Cleantech is one industry that is getting a lot of attention. It is defined as products, services and processes which improve the use of natural resources; reduce negative environmental impacts; and increase existing efficiencies. It can cover energy; transport and logistics; water and wastewater; air and environment; advanced materials; recycling and waste; manufacturing; and agriculture.

Europe is where cleantech has been pioneered, and the Cleantech Forum in Copenhagen, organised by the well-networked Cleantech Group, set out the immense global challenges, as well as the huge opportunities, for cleantech. It is more than an industry; it is something that is going to influence every industry and business activity. Cleantech is a cross-cutting theme where companies are introducing new technologies to save the planet. Funders are bundling their cash with ethics to make good money. Locations are promoting themselves to attract ‘green-collar’ jobs and investment. Cleantech is one of the star performers in the realm of FDI.


Europe is the centre for cleantech development, following government encouragement through incentives, regulations and infrastructure adoption of clean technologies. The market opportunity is global, with the huge US green stimulus package and the rampant infrastructure growth of China providing two hot spots.

It is within this ‘go-for-it’ global melee that the Scandinavians have given us a hot list. The Cleantech Scandinavia network has published the Nordic Cleantech Fifty, a portrait of up-and-coming Scandinavian companies offering a broad range of innovative technologies to benefit our world. It is a bold branding exercise which puts the Nordics at the forefront of the European pack. They have launched their clean green public relations longboat, and are now powering across the globe.

Douglas Clark is director of Tenon techlocate, a site search and location marketing consultancy, which is part of the Tenon Group plc, a top 10 firm of accountants and business advisers.