Women in Clean Tech.

Posted on 08 March 2023

​​Cleantech continues to grow at an accelerated rate. With energy sustainability issues and the climate crisis, more focus and funding are going into cleantech.

However, clean Tech still suffers from the lack of gender diversity within the industry. Despite the progress of Tech itself, the gender split is still significant.

Clean Tech continues to be male-dominated, with women taking up less than 30% of roles within the cleantech industry. While there is work to be done around businesses diversifying their workforce, the same continues issues continue when women are at the forefront of cleantech start-ups.

In the UK, VC funding for clean tech businesses with an all-female founded team receives less than 1%. This is compared to clean tech businesses with an all-male founded team receiving 81% of funding. Women-owned companies are four times less likely to gain venture capital funding than their male counterparts.

Positively, more groups and associations, such as Women in Cleantech and Sustainability, have been founded to create a community for women in clean Tech.

At Zero, we wanted to take the opportunity not just to highlight some of the gender gaps within the cleantech industry but also to highlight some tremendous clean tech businesses founded by women.


Lixea is committed to turning agricultural and wood waste into sustainable materials and fuels. Lixea started as a spin-out from the Imperial College London.

Lixea uses the denronic™️ process and breaks down complex woody biomass into its constitutions; cellulose, lignin and small molecules in an environmentally friendly and low-cost way. This method was co-invented by founder Dr Florence Gschwend, also CTO at Lixea.

This process will mean industries move away from single-use crude oil products. Their pilot plant in Sweden is already fully operational and actively providing solutions.


Innovafeed is a biotechnology company and leading insect producer for animal and plant nutrition. They choose to develop a unique and pioneering technology to rear and transform the Hermetia illucens fly for animal and plant nutrition, thus offering alternatives to the fishmeal and vegetable oils used in fish and animal feed.

Innovafeed started in 2016 and, in 6 years, has the largest insect production capacity in the world. Aude Guo, Co-Founder of Innovafeed, saw the need to transform our global food system.

Summit Nanotech

Summit nanotech is on a mission to secure a sustainable lithium supply to meet the global demand for the energy transition. Summit Nanotech has created a technology that provides extraction as a service (EaaS). Their technology, denaLi DLE (direct lithium extraction), is a plug-and-play modular unit that is used as an efficient way to extract lithium.

Founder Amanda Hall worked for years in the gas and oil industry. She recognised the need for change and made an impact in clean Tech. Summit Nanotech Team gained success with direct lithium extraction, including operating a new prototype and filing a patent for the denaLi™ technology solution in 2019. Pilot projects were launched in 2022 for lithium extraction.

If you are working on diversity and inclusion within clean tech, get in touch today and see how Zero can help.

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