This analysis answers the question of which companies and research institutions are particularly suited to make a significant contribution to climate protection, climate adaptation and sustainability due to their strong innovative power in new technologies.
In the climate protection and sustainability discussion, companies are primarily seen as „climate sinners“. In the current trend toward sustainable investment, they are evaluated primarily in terms of their negative contribution, for example in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. This ignores the fact that climate targets cannot be achieved without the innovative strength of companies and research institutions.
We analyze the innovative power of companies and research institutions in a total of 90 climate protection and sustainability technologies (greentechs) using the international patent system with a focus on the highest quality patents – the world class patents. The result is a list of 2500 companies and institutions which are in the position to shape green technological progress in the years to come. Since patents are a forward looking indicator, we can expect significant advances and revolutionary developments in green technologies from these companies and institutions.
The results are clustered into five major green technology areas: Energy and Material Efficiency, Renewable Energy and Storage, Mobility, Sustainable Consumption and Climate Change Mitigation. These clusters show that it is far from being just a best-of of renewable energy technologies. These are an essential part of the analysis, but equally important are energy and material efficiency technologies that can lead to energy savings or more efficient production. Adaptation measures to the climate change already underway cannot be ignored. Here, too, technological progress can limit the negative effects, at least in part.
In addition to the global view, the analysis shows the most innovative companies in climate protection and sustainability technologies in the individual countries. Identifying the national champions can help to better dovetail national policies, economic activities and societal goals.