India Climate Startups Insights

Startup Insights

Intersection of climate tech plus health plus nutrition could be attractive

Notes by Narsi

If the impending dangers and hazards from climate change are not motivating people to change their behaviours or make significant investments, what could?

For one, it is money.  But most climate tech investments still have some distance to go before they can be considered to be monetarily attractive business propositions.

There is another aspect that could create large markets - health and nutrition.

The intersection of health tech and climate tech could be an attractive sector for many startups, and even many large businesses.

Until now, health-tech and climate tech were considered completely different sectors. And many parts of these two will remain so for a very long to come.

But there are some current intersections I see, and these could be of interest to both startups and VCs:

  • Millets vs rice - Millets are not just low carbon, they are also more nutritious than rice
  • Algae based nutraceuticals - Some of the nutraceuticals (like anti-oxidants, Omega 3). which had a fossil origin or were made more carbon intensive sources like fish are increasingly being made from plant sources, something good for climate and for health  
  • Herbal based cosmetics - this is an old sector, but the added concern about the carbon footprint of the ingredients used in the cosmetics could further tip the favour in terms of natural cosmetics
  • Algae based food additives & ingredients - of special interest here could be the use of seaweeds for cattle feed. Seaweeds contain good nutrition useful for animals, but it has also been proven that seaweeds in animal food can dramatically reduce the amount of methane emissions from these animals - a big greenhouse benefit as livestock methane emissions is a large source of GHG emissions worldwide today. 
  • Others - a number of other niche product domains are emerging (algae based colorants that are replacing fossil based colorants for food etc). 

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