2016 Climate Champions: ECO4CLIM16 winners’ interviews
26 impactful ecopreneurs won the 2016 Global Week of Green Business and the Climate Movement –ECO4CLIM16. 26 Climate Champions that we now interview to spread the word on sustainable business solutions to climate change. This week, we travel to Madrid in Spain to speak with the founders of teCH4+, an international green company specializing in the development and application of wastewater treatment technologies, in particular, thermal hydrolysis through a TH4+ process.
About your project1. Tell us a bit about your project, company or organization; from your mission and objectives to your products or services, passing by your value proposition and key beneficiaries
VISION – Our vision is to be the world’s top provider of thermal hydrolysis technology
MISSION – We design, install and manage thermal hydrolysis plants, creating value for our clients through robust, innovative and environmentally-friendly technology
VALUES – Our Vision and Mission encourages us to be:
- Ingenious: Create, own and apply innovative technologies that are always one step ahead of our competition
- Open: Transfer our know-how honestly to our clients anywhere in the world, providing customer-friendly expertise and knowledge
- Productive: Run an efficient, responsive and agile organization, with lean business processes, that makes it a pleasure to work with and enjoyable to work for
- Profitable: By helping our clients to boost their profitability, we can be profitable ourselves and devote a significant portion of the benefits to research, development and innovation
2. Regarding your business model, what are your main sources of revenue and how is financial sustainability achieved?
Revenue comes from selling turnkey plants of our technology.
3. Any magic ingredients in your communication strategy?
The key is our presence in techno-scientific forums: paper publishing, trade fairs, congresses, etc.
4. What are your next steps in the short-to-mid term?
The key next step is the construction of our MVP (Minimum Viable Product).
5. Looking ahead, what is your long-term vision, say in 5 years from now?
The vision is to have a tech-based profitable company that provides employment to 30+ persons.
6. What would your advice be for green SMEs starting up?
Don´t give up!
7. Select the three (3) UN Sustainable Development Goals your project can make a significant contribution to:
- SDG 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation – Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
- SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities– Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
- SDG 13 – Climate Action– Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts by regulating emissions and promoting developments in renewable energy
8. Elaborate your answer a bit. Tell us concretely how your project is creating impact in relation with those 3 SDGs, now and in the future. Also, if some significant part of your project’s environmental or social impact is not covered by the SDGs, please describe it here too.
We improve water sanitation for municipal sewage plants (i.e. making the city smarter) and contribute to climate change mitigation (generating a renewable energy) and mitigation (producing and organic fertilizer).
9. Let’s focus now on climate change. Firstly, is your project substantially reducing CO2 emissions, compared with similar “business-as-usual” alternatives? How and how much (approximate %)? Please define the “business-as-usual” alternative you use as benchmark
By 2021 our installations will save 600.000 t CO2/year.
10. The consequences of climate change are upon us already. In what ways does your project help communities cope, and become more resilient in the face of these impacts?
The organic fertilizer we produce helps with climate change adaptation as it improves soils resilience.
11. As you may know, the Paris Agreement strongly emphasizes the need to adopt cooperative approaches at all levels, and boost innovation, in order to be able to accomplish the rapid and across-the-board transformation required to rise to the challenge (climate change). How does this formula (cooperation + innovation) apply both to your strategy and daily operations?
We have cooperation agreements signed with various institutions interested in our technology.
12. This year at the COP22 in Marrakech, the goal is actually to move from negotiating an accord to fostering real action towards impact. In your view, what is and must be the role of ecopreneurs and SMEs in implementing these agreements on the ground, and actually building a new, more sustainable, and equitable economy? What do SMEs bring to the table that large companies, NGOs, or governments don’t?
We bring new clean technologies that contribute to implementing these agreements.
13. In the past, businesses and NGOs from the so-called “Climate Movement” have kept their distance, and even seen each other as “enemies”? What’s your particular take on this? Do you think they have to work together? How does your company relate to civil society organizations and movements?
Climate change is a global problem and thus needs a global solution. This not only means that all countries need to be part of the solution… but also that all “sectors” (e.g. companies, NGOs, etc.) need to work side-by-side.
ECO4CLIM16 and climate innovation labs
14. What did you get from participating in #ECO4CLIM16? Any highlights?
I got insights on what other entrepreneurs are working on, which is great..
15. The next phase of the “Ecopreneurs for the Climate” movement, concerns the deployment of a global network of climate innovation labs, where new climate-champion green business ideas will emerge, and also impactful models and best practices will be shared and replicated across the world. Given your current needs, what would you like to see happening in these labs to scale up the impact of your project? For example, would you fancy embarking yourself on a climate innovation journey to explore green economy ecosystems, meet fellow changemakers, and forge international partnerships in other cities and countries?
The best thing this labs could do for us, given that building an MVP or our technology is our critical stepping stone to commercialization, is to help us funding that demo plant.