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Startups improving the energy industry's ecological impact. 

Photo by Kelly Lacy from Pexels


Although the Covid crisis has been at the forefront of most conversations, somewhat overshadowing the ongoing environmental discussions, Energy companies are still eagerly addressing their impact on the environment. 

Thankfully, there are Startups out there looking to assist the energy industry in the endeavours to reduce any adverse effects they may be having. 

Here are two brilliant ones...

Dendra Systems provides ecosystem restoration services to mining and oil companies. They combine decades of research in ecology and land restoration with cutting edge artificial intelligence and drone technologies to speed up and scale up land rehabilitation.

Destruction of our biodiverse ecosystems has led to 2 BILLION hectares—more than 7 MILLION square miles—of degraded land, causing an exponential increase in carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Dendra systems sole purpose is to rebuild ecosystems to help the human race stop this degradation in land and reverse the destruction.

Dendra's team of scientists, ecologists, and engineers, are building the most powerful tools to restore the natural landscape today. Dendra uses advanced data science, artificial intelligence, and drone automation to rehabilitate land and restore biodiverse ecosystems at scale. Helping natural resources companies become good stewards of our lands.

Dendra's services use:

  • Custom drones perform high-resolution data collection to show vegetation, species, condition, and erosion characteristics of every square metre. 
  • AI software, trained by ecologists and grounded in actual research to identify trouble spots and changes in the land that could derail rehabilitation efforts, providing precise guidance on where to direct work efforts
  • Specialised seed mixes, packaging, and aerial delivery algorithms based on years of on the ground work, to enable not only scale seeding but ensure that it works to transform the land as desired quickly.

VIDEO - presentation by Susan Graham from Dendra (formally BioCarbon Engineering) at the Ecosummit Berlin 2019.

GLENCORE Case study
"Unlike common restoration projects, the specific features of the land and risks posed by working at mining sites limit both the speed and scalability of traditional restoration methods."
"Dendra helps Glencore overcome these challenges by providing unprecedented insights into the condition of the land and ecosystems using ecology-driven data science and artificial intelligence. Complemented by drone-based aerial seeding which increases the rate of planting and mitigates on-site risks. Together, Glencore and Dendra are restoring thriving ecosystems." 
Lucy Roberts, Corporate Head HSEC and Human Rights
See full case study here Aerial Seeding Case Study (


The Swedish company SurfCleaner has developed the world's first hybrid skimmer separator. The groundbreaking new technology removes, separates and recovers oil, petrol, diesel, sludge, microplastics, debris and other pollutants from the water surface.

The SurfCleaner technology is unique; by combining variations in inflow velocity and direction with gravimetric separation, the process is very efficient – keeping pollutants from accumulating on the water surface and therefore help to minimise VOC emissions.

The SurfCleaner needs no pump, no powerpack, no hydraulics, no pneumatics. That is why the operation of the SurfCleaner is so efficient and cost-effective; it just uses the forces of nature to work.

VIDEO - how their amazing SurfCleaner works..

SurfCleaner has various customers, including coast guards, oil refineries, and industrial ports in the Nordics and in Europe. It is a perfect solution for oil and gas companies worldwide, and Preem Refinery, Esso Refinery, and ExxonMobil have been using SurfCleaner products for the past few years.

Although the company was established in 1994, it wasn't until 2018, following a change of management, that it looked to expand. So I consider them a (somewhat delayed) Startup. 

SurfCleaner raised €4.8 million in a private funding round in April 2021, which increased the company's value to €24.5 million. The funds will be invested into sales and marketing to accelerate its global expansion, both in the Nordic Region and globally. SurfCleaner will also develop additional applications for both industrial and municipal wastewater treatment.

The new shareholders include Walter & Johanna AB, owned by Marcus and Karin Bodin, the CEO and principal shareholder of Polarbröd.
"SurfCleaner will solve fundamental problems for people all over the world. Everybody needs clean water every day, and SurfCleaner's products are amazingly effective in separating floating contaminants from water. We invest because we believe that SurfCleaner will be a global success and make a difference for both people and the environment," says Marcus Bodin.