Investors who have shied away from clean-tech companies for the past two years haven’t lost interest, but are broadening their scope into more areas of sustainability, according to a report by Cleantech IQ [PDF].
“The definition of ‘clean tech’ has expanded greatly. There is still some perception that when you talk about clean tech, you’re talking about a technology risk on solar, wind and biomass,” Craig Metrick, leader of Mercer‘s US Responsible Investment Practice, told Cleantech IQ.
While venture capital has pulled back from those sectors lately, plenty of opportunities exist in energy efficiency, pollution control, water and waste management — sustainability sectors that support clean tech and advance environmental progress without the same degree of exposure.
Venture Capital firms are also pushing the sustainability envelope further to organic products, vegan foods, transportation platforms and “clean web” products. BrightFarms, for instance, builds rooftop gardens and hydroponic greenhouses attached to supermarkets.
These companies are taking advantage of the appeal of green investment, without the regulatory and technological ambiguity that’s often associated with renewable energy — which also needs hundreds of millions of dollars and decades to commercialize.