The Cleantech Group Taxonomy

Cleantech Group’s proprietary taxonomy reflects our up-to-date view on companies that are cleantech and innovative, applying the original and trademarked definition of the cleantech term (from 2003) to the market of today.

The Cleantech Group taxonomy includes innovative technologies that have the potential to:

Provide superior performance or decrease costs

Greatly reduce or eliminate negative ecological impact or enhance resilience to the effects of changing climate

Or Improve the productive use of regenerative resources or avoid the use of polluting resources

The Cleantech Group taxonomy includes companies that are innovating technologies that are materially different from incumbent solutions.

The taxonomy excludes those companies, that while being important users of innovative technologies, are not innovators of those technologies themselves:

  • Project developers
  • Marketplaces
  • Asset owner / operators
  • Contract manufacturing
  • Service providers (engineering, procurement, operations, and maintenance providers)

Reflecting our Real-time View of the World

Each company is tagged with specific technology types, to allow users to make granular comparisons and contrasts – there are over 1,400 unique tags in use.

The goal of the Cleantech Group taxonomy is to provide users the ability to build a bottom-up perspective on cleantech innovation’s trajectory and impact on the market.

The Cleantech Group taxonomy is comprised of 5 industry groups and 1 group of cross-cutting, enabling technologies that impact other groups:


A Sector is a category that breaks the industry group into mutually-exclusive technology buckets


Sub-sectors unpack the various product and service types


Segments identify the types of technological approaches to delivering the products or services in sub-sectors


Sub-segments land on the specific technologies used in the segment-level delivery of products and services 

Total Unique Tags

Companies are “tagged” using sub-sector, segment, or sub-segment categorizations

The taxonomy is actively managed to reflect our analyst’s views in real time

  • Analysts occasionally remove from the taxonomy categories technology that we do not yet believe offers a proven case for resource reduction or do not themselves innovate new technologies

  • Analysts occasionally re-tag companies to create a more accurate reflection of that company’s activities

In an effort to keep our network informed of how our view has changed, we release changes to our taxonomy every quarter, and explain how these changes are reflected in the data that we report to the world.

Industry Groups

We research these industry groups and their cross-cutting underlying enabling technologies with a focus on sustainable innovation:

Technologies and services that make the production of food more efficient and effective

Read the Latest Blogs in Agriculture & Food

See the Innovators Leading the Way in Agriculture & Food:

“In the year ahead, it will be worth keeping an eye on developing regulation around cell-cultured meat and soil carbon trading which will be crucial for the decarbonization potential of these fields to be realized.”

Jack Ellis, Senior Associate

Technologies, services and business models that accelerate the transition to renewable energy and optimize existing processes.

Read the Latest Blogs in Energy & Power

See the Innovators Leading the Way in Energy & Power:

“Energy and power innovators blew past a record year of fundraising seen in 2021, bolstered especially by investments in Europe and Asia Pacific.”

Anthony DeOrsey, Research Manager

Innovations which enable the efficient production of basic materials such steel, cement, and chemicals, or advanced materials used in other cleantech sectors

Read the Latest Blogs in Materials & Chemicals

See the Innovators Leading the Way in Materials & Chemicals:

“Venture funding to Materials & Chemicals innovators remained strong in 2022 with large investments flowing into technologies which address emissions of industrial processes — such as steel, cement, and chemicals — as well as textiles and packaging.”

Ian Hayton, Senior Associate

Technologies and services to protect and restore natural environments, sustainably source materials, prevent waste, improve the circularity of materials, adapt to climate change, and assess corporate environmental impact, carbon and offset markets

Read the Latest Blogs in Resources & Environment

See the Innovators Leading the Way in Resources & Environment:

“The high demand for offset credits combined with the magnitude of market challenges is seeing innovators flock to solve them.”

Holly Stower, Senior Associate

Vehicles, technologies and services that move people and goods with zero or low emissions, or in a more resource-efficient way

Read the Latest Blogs in Transportation & Logistics

See the Innovators Leading the Way in Transportation & Logistics:

“Energy corporates, automotive companies, and oil and gas players, are seizing the opportunity to invest and partner with innovators across the charging value chain, including both charging infrastructure and energy storage solutions.”

Nicole Cerulli & Zainab Gilani, Associates

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