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:
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
- 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
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.
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
“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.
“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
“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
“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
“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