Latin America is highly vulnerable to climate change: Mega-drought, extreme rainfall, land and marine heatwaves, and glacier melt are wreaking havoc, which leads to water scarcity, crop failures, land erosion, coastal flooding, and loss of biodiversity. And what’s more, these effects often hit the most overlooked communities the hardest, exacerbating social inequalities and economic instability.
With people and governments waking up to the fact that human and business activities are major contributors to these problems, the need for sustainable practices has never been more pressing.
Consequently, more Latin America-based organizations are stepping in not only to address climate change and optimize the use of natural resources but also to drive social impact and work towards a more sustainable future.
In this article, we will take a look at 15 companies that are leading the way in promoting green practices in Latin America.
Founded in 2020, Moss.earth is a Brazilian tech company that is combating climate change and digitizing carbon-neutral assets by harnessing the power of blockchain technology.
One of the most noteworthy initiatives of the startup is the Moss Amazon NFT. Through this green asset, the company gives an opportunity for individuals and organizations to conserve and preserve one of the most important ecosystems of the planet—the Amazon.
“Saving the Amazon is our purpose, and through blockchain technology and this innovation, we will make it possible for more and more people to be part of this dream,” explains Luis Felipe Adaime, CEO and founder of Moss.
The company secured a $10 million Series A funding round led by SP Ventures and Acre Ventures Partners in 2022.
TerraFirma.SW is a Puerto Rico-based company that aims to empower urban planners, municipalities, and climate scientists to protect our cities and environments.
Using big data, simulations, and artificial intelligence (AI), TerraFirma is at the forefront of helping businesses better understand the climate risk affecting their portfolios, investments, and assets.
TerraFirma understands the urgent need for preventive action against natural disasters. By allowing its clients to visualize environmental risks in both 2D and 3D maps, they are paving the way for a future where businesses and urban planners can make smarter decisions.
Its commitment to innovation has resulted in the company receiving over $655k in grants from scientific funding.
According to Stand.earth’s 2022 Fashion Supply Chain Emissions Report, the fashion industry is responsible for 5–8% of annual climate emissions. And Colorchain, a Colombia-based company, is dedicated to creating a positive impact in the industry.
Colorchain can decrease the amount of stock produced and unused and reduce waste by accurately predicting demand and minimizing unnecessary production.
With the help of energy-efficient technology and an emphasis on durability, Colorchain produces garments that are timeless, minimizing the negative effects of the fast fashion culture.
On top of everything, the brand generates micro-economies through the development of internal talent within the company and helps its operators become more qualified and productive for society.
Sensegrass is an agricultural startup that enables farmers to increase their productivity and tackle food scarcity.
The IOT sensors developed by Sensegrass monitor soil and water management, while drone images aid in field monitoring. This way, the company’s AI algorithm can help farmers make more informed decisions and achieve better crop yields.
The company offers several products, such as multi-end soil point intelligence, automated drip irrigation, and food grading, that can reduce associated costs to farmers by 10 to 40%.
While Sensegrass has its headquarters in the US, it has a dedicated Latin American arm based in the Chilean capital Santiago.
Based in Chile, SimpliRoute has set its eyes on helping organizations tackle the complexity of logistics and offer fast, efficient, and intelligent deliveries for its customers while allowing them to save time and reduce their CO2 emissions.
SimpliRoute leverages cutting-edge technologies such as AI to find the most optimal routes for deliveries. The company’s innovative approach to logistics makes it a valuable partner for businesses looking to streamline their supply chain and reduce their environmental impact.
From small businesses to retail giants such as Walmart, SimpliRoute provides a solution that can benefit companies of all sizes.
In 2022, this supply chain logistics startup announced its expansion to the US with the purpose of making a dent in businesses’ carbon footprints, starting with Miami.
Gone are the days of inefficient and environmentally harmful food deliveries. Founded by Felipe Chávez and Sergio Pachón, Kiwibot aims to revolutionize the food delivery industry by introducing semi-autonomous robots to the streets.
The company produces zero carbon emissions and makes delivery services as clean and sustainable as possible. Built with a people-centered approach, Kiwibots have friendly smiles and digital eyes that can wink.
Kiwibot also opens up opportunities for locally-owned enterprises: Its low-cost delivery services allow business owners to avoid the hassle of hiring a courier.
This Colombian startup has made thousands of deliveries since 2017, and its friendly robots are currently active on 26 campuses throughout the US.
Founded in 2015, NotCo has made a name for itself by producing plant-based alternatives to popular animal-based foods such as mayonnaise, milk, ice cream, and meat.
The Chilean food company is on a mission to reduce the environmental burdens of animal production and consumption, including greenhouse gas emissions, land use and degradation, and scarcity-weighted water use.
To achieve this goal, NotCo uses pineapples, cabbages, seeds, and many other plants to replicate animal-based foods. What’s more, the company utilizes an AI algorithm called Giuseppe, which learns and studies infinite combinations of plants and can replicate animal products.
