Cleantech Group Unveils the 2015 Global Cleantech 100 List

Industry-leading ranking recognizes top private companies in clean technology

SAN FRANCSCO, CA. – January 25, 2016 – Cleantech Group, whose mission is to connect corporates and investors to sustainable innovation through the online i3 Connect platform and its world-renowned global events series, today released its seventh annual Global Cleantech 100 list and report.

The list recognizes the 100 innovative private companies, regarded today as the most likely to make a significant market impact over the next five to ten years across 17 sectors, including, among others, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Renewables, Biofuels & Biochemicals, Smart Grid, Transportation, Agriculture and Water & Wastewater. In addition to the list, a full report with commentary and insight into the 2015 Global Cleantech 100 was also released today—authored by Cleantech Group, powered by data from i3, and sponsored by Chubb. A complete list of this year’s Global Cleantech 100 companies and the accompanying report are available to download at:

“It’s a tough job leading a company looking to make a big positive impact on the world and to disrupt traditional resource-intensive industries,” said Richard Youngman, CEO of Cleantech Group. “That makes our annual Global Cleantech 100 celebrations that much more special. It is a pleasure to have the chance to recognize and celebrate the achievements of these companies. We hope it spurs them on to greater things.”

To qualify for the Global Cleantech 100, companies must be independent, for-profit cleantech companies not listed on any major stock exchange. This year, a record number of nominations were received: 6,900 distinct companies from 60 countries. These companies were weighted and scored to create a short list of 323 companies. Short-listed nominees were reviewed by Cleantech Group’s Expert Panel, resulting in a final list of 100 companies from 17 countries.

“The Global Cleantech 100 expert panel is a great way to see the diverse, and sometimes divergent, views leading investors hold on the prospects of different companies and different sub-sectors,” said Wally Hunter, Managing Director of EnerTech Capital. “This helps us all in developing more informed investment decisions for the future.”

The 100-member expert panel was drawn from leading financial investors and representatives of multi-national corporations and industrials active in technology and innovation scouting across Asia, Europe, and North America. The composition of the expert panel broadly represents the global cleantech community – from pioneers and leaders to veterans and new entrants. The diversity of panelists results in a list of companies that command an expansive base of respect and support from many important players within the global cleantech innovation ecosystem. The complete list of Global Cleantech 100 expert panel members is available at:

“How the composition of the Global Cleantech 100 list changes over time is revealing of key megatrends and hot sub-sectors – and helps us all get a view on the future,” said Heather Matheson, Senior Program Manager, Cleantech Group. “This year, for example, the list shows energy storage as the breakout category, suggesting that the market believes improved storage performance and battery costs will have massive impact in the coming 5-10 years on the energy sector and many industries beyond.”

In addition to unveiling the list, Cleantech Group presented a series of awards across 11 categories during the Global Cleantech 100 Awards Dinner held January 25th in San Francisco on the opening night of Cleantech Forum San Francisco.

“We’re deeply honored to be among the Global Cleantech 100 companies and to become “Europe & Israel Company of the Year,” said Christoph Ostermann, CEO of Sonnenbatterie. “Clean and affordable energy for all is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Bringing together the world’s most promising cleantech companies, Cleantech Group makes a substantial contribution for saving our planet’s health. Its Forums’ outstanding line-up of game-changing technology companies clearly shows that the world has the innovative power to overcome today’s huge challenges in environment and climate.”

The complete list of Awardees is listed below.

Company of the Year was awarded in each of three regions to the highest-ranked company from that region:

  • North America: Enlighted, a provider of lighting control systems for energy management applications
  • Europe & Israel: Sonnenbatterie, a pioneer in the rapidly growing storage market offering intelligent lithium-ion storage systems, including energy management and integration into virtual power plants.
  • Asia Pacific: Scinor, a provider of membrane-based water treatment technology

Other categories:

  • Rising Star of the Year, given to the highest-ranked new entrant on this year’s list: SIGFOX, a developer of ultra-narrow band technology for Machine-to-Machine communications and IoT applications
  • Continued Excellence, given to the highest-ranked of the companies that have made it onto the Global Cleantech 100 list for at least the last three consecutive years: Digital Lumens, a developer of intelligent LED-based lighting systems for industrial facilities that reduce lighting energy use and provide fully integrated controls and reporting capabilities
  • Early Stage Company of the Year, given to the highest-ranked product development stage company: Planet Labs, operator of a network of earth-observation satellites to provide open-source information on earth’s changing climate
  • Industrial Innovation Company of the Year, given to the highest-ranked company with the most impact on industrial energy efficiency: Phononic, is reinventing cooling and heating through disruptive solid state thermal management solutions for electronics cooling, cold storage refrigeration and transport and climate control (This award is sponsored by ABB Technology Ventures)
  • Smarter Buildings Company of the Year, given to the highest-ranked company best positioned to advance resource efficiency in the commercial building sector: FirstFuel Software, provider of commercial customer intelligence software for energy providers (This award is sponsored by GE Ventures)
  • Graduate of the Year, given to the company with the most impressive exit (as rated by the financial investors on the expert panel) of a Global Cleantech 100 alumnus company (i.e. that has at one time been on the Global Cleantech 100 list). The exit must have happened in the 12 months prior to the cut-off date (in 2015, the cut-off date was July 31): SolarEdge

Awards were also given in two investor categories:

  • Corporate Investor of the Year, given to the corporate investor with the largest percentage of its cleantech venture portfolio in the 2015 Global Cleantech 100 (with a minimum of three on the list, and a minimum of eight qualifying portfolio companies overall): Siemens Venture Capital
  • Financial Investor of the Year, given to the financial investor with the largest percentage of its cleantech venture portfolio in the 2015 Global Cleantech 100 (with a minimum of four on the list, and a minimum of 10 qualifying portfolio companies overall): EnerTech Capital

2015 Global Cleantech 100 Quick Facts:

  • 17 countries are represented in the 2015 list. The United States is the most highly represented country with 57 companies.
  • 33 of the Global Cleantech 100 have a Big Data component to their business model. The majority came from traditional big data sectors like Energy Efficiency or Smart Grid, but others are making headway in areas like Agriculture and Transportation, among others .
  • 12 Energy Storage companies made it to the 2015 list, compared to 7 in 2014, representing the biggest sector jump year-to-year. We see this as Energy Storage ‘trading places’ with Solar, which has conversely experienced a downward trend in the Global Cleantech 100.
  • The 2015 report featured six mega-themes of the Global Cleantech 100:
  1. More Power To All: Democratizing Energy Access
  2. The Multi-Dimensional Solutions for Utilities and Their Customers
  3. The Big Data and Internet of Things (IOT) Tools for Monitoring the Planet
  4. The Latest Materials for Advanced Manufacturing
  5. The Food Frenzy Makes Its Way into the Circular Economy
  6. Financing Solutions Accelerate Technology Adoption at the Customer End


About Cleantech Group

Founded in 2002, Cleantech Group’s mission is to accelerate sustainable innovation. Core to this mission are two components: online and offline working together. One is i3, an online platform that connects corporates with innovation at scale, by allowing them to find, vet, and connect with start-ups—efficiently building an innovation pipeline. The i3 platform comes to life at our global Events, which convene corporates and start-ups, along with other players shaping the future of sustainable innovation.

Cleantech Group is headquartered in San Francisco, has an office in London, and clients from more than 30 countries across 5 continents. It was recently acquired by Enovation Partners (see here for more details).

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Heather Matheson

Cleantech Group

Tel: +1 (415) 233-9714