Global Cleantech 100 Methodology

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How does the list come together?

Cleantech Group has designed the Global Cleantech 100 to achieve two unique objectives that distinguish it from other lists: the list offers a fair representation of global innovation and private company creation, and it is not our editorial voice, but the collective opinion of hundreds of individuals within the wider global cleantech innovation community.

The question we are seeking to answer is: According to the world’s cleantech community, which 100 of today’s private cleantech companies are the most likely to make the most significant market impact over the next 5-10 years? 

We answer this question in four phases, only allowing independent, for-profit, cleantech companies that are not listed on any major stock exchange to qualify for consideration.

Phase 1: Nominations

Nominations come from 4 sources:

1. Public nominations submitted by Cleantech Group’s network and other market participants.

2. Collection of nominations derived from 414 third party awards and other rankings where expert assessment has already been applied.

3. Passive nominations from data in, based primarily on investment history (venture backing, grants, project financing, etc.) and significant commercial partnerships (e.g. channel partnerships, technology development partnerships, or pure customer/supplier relationships).

4. Nominations from the expert panel, also adhering to the lust list principle (see previous page) before the voting process in Phase III.

In 2015, 6,900 companies were nominated, which was then filtered by a scoring system to a short list of 323 companies for consideration by our expert panel.

Phase II: Scoring

The scoring system rewards companies that have multiple validations across multiple sources, to align with our objective to synthesize and represent collective opinion. Therefore, a company that has completed numerous market transactions (tracked through, been nominated by multiple people in the market —both publicly and within our expert panel—and appeared in third-party rankings, will tend to score better under our methodology than a hidden gem that few know about and vote for.

Phase III: Expert Panel Voting

The 100 expert panelists evaluated the 323 shortlisted companies based on the following three criteria:

1. Innovation (the problem it solves; uniqueness; sustainability of advantage, etc.)

2. Market (accessibility, size, growth dynamics, barriers to entry, etc.)

3. Ability to execute (finances, team competencies, connections and networks, etc.)

The expert panel could vote positively OR negatively for up to 50 companies in the shortlist and were invited to provide commentary.

Phase IV: The Final 100

A combination of data from Phase I and Phase III are pooled together, and adjusted as much as possible for geographic or other biases. Companies with the greatest number of points overall made it to the final 100.