NotCo’s products are available in various countries, such as Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, and the US.
Positive Ventures is a visionary early-stage venture capital fund based in Brazil. The company was founded with the goal of transforming capital into positive impact and driving change through innovative solutions.
”We are very concerned about the effects of climate change. This is not just an environmental issue: Climate change impoverishes and deepens inequalities,” says Fábio Kestenbaum, founding partner of Positive Ventures.
Positive Ventures invests in cutting-edge technologies that address real-life challenges and have the potential to deliver both financial return and outsized impact.
The company specializes in seed and Series A stage investments and joins forces with founders who are passionate about bridging the gap between positive impact and technology.
With a clear purpose of connecting homeowners with solar installers and lenders, Domingo García-Huidobro, Pedro Saratscheff, and Tomás Campos decided to establish the first residential solar marketplace in Latin America.
Ruuf is on a mission to install solar panels in every home in Chile and promote sustainable energy solutions for a better future. The startup provides homeowners with a customized design, low-cost financing, and competitive offers from best-in-class local installers.
With customers’ location and electricity consumption data, Ruuf generates a personalized proposal. Then, the company coordinates a technical visit to verify the feasibility of their roof and install their solar panels without added costs.
Thanks to their low-cost financing options, homeowners can pay for their solar panels through the electricity savings they generate, making the switch to clean energy more accessible.
Those Coffee People
Based in Colombia, Those Coffee People seeks to connect communities through a direct trade sourcing model where cultural exchange flourishes and create a sustainable global coffee supply chain for a new generation of coffee people.
By implementing effective wastewater management practices, Those Coffee People helps reduce water usage per kilogram of coffee produced and minimize environmental impact.
In addition to environmental objectives, the company is committed to driving social impact: It strives to reduce inequalities by hiring women in leadership roles and offering community programs that improve financial literacy.
Those Coffee People also provides technical and vocational training to equip employees with the necessary skills for success in both their personal and professional lives, contributing to the economic growth of the communities they serve.
Fundación Botellas de Amor
Fundación Botellas de Amor is dedicated to transforming the plastic waste problem into opportunities for a positive impact on the environment and communities.
This non-profit organization is making it easy for anyone to create a cleaner environment and improve the quality of life for people—regardless of their age, gender, and background.
To support this mission, people who live in Colombia, Panamá, and Ecuador can collect flexible plastic waste such as wrappers, plastic bags, and toothpaste tubes and place them inside a plastic bottle. Once it is full, they can take it to a collection point located throughout the city.
Then Fundación Botellas de Amor turns trash into treasure: It uses plastic waste to build homes, playgrounds, school furniture, and street furniture in under-resourced areas.
The Live Green Co
The Live Green Co, a Chilean foodtech company, aims to accelerate the world’s transition to healthy and sustainable food using proprietary technology.
In the past decade, we witnessed the rise of the Plant Revolution 1.0, which focused on removing animals from our food. The Live Green Co has taken this movement to the next level by eliminating not only animal-based products but also synthetic and ultra-processed components, unsustainable production practices, and plastic packaging.
The company blends nature with science and technology to create plant-based foods that are better for people and the planet.
In 2022, The Live Green Co secured $7 million to relocate to the US and advance its vision.
Based in Colombia, Lynks is a cutting-edge technology company that provides innovative solutions for water management in agriculture and other industrial processes.
Its solutions address the critical issue of water scarcity, which often leads to reduced agricultural productivity.
Lynks uses software to gather and analyze data on water, soil, and climate. It also leverages remote monitoring systems that have excellent energy autonomy and wireless communication capabilities.
This way, Lynks can provide valuable insights to help farmers and industry professionals gain a deeper understanding of their crop’s water needs and ensure efficient irrigation.
Chile Green Building Council
Since it was founded in 2010, Chile Green Building Council has focused on sustainable construction and development in Chile.
The main goal is to foster sustainable construction practices and articulate strategies throughout the life cycle of buildings in Chile, which leads to ensuring social, environmental, and economic balance for the well-being of people and communities.
This non-profit organization works with partners and allies to drive technological innovation, encourage the effective use of resources, and enhance the quality of life in the region.
Chile Green Building Council carries out various training and dissemination activities—from workshops and courses to seminars and technical tables—to provide knowledge to the market and raise public awareness through education.
Glasst Innovation Company is a sustainable company focused on promoting a greener and more sustainable future for the construction industry.
Looking to combat the environmental impact of traditional construction practices, Glasst offers biodegradable alternatives to single-use plastic films and toxic products.
The company also aims to reduce glass waste in construction sites and homes by using state-of-the-art tools to remove scratches and stains on glass.
This approach not only helps to reduce waste but also minimizes the energy expenditure and air pollution generated during glass manufacturing.
Disclosure: This article mentions clients of an Espacio portfolio company.