is then stored away. This means that the net effect of producing the biocarbons is the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. Moreover, renewable energy is a useful byproduct of the carbonisation process, and the biocarbons themselves can replace petroleum-based plastics in key applications.

Photo source: The Sustainable Angle


The fashion and textile industries are among the world’s most environmentally damaging. The production of clothes requires a lot of fresh water and contributes significantly to water pollution. Different sources also put the proportion of global greenhouse gas emissions that come from the fashion industry at between two and ten per cent.

To tackle fashion’s dirty secret, non-profit The Sustainable Angle launched the Future Fabrics Expo – an industry showcase that connects fashion brands to more than 5000 commercially available sustainable materials. The exhibition has grown into a huge success and is admired by designers such as Anya Hindmarch.

To support the main event, The Sustainable Angle establishes a set of criteria for sustainable materials and finds innovators who are delivering against those standards. The non-profit also provides much-needed educational resources for sustainability in textiles.

Photo source: CAFÉ GATO-MOURISCO on Unsplash


Regenerative agriculture is a term used to describe a range of practices that acknowledge the interconnectedness of food production and the natural ecosystem. Similarly, agroforestry seeks positive interactions between trees and crop plants.

It was the realisation of this link between agricultural livelihoods and the health of the ecosystem that inspired Tristan Lecomte to start the PUR Project. Working with small-scale farmers around the globe, Lecomte observed how many challenges faced by farmers were directly linked to degradation of the natural environment.

The PUR Project is founded on a recognition that companies rely on healthy ecosystems to operate. The organisation works with those businesses to pursue actions that offset their environmental footprint within their value chain. These initiatives are not separate from the company’s core activities but are instead intimately bound up with the supply chain. For this reason, the approach taken by the PUR Project is called ‘insetting’– as opposed to the more common term ‘offsetting’.

Insetting requires the empowerment of local communities and a traceable, transparent supply chain. And the PUR Project favours nature-based solutions—such as regenerative agriculture and agroforestry—that regenerate the ecosystems companies rely on.

Photo source: CompPair


In nature, living things heal, live, and decompose to form new life. But when man-made materials, such as composites, are damaged they must be repaired. And current repair solutions can be costly and time-consuming. Moreover, recycling rates remain low around the world, and many products have frustratingly short shelf lives.

Now, Swiss university spin-off CompPair is taking its cue from nature with a resin that enables composite materials to ‘heal’ cracks and delaminations. All that is required is for the damaged material to be heated up in a process that takes only a few minutes.

The self-healing properties of the composites reduce maintenance costs and manufacturing defects, while extending the lifetime of the material. Moreover, the composites can be more easily recycled, and are designed to be compatible with existing manufacturing processes.

End applications for the CompPair composites can be found in the marine, sports, wind energy, aerospace, and construction industries. For example, the company’s material was recently used by a producer of high-quality catamarans.  


The global demand for batteries is expected to increase rapidly from 185 gigawatt-hours in 2020 to over 2,000 gigawatt-hours by 2030 – an increase largely driven by the electrification of transport.

Batteries are therefore set to be at the heart of the 21st Century economy. But battery maintenance can be challenging for engineering teams thanks to issues such as inefficiencies and fires.

Now, Accure, a university spin-off from Germany, has developed a platform that uses cloud computing to help companies understand and improve the safety, reliability, and sustainability of batteries. A modern battery produces a continuous stream of data, and the Accure platform analyses this data in real-time and at scale. This allows companies to accurately forecast the safety and health of their fleet of batteries, while finding ways to optimise performance. For example, batteries age differently, and Accure’s analytics can help companies dramatically improve their lifespan.

Accure’s technology can be used to monitor batteries used in a range of applications, from e-mobility and power tools to stationary energy storage.

Photo source: Pixabay


According to Canadian startup Calmura Natural Walls, modern homes use too many cheap materials that end up in landfill, cause pollution, and contribute to poor indoor air quality. The company believes there are better ways to build using sustainable materials, and its first product is a biocomposite wall system made from lumber mill waste.

The biocomposite walls offer homeowners several immediate benefits, such as protection from fire, mould, pests, and earthquakes. They also ensure a stable temperature, reducing the owner’s energy bills while ensuring a comfortable home environment.

In addition to the cost-saving and comfort benefits, the startup’s walls serve an even greater environmental purpose by storing carbon. The wood waste that is used to make the wall panels would normally be burned, composted, or sent to landfill, leading to emissions of greenhouse gases. Instead, carbon is locked away for the long term.

Springwise is a proud partner of ChangeNow, which takes place in Paris 19-21 May 2022. As the world’s largest event for the planet, the three-day international summit brings together entrepreneurs, business leaders and policymakers to accelerate change. To find out more and book your tickets, visit

Words: Matthew Hempstead