This week, Tech Nation launched it's first programme for sustainability startups. Aimed at companies who can help the UK achieve its target of net zero greenhouse emissions by 2050, they are welcoming applications from companies creating electricity, energy, transport, mobility, agriculture, food systems, manufacturing and building technology. It comes at a time when major cities in the UK, such as London, have demonstrated a huge 59% reduction in carbon emissions during Lockdown and UK overall by a third.
The threat to an immediate return to pre-lockdown figures will come from a variety of sources, but predominantly from a return to travel with car useage playing a major factor. We have seen in recent weeks lots of talk about e-scooters for example and the government announced in May that trials would be brought forward by a year and rolled out nationally this summer. They will be a popular choice due to the ability to adhere to social distancing as we seek to continue to live with the threat of Covid-19.
It's fair to say that 2020 has highlighted a number of social and environmental movements, but it's not just a new craze. In 2019, impact investing reached a market size of over £400 billion. Many leading investment and venture funds are now looking to startups to demonstrate a sense of 'purpose" with a vision to tackle many of humanity's biggest challenges. This is also important when looking at attracting employees in order to achieve growth. The millennial generation, who will make up the majority of the workforce in the next few years, not only prefer to buy more sustainable products, but also have a preference to work for companies with a clear sustainable goal.
We will see a huge opportunity over the next decade for these vital startups to seek investment needed to tackle these issues. I, for one, am looking forward to working with many of them.