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BSI launches sustainability-focused startup accelerator

Startups selected to participate in the BSI and Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership’s joint sustainability startup accelerator are working in a diverse range of areas and using a variety of technologies to positively affect society

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has selected six startups to join its sustainability-focused startup accelerator, which is being launched in partnership with the Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership (CISL).

The BSI is the UK’s national standards body, producing technical standards and certification processes for a wide range of products and services, while the CISL (part of the School of Technology within the University of Cambridge) looks to tackle various sustainability challenges through its research.

The joint BSI-CISL accelerator programme is designed to support the growth of technology startups by offering them business support, network building, mentorship, as well as an opportunity to co-create and pilot solutions with the BSI Sustainability Innovation Lab.

The six selected startups include CarbonBright, which uses generative artificial intelligence (AI) to help its customers manage the environmental impact of their products by automatically collecting product supply chain data from various sources and building digital-twins of their supply-chains; Gentian, which uses machine learning to map and monitor natural habitats for biodiversity conservation; and HACE, which uses AI to track various modern slavery metrics for investors, financial institutions and others.

The other startups include iov23, which is developing supply chain traceability tech to make it easier for organisations to comply with due diligence regulations; SkenarioLabs, which uses machine learning to help organisations understand their energy consumption and carbon intensity, as well as develop their asset management strategies; and TEXpert AI, a cloud-based diversity and inclusion data analytics platform that helps organisations understand their workforce.

“It’s fantastic to have such a diverse and dynamic list of start-ups on board for our inaugural programme at BSI’s Sustainability Innovation Lab. Supporting individuals and organisations pioneering creative solutions to the pressing questions of our day, from modern slavery to conserving nature, can help accelerate progress towards a sustainable world,” said BSI chief commercial officer Harold Pradal.

“The support offered by BSI and our partners in progress, the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability, is designed to enable these start-ups to draw on our 120 years of knowledge and expertise in delivering tangible improvements for society. Together, we can increase the pace of innovation and create solutions that can drive real change that results in long-term benefit for all.” 

Sam Laakkonen, senior director of sustainable innovation and entrepreneurship at CISL, added the chosen startups “cover the full range of CISL’s three impact lenses; future place, future lives and future economy, which perfectly complements all our other activities and initiatives.

“I am extremely interested to see the progress these teams will be making over the coming months, as well as the outcomes of the piloting part of the programme.”

The BSI-CISL partnership follows the opening of BSI’s Lab in Cambridge in December 2022, which was set up as a collaborative environment for organisations to leverage BSI’s knowledge and expertise to help transform their business models and accelerate progress on various sustainability efforts.

Based in CISL’s headquarters, the Lab  is designed to promote collaboration between governments and industry peers, as well as help organisations of all sizes improve their organisational outcomes and resilience while also driving positive impacts for the wider society.

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