13 Canadian companies crack 2024’s Global Cleantech 100

13 Canadian companies crack 2024’s Global Cleantech 100

This year’s list includes ventures that resurrect dead EV batteries, turn waste into fuel and capture carbon before it reaches the sky.

The race to net zero has become a sprint. The UN’s latest warning to the world couldn’t be clearer: Society must take immediate action to reduce emissions before the worst effects of climate change become irreversible, likely within 10 years.

So who are the leaders in the fight? A good place to look is Cleantech Group’s Global Cleantech 100, a prestigious ranking of companies with the most promising climate solutions. The list serves as a beacon to governments and corporations — supporting these ventures can help reduce emissions and hit climate targets while reaping outsized return on investment. Canadians should take note, says MaRS climate expert Tyler Hamilton. “Our country churns out some of the strongest companies in the world, but we need to create conditions to help these champions scale for global impact,” he says. “We need to fill capital gaps and act as better customers of these proven innovations.”

This year, the balance of Canada’s 13 ranking ventures share a common theme: EVs, and it makes sense. Transportation contributes roughly 11 percent of the nation’s annual emissions, and many new domestic initiatives have set their sights on reducing that figure. Billions in tax dollars have been invested in new battery factories and Ottawa recently announced that gas-powered vehicles will be phased out by 2035. And the market is responding: A recent MaRS report found that close to 30 percent of all Canadian VC, private equity and M&A deals in the electric vehicle sector last year involved companies crafting charging infrastructure.

The global environmental movement can’t be stopped now. Here’s a look at 13 homegrown climate companies driving the change.


Carbon Upcycling does wonders with industrial waste

MaRS venture

What it does: This Calgary-based company is currently focused on transforming industrial waste into additives that can replace cement in concrete, thus lowering the materials’ carbon footprint.

Potential impact: The cement and concrete industry is responsible for roughly 8 percent of the planet’s emissions, and demand for cement is set to increase by more than one-third by 2050. Not only does Carbon Upcycling’s solution displace cement with industrial byproducts such as fly ash, silicates and aggregate fines, it also sequesters carbon. “We’re seeing about a 60 percent reduction in CO2 on a per-tonne basis,” says Ryan Bourns, the venture’s manager of business strategy development.

Key stat: Last July, Carbon Upcycling closed a U.S.$26-million series A round, led by BDC. The money has been used to finance multiple commercial projects, including two cement plants.


Cyclic Materials gives new life to old metals

MaRS venture

What it does: When electric motors are recycled, their magnets and other metals mostly end up in a landfill. Cyclic Materials turns this waste into the raw materials necessary to make more magnets. “In 10 to 15 years, a majority of the cars that are being recycled will be EVs,” says Ahmad Ghahreman, CEO of the Toronto-based company. “The market size is going to be substantial.”  
Key stat: This process uses only 2 percent of the water typically required to produce such materials.

In 2024: The venture just opened a pilot recycling plant in Kingston with the goal of building a full plant with eight times the capacity by 2025.


e-Zinc’s energy storage beats the battery

MaRS venture

What it does: As if zinc wasn’t already exciting enough. This Toronto-based company has created an electrochemical method of storing energy in zinc metal. It’s low-cost (about one-tenth that of lithium-ion batteries) and long-lasting (multi-day). Bonus: zinc is easily recycled and can also be extracted from places like copper mine tailings, therefore lowering the carbon footprint of the energy storage industry.

Cool detail: e-Zinc’s solution can help secure backup power for buildings, integrate renewable energy into the grid and deliver long-lasting energy to remote areas.


Genecis transforms table scraps

MaRS venture

What it does: Genecis converts organic waste, like food scraps, into PHAs — durable, affordable and biodegradable plastics that can be used for packaging, medical tools and utensils.

Key stat: In late 2022, the company helped divert 1,430 kilograms of organic waste at Sodexo-Campbell’s (the maker of Campbell’s soup) Toronto factory, resulting in the production of 6,332 biodegradable spoons.
Cool detail: Last March, on International Women’s Day, Amazon invested an undisclosed amount in Genecis to honour founder and CEO Luna Yu as an outstanding women scientist.


Ionomr Innovations fosters fuel for the future

MaRS venture

What it does: While everyone talks about the promise of hydrogen power, Ionomr Innovations is actually helping pave the way forward. The Vancouver venture makes recyclable, hydrocarbon membranes and polymers that can be used in fuel cells, hydrogen production and carbon capture. This eliminates the need to incorporate the expensive and carbon-intensive metals traditionally used in cleantech infrastructure.

