#109 | Lithium in short supply + textile sorting tech
Understory newsletter on climate and sustainability tech
Last week, we hosted an insightful Startup Showcase filled with lively conversation on all things ESG, supply chain, sustainable fashion and net zero solutions. A few key learnings included:
The majority of carbon emissions are in supply chains.
And more emissions come from digital operations than the entire aviation industry.
Poor design is a significant contributor to textile waste and emissions.
AI can simplify ESG understanding
If you missed it, the recording is now available.
We are hosting our next ‘Startups Driving Sustainability’ Showcase on June 22nd. You can RSVP now to hear from three circular economy companies: Rubicon, Re Company, and Rego and one solar energy company: Eternum Energy.
📚 Worth Reading
We’ve often discussed the intersection of sustainability and supply chain. Our May Showcase dug into this in detail with Partsimony’s presentation and was reiterated by our other presenters. Smart supply chain decisions are critical to reducing emissions and waste.
The transition to clean energy is also impacted by the supply of raw materials. The demand for lithium, the raw material critical for EV batteries, is quickly exceeding supply. This has caused lithium prices to balloon over 500%, adding ~$1000 to the price of each electric vehicle. After years of underinvestment in new lithium supply, the industry needs over $40 billion of additional investment to meet demand by the end of the decade.
Multiple startups are investigating innovations to remedy both supply and demand challenges. Technologies like direct lithium extraction, battery recycling, AI mineral exploration, and battery alternatives are all showing promise but require significant investment to achieve scale.
Bloomberg: The Trouble with Lithium
🚀 Funding and Congrats!
ReFED and Closed Loop Partners launched a $100 million funding platform to invest in circular food solutions.
Flowcarbon raised $70 million in vc funding + token sale. The company has a protocol for tokenizing certified carbon credits.
Regrow Ag, an agtech that helps farmers meet net zero goals, raised a $50 million Series B round.
EV charging company SparkCharge raised $23 million in funding.
Planet FWD, a carbon management platform for consumer brands, raised $10 million of Series A funding.
Shellworks, a bioplastics packaging company, raised a $6.2 million seed round.
Allinfra, an ESG data and blockchain infrastructure company, raised a $6 million Series A funding round.
Carbon emission reporting platform for the electric grid Singularity Energy raised a $4.5 million seed round.
Humble Bee Bio, which uses bees to create bioplastics, raised $3.2 million in convertible notes as part of its Series A.
💡 Startup Spotlight
Sortile - an AI driven platform that sorts textiles, improving recycling outcomes and enabling circular fashion.
🌱 Startup Resources
Shared Future Fund will make 100 investments of $100,000 in climate tech startups with only an application required.
Apply by June 8: Village Capital’s Sustainability Subscribed program.
👀 Quick Hits
The SEC proposed new disclosure requirements for ESG investment funds in an effort to crack down on greenwashing. FASB is also considering rules on how to account for carbon offsets and other credits.
Multiple corporations made large carbon removal commitments while at Davos.
A new study by Aclima shows that communities of color experience 55% more pollution than mostly White communities.
Implementing circularity in fashion still requires innovation and overcoming industry challenges.
Brian Graff: beautifying solar
Justin Whitehead: investing in a greener future
Rich Mokuolu: sustainable and resilient supply chains
Find and share your open positions on the Understory Slack channel.
🆕 EV Sales Advisor at Spring Free EV
🆕 Strategic Engagement Manager at Partnership for Inclusive Innovation
🆕 Project Manager at Mango Materials
🆕 Data Acquisition Manager at Seqana
🆕 Director of Utility Sales at Bloc Power
🆕 Deputy Vice President of Programs at ClimateWorks Foundation
Project Manager in Sustainability at infogr8
Operations Coordinator at Re:Company
Multiple Roles at Virtual Peaker
Scientist Roles at Project Drawdown
Chief of Staff at New Age Meats
Director of Operations at Returnity
Engineering roles at Sunairio
Multiple roles at Pani Energy
Senior Mechanical Engineer at Charge Robotics
Product Owner at Return Rabbit
Product Manager, Low-Carbon Aviation at Google Climate Research
Director, Investor Relations at Closed Loop Partners
Environmental Program Officer- Thriving Communities at Patagonia
Intern at Newlab
Business Development, Marketplace Partnerships at Cloverly
June 2: Conserve Launch Party in Atlanta
June 22: Access to Green Tech
Do you have any events to share? Post them in our Understory Slack community.