A wealth of innovative solutions and products that can limit climate change has already been invented. The problem is, that they don’t scale fast enough on a global level.
By Mia Grosen, founder of Canute
Denmark is often seen as an innovative frontrunner when it comes to sustainability. However, the climate challenge is global, and if Danish solutions should have any measurable impact on an international level, startups and companies have to scale their solutions beyond the Danish border.
Unfortunately, international scaling isn’t the Danish startup ecosystem’s strongest discipline – sustainability or not. It’s expensive to scale into new counties and often the founders will be surprised by the complexity that follows when moving into a new, bigger and culturally different market.
This doesn’t mean, that it’s impossible. Numerous startups are currently proving the demand for green, Danish solutions outside the home market: Fresh.land’s platform is already available in four markets and looking to scale into 10 more. Nordic Harvest is on its way into four countries with a massive investment behind it. And not least Too Good To Go which is present in 15 markets and has helped save 100 million bags of surplus food from ending their days in a garbage bin.
In other words, the solutions are already out there – across technologies and industries. The same goes for the demand. And according to International Energy Agency (IEA) we already have all the technologies needed to accomplish the reduction goals for 2030. They just need to be implemented and scaled – and rather sooner than later. Only through international scaling are green solutions able to move the needle on the global challenge.
To fulfil the international ambitions, the Canute program has helped Danish startups scale into new markets since 2018. And the questions and challenges for scaling startups are often the same across industries and SDGs. For that reason, it’s all about establishing a community where entrepreneurs can share their insights – so those who are about to scale can learn from those who have already done it.
Knowledge sharing only becomes more important when looking toward 2050, where half of the desired reduction is supposed to come from new technologies that are only in development or on a prototype stage right now. During the next decade, startups and innovative companies have a huge responsibility to push technologies to their edge and introduce new, interesting business models to make them successfully scale all the way.
Luckily, startups don’t stop when facing a seemingly impossible challenge. They are already working on the solutions – and we should all root for their success!