Could you imagine receiving your latest overseas delivery via a carbon neutral cargo ship? How about easily renting an electric vehicle in a rural area via a digital app? Or being able to calculate your vehicle’s carbon footprint and receive concrete suggestions on how to reduce and offset your emissions? Soon, these ideas will be a reality in Costa Rica.
Four start-ups presented their proposals for innovative solutions for transport and mobility during the final event of an incubation process held in February 2020 in San José, with the aim of finding financing options: SailCargo aims to transport organic products on the first carbon neutral cargo ship on the Pacific Ocean between North and South America powered by wind and electricity instead of bunker fuel. Via ECONDUCE’s digital app, users in rural areas will have access to a fleet of shared electric vehicles, aiming to improve particularly but not exclusively the mobility of women in those areas. GreenTrack‘s app monitors a vehicle’s fuel consumption, allows to calculate its carbon footprint and, subsequently, proposes recommendations for compensation. Lastly, FORTECH – experts in waste management and recycling – developed a proposal for Costa Rica’s first recycling centre for lithium batteries of electric vehicles.
The four start-ups belong to a group of seven in total, chosen by the GIZ-led projects MiTransporte and ACCION Clima II to participate in an extensive incubation process since 2019. During this process, the participants developed and fine-tuned their business models with a focus on mitigation with the help of experts on the subject matter. The additional three projects provide solutions related to agriculture and organic waste management.
“On behalf of GIZ, we are satisfied with the development of these seven ventures, which not only come to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Costa Rica, but to demonstrate that it is possible to innovate and do business with a focus on climate change. This is why we urge people and institutions to promote environmentally and climate-friendly businesses, which constitutes a sustainable way (to the extent of their economic profitability) to contribute to the national goals of decarbonisation of the economy”, said Claus Kruse, project manager of MiTransporte.
MiTransporte and ACCION Clima are funded within the International Climate Initiative of the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). MiTransporte is implemented by the German Development Cooperation GIZ and the Costa Rican Ministries for Environment and Energy (MINAE) as well as Public Works and Transport (MOPT) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).