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Environmental sustainability

Innovations that reverse environmental damage caused by humans are attracting increasing investment.

Companies already investing in
this opportunity

Chevron ● United Airlines ● Rio Tinto ● Keronite ● ArcelorMittal ● Skanska ● Rusheen Capital Management ● Veolia

$
245
bn+

investment opportunities in environmental sustainability

Interest in environmental sustainability, an area of innovation geared towards reversing or mitigating the effects of pollution, is rising. This is fueling investment into carbon capture and atmospheric water harvesting initiatives.

Five promising use cases in

Environmental sustainability

  1. Direct air capture (DAC) technologies coupled with CO2-to-X technology to produce chemical feedstock.
  2. Oil and gas flaring alternatives such as flare-to-power or flare-to-liquid instead of gas injection into reservoirs.
  3. Porous metal-organic framework (MOF) material capturing water from the atmosphere at ambient conditions by using natural sunlight.
  4. Biomimetic water harvesting materials and artificial beetles for atmospheric water harvesting (AWH) and fog collection, cooling devices, and cleaning up toxic spills.
  5. Ceramic-polymer composite membranes based on advanced oxidation processes to remove major negative odour and variants of cyanobacteria.

What is environmental sustainability, and why is it important?

While many sustainability efforts revolve around helping companies measure existing emissions and trying to reduce them, environmental sustainability efforts attempt to turn back the clock. New technologies offer the chance to reverse damage to animal habitats and shore up future water supplies.

Use Case

What are examples of innovations in environmental sustainability?

Examples of environmental sustainability in action include innovations that remove CO2 from the atmosphere and reduce chemical levels in soil. Examples of environmental sustainability in innovations such as CO2 capture, water treatment, and atmospheric water harvesting, the latter of which is the capture and collection of water in air either as vapour or small water droplets.

14
%

estimated annual growth rate in carbon capture, utilisation, and storage market to 2030

$
237
bn+

value of global water and wastewater treatment market by 2028

9
%

estimated annual growth rate of global atmospheric water generator sector by 2030

What technologies are enabling environmental sustainability?

Better catalytic chemistry and cheaper construction processes are driving improvements to CO2 capture technologies and, consequently, environmental sustainability. Innovations in chemistry are also driving improvements to recycling technologies and water treatment.

Which sectors are investing the most in environmental sustainability?

Polluting industries are investing heavily in CO2 capturing, especially construction, mining and oil and gas sectors. Occidental Petroleum partnered with a private equity firm, Rusheen Capital Management, to develop a direct air capture facility in Texas that would pull about 1 million metric tons of CO2 annually from the air. Chemicals and materials companies have been pioneering atmospheric water harvesting, which could help supply water-starved areas of the world with new sources of water. And innovations are also being driven from both governments and non-governmental organisations.

What opportunities are there in environmental sustainability?

Sectors related to environmental sustainability, such as CO2 capture, water treatment, and atmospheric water harvesting, offer more than $245 billion of investment opportunities by the end of the decade. Furthermore, carbon markets offer the chance for companies to generate income from carbon capture. Other related opportunities include converting carbon dioxide into chemicals and filtration membranes for process plants and water treatment.