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Sustainability Hamburg
© Mediaserver Hamburg / Konstantin Beck | Mediaserver

More and more startups are focusing their business ideas on the topics of climate protection and sustainability. The focus is on avoiding emissions, a sustainable circular economy and natural-based and innovative, recyclable materials. With their innovations, the founders want to conserve resources, implement future-oriented ideas and not lose sight of people and the environment. The more young entrepreneurs combine sustainable aspects with a scaling business model and a focus on profit, the greater their influence will be.

And it is not only consumers who are paying more and more attention to sustainability and environmental protection; investors are also showing increasing interest in startups with a green business model and recognise the potential of these companies to be both ecologically and economically successful.

© Florian Bison: Nadine Herbrich and Alessandro Cocco, founders of recyclehero
© Florian Bison: Nadine Herbrich and Alessandro Cocco, founders of recyclehero

Hamburg startups with a focus on sustainability

In Hamburg, numerous innovative companies are bringing about change with their ideas: the startup recyclehero, founded by Nadine Herbrich and Alessandro Cocco, is Germany's first social and climate-friendly collection service for waste paper, glass, clothes and articles with a refundable deposit.

The global B2B marketplace for circular plastics cirplus turns waste into valuable resources and advocates for a shift to 100% plastic circular economy.

Bioeconomy startup traceless materials has developed a natural ingredient-based alternative to plastics and aims to replace as much plastic as possible for a positive impact on the environment.

Lignopure is working to ensure that the plant substance lignin can be used in high-value applications such as in cosmetics, in food or in the pharmaceutical sector. The company wants to pave the way for a circular and bio-based economy.

Funding & Investors

Support Programmes & Organizations

  • Public Organizations


    KfW is one of the world's leading promotional banks. Since 1948, it has been working on behalf of the German federal and state governments to improve economic, social and ecological living conditions worldwide. In 2021 alone, it...
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  • Incubators, Accelerators & Company Builder

    Social Impact Award Deutschland

    SIA Germany is a nationwide education and incubation programme that supports young people in (further) developing their social and ecological ideas into successful social enterprises.
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  • Public Organizations

    Hamburg Investors Network (HIN)

    #WeMatch: The Hamburg Investors Network (HIN) brings active investors together with capital-seeking startups. As the first point of contact for business angels, family offices, VCs and CVCs, HIN offers access to the largest startup...
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  • Universities

    University of Europe for
    Applied Sciences (UE)

    The University of Europe for Applied Sciences is a state-recognised private university with campuses in Berlin, Potsdam ("UE Innovation Hub"), Hamburg, Iserlohn and the Virtual Campus ("Campus in the cloud"). The...
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With their products and business ideas, green startups provide sustainable solutions that have become indispensable in many areas today and are thus also shaping Hamburg's future. Currently in particularly high demand: sustainable concepts for social problems, such as the introduction of plastic alternatives on the market to reduce excessive plastic production or the implementation of exciting recycling concepts for a more environmentally friendly circular economy. 

Customers are also increasingly demanding that companies act socially and ecologically. Those who align their company and production accordingly will be able to strengthen their position in the market.

Sustainability Hamburg