Key stat: This past December, Ionomr closed a $26.7-million series A extension, elevating its to-date funding to $55.4 million.


Moment Energy resurrects dead EV batteries

MaRS venture

What it does: Moment Energy partners directly with automakers to convert end-of-life EV batteries into energy-storage systems for industrial, commercial and microgrid clients.

Cool detail: Spent EV batteries still have up to 80 percent capacity left. By repurposing them, the Coquitlam-based company can almost double their lifespans and keep them from the landfill.

In 2024: Co-founder and CEO Edward Chiang is currently taking part in The C100’s fellowship, a year-long program serving 20 of Canada’s top young entrepreneurs.


Pani pushes potable solutions

MaRS venture

What it does: This Victoria venture offers cloud-based, AI-powered software that optimizes the performance of water treatment plants.

Cool detail: Pani is well-known among industry giants. India’s Tata Projects and the States’ Aquatech International are two of its many clients.

Potential impact: With greater scale, Pani’s product can be applied to traditional wastewater treatment, desalination and the recycling of drinking water.


Summit Nanotech lights up the lithium market

MaRS venture

What it does: Based out of Calgary, Summit Nanotech is a key player in the international EV revolution, extractring high-purity lithium in speedy and environmentally-friendly ways. By using nanotechnology, its process dramatically reduces the water required and creates zero solid waste.

Cool detail: A geophysicist by training, founder and CEO Amanda Hall worked in Alberta’s oil-and-gas sector before moving to entrepreneurship and winning the $1-million Women in Cleantech Challenge.

In 2024: Summit Nanotech aims to raise $150 million this year, with the goal of raising up to $600 million for its following round of funding.


Eavor generates power from the planet’s core

What it does: Eavor uses one of the oldest types of power, geothermal energy, but with zero emissions, no use of water, brine or solids, no fracking and no earthquake risk. It does this by circulating a benign working fluid — isolated from the environment in a closed loop — through a massive radiator underground. The radiator then collects heat via conduction.

Cool detail: The Calgary-based company became the first recipient of the Canada Growth Fund, a $15-billion federal initiative that backs low-carbon finance projects.

In 2024: Eavor will be ramping up operations at its German site, which should reach full capacity by 2026.


Mangrove Lithium bolsters the battery

What it does: Mangrove aims to bring more EVs to market by producing high-purity and battery-grade lithium. The company converts saline wastewater and waste gases into desalinated water and chemicals that its clients (battery recyclers and manufacturers) can use on site.

Cool detail: The Vancouver venture’s solution is scalable and can be co-located at its clients’ factories around the globe.

In 2024: Its platform is currently being developed to also convert waste brines into chemicals and desalinated water.


MineSense maximizes critical minerals

What it does: Mining is one of the most carbon-intensive industries in the world — and yet it’s necessary to realize the EV dream. MineSense helps square that quandary by making operations more precise and efficient. For example, its flagship product, ShovelSense, is a sensor installed on equipment that can scan and estimate the grade of the material in every shovel or bucket.

Cool detail: Co-founder and UBC professor Bern Klein won the Mitacs Award in December for his contributions to the scientific community.

In 2024: This year will be the company’s first using its Data Portal, which collects and analyzes information in a central system in real time to provide customers greater insights.


pH7 finds magic in metals

What it does: This Vancouver venture’s non-aqueous metallurgy solution mines and refines previously unextractable metals (such as platinum, palladium, iridium, copper and nickel) from primary and secondary materials, saving them from landfills.

Key stat: pH7’s tech emits 99 percent less carbon dioxide and is 95 percent more efficient than traditional mining methods.

Cool detail: Last year, CEO Mohammad Doostmohammadi was named a Clean50 Honoree for his advancement of “clean capitalism.”


Svante captures industrial carbon

What it does: Svante’s solid-sorbent tech traps carbon dioxide emissions at industrial sites. It then refines the gas and either stores it underground or recycles it into other products, such as polymers, lubricants and solvents.

Cool detail: The Burnaby-based company’s international partners include such titans as United Airlines, Suncor, Samsung and Cenovus.

In 2024: Svante rang in the new year right by hiring Justine Fisher as its new CFO. A 20-year veteran of finance and investor relations, Fisher will help expand operations globally, hire more staff and solidify more funding from existing and new investors.

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