The World Wide Fund for Nature just awarded five Nordic startups the annual Climate Solver Award. For the first time in the 10-year history of the prize, a majority of the Nordic region’s winners are Finnish.

“They could have a positive effect on emissions and energy resources the upcoming 10 years. To fulfil the Paris Agreement and decrease the emissions we need these small companies’ innovations,” said Håkan Wirtén, general secretary for WWF in Sweden, in a press release.

The aim with the Climate Solver Award is to find and recognize transformative innovations that could have a substantial effect on climate change, and at the same time contribute export revenue and growth.

Together, the five awarded cleantech startups could have the potential to decrease carbon emissions by more than 100 million tons each year, according to WWF’s analysis. This is almost as much as the total amount of carbon emission that Sweden and Finland emit each year – together.

A hands-on example of smart resource use is Swedish company Altered, which provides a nozzle that could cut households’ water consumption by up to 98 percent. 

“More than 1,5 billion people today live in areas affected by shortage of water. We can’t tackle this challenge with one universal solution. But we wanted to contribute with something,” said Johan Nihlén, CEO of Altered.

Finnish awardee Norsepower uses rotor sails to cut shipping emissions

Last year, the startup carried out a trial with shipping giant Maersk. A 245-meter cargo tanker was then used to try out their rotor sails. The rotor sails use the so called Magnus effect to harness energy into forward propulsion, allowing the ships main engines to be throttled back and thereby reduce fuel consumption. The technology is also being piloted for commercial cruise ships, starting in 2018.

Norsepower estimates that if 20,000 existing ships were retrofitted with its technology, it would reduce the total carbon emission from the global fleet by 5%.

“With existing and forthcoming environmental regulations, the shipping industry remains under increasing pressure to play its part in global decarbonization efforts. We are proud to be pioneering a technology which is contributing to a cleaner, more efficient, and sustainable maritime industry”, said Tuomas Riski, CEO of Norsepower, in a press release.

Here the five winners of this year’s WWF ‘Climate Solver’ award:

Norsepower (Finland)

Rotor sails for maritime transport resulting in up to 30 percent less fuel usage.

Fourdeg (Finland)

Saves energy through a fully automated heating system for optimal temperature in each room, at all times.

Parking Energy (Finland)

Making it easier to provide chargers for electric cars.

Againity (Sweden)

Turns waste and biomass into low-grade heat which is transformed into electricity.

Altered (Sweden)

Has developed a nozzle that ensures a water-usage 50 times lower than usual.

The Climate Solver Award will be presented on May 22nd by the Nordic Ministers of Energy during the Clean Energy Ministerial meeting in Malmö, and the Mission Innovation Ministerial conference and Nordic Clean Energy summit.

Read More about last year’s awardee Swatab here.

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