‘We can’t just consume our way to a more sustainable world.’ This is the clarion call from Jennifer Nini, the writer and activist founder of Eco Warrior Princess, which aims to raise awareness of the need to advance sustainable policies and initiatives.
Sustainability has gained considerable weight on the political, social and media agenda in recent years. Environmental concerns have led to the emergence of numerous initiatives aimed at ensuring a balance between economic growth, environmental preservation, and social wellbeing. In addition, the Sustainable Development Goals identified by the United Nations as part of its 2030 Agenda have served as a call to action to transition from today’s society to one that is more respectful of the environment and committed to eradicating poverty and inequalities of all kinds.
In early November, Glasgow became the epicentre of the fight against climate change. The Scottish city hosted the 26th UN Climate Change Conference, COP 26, where important measures were announced such as the promise to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030, the pledge to phase down coal power to reduce carbon emissions, and the Global Methane Pledge, which would cut methane emissions by 30% by the end of the decade.
One area of significant focus in recent times is the use of technology to reduce our impact on the environment, whether by reducing atmospheric pollution, improving waste management, or developing cleaner energy sources. The number of green technology companies and projects is growing steadily and investment in GreenTech has also increased in recent years.
The GreenTech burst
The Tech 500 2021 report we have recently published confirms the rising importance of the GreenTech space. Each year in this report, we examine the technology sectors in the UK, Germany and France and rank the most influential individuals based on their online and offline presence. Well, in 2021 the number of GreenTech influencers has increased significantly across all countries.
In the UK, the increase was 160%, from 15 people in the last edition to 39 in 2021. In Germany, there was a 47% increase, from 17 to 25 influencers. And in France, the growth was 1,500%, from 2 to 32, although in this case it should be noted that the ranking has expanded from being a top 100 last year (the first in which France was analysed) to a top 500 as is the case with the UK and Germany.
Another fact that confirms the growing importance of GreenTech in France is that the number of GreenTech influencers accounts for 6.4% of the Tech 500 this year, compared to 2% last year.
This rise of the GreenTech sector is also palpable in our pan-European ranking of the 500 most influential people, where this category now holds the fourth position with 7.4% of the total influencer count, only behind the General, FinTech and ConsumerTech categories.
If we analyse the professional groups to which the most influential personalities in the GreenTech sector belong, the second most prominent group is academics (15.6% of the total). Contrary to what happens in most of the other technology sectors we analysed in the Tech 500, members of academia are highly influential. The first place by influencer type goes to business leaders (59.3%) and the last spot in the top 3 is for journalists (13.5%).
Although GreenTech influencers in the Government category make up only 5.2% of the total, the two most relevant personalities across Europe are part of this group. The top-ranking GreenTech influencer is Alok Sharma. In January 2021, the British politician was appointed as President of COP26 on a full-time basis and chair of the UK’s Climate Action Implementation Committee. The second position goes to Caroline Lucas, the former leader of the Green Party of England and Wales. She is a well-known politician and environmental activist in the UK, who continues to campaign on issues like green economics, animal welfare, trade justice and alternatives to globalisation. Last in the top three is Dr Simon Evans, deputy editor and policy editor at Carbon Brief, a UK-based website covering the latest developments in climate science, climate policy and energy policy.
This is the top 10 of GreenTech influencers in the Tyto Tech 500:
- Alok Sharma – UK Government (UK)
- Caroline Lucas – UK Parliament (UK)
- Simon Evans – Carbon Brief (UK)
- Peter Altmaier – German Government (Germany)
- Annalena Baerbock – German Government (Germany)
- Roger Harrabin – BBC (UK)
- Chris Stark – Climate Change Committee (UK)
- Damian Carrington – The Guardian (UK)
- Craig Bennet – The Wildlife Trusts (UK)
- George Monbiot – The Guardian (UK)
Want to know who are the biggest influencers in the UK, Germany and France? Download the full Tyto Tech 500 report here.