WWF Index: U.S. A Leader In Cleantech

How’s the U.S. doing when it comes to nurturing clean technology start-ups? Not too shabby at all, according to Coming Clean: The Global Cleantech Innovation Index 2012, a new report from the World Wildlife Federation (WWF), which ranked the U.S. fifth in the world for cleantech start-up creation, after Denmark, Israel, Sweden, and Finland.

That means that while countries like Germany and Scotland are driving renewable energy generation full speed ahead with government policies, partnerships, and carbon reduction targets, the countries ranked highest in the WWF’s index are those doing the most to nurture the entrepreneurial approach, leading the world in fostering cleantech innovation.


image via Shutterstock

Thirty-eight countries were evaluated on 15 indicators related to the creation and commercialization of cleantech start-ups, generating an index measuring each one’s potential (relative to its economic size), to produce entrepreneurial cleantech start-up companies and bring clean technology innovations to the market over the next 10 years.

While the U.S. came in fifth overall, in absolute terms (without factoring in economic size), the U.S. leads in many measures of cleantech innovation, as it currently boasts the greatest public cleantech R&D budget and the greatest number of cleantech start-ups and investors, as well as the most venture capital, private equity, and M&A deals in cleantech.

While North America and northern Europe lead with cleantech start-ups overall, the index also finds the Asia Pacific region performing well in terms of scaling up entrepreneurial cleantech companies to wider commercial success and revenue creation. And though it currently places 13th on the index, China was highlighted as leading in cleantech manufacturing, making a strong showing in early-stage growth, and indicating the potential to produce more early stage innovation in the future.

China is also rapidly gaining access to funding due to its success in raising money for cleantech-focused funds. (It has been home to the majority of cleantech IPOs since 2009, many of which listed on the recently established ChiNext board of the Shenzhen stock exchange.)

Another emerging cleantech start-up leader? India, which currently scores 12th on the index, but is performing well in fund-raising towards cleantech-focused funds and has shown plenty activity in later stage cleantech companies.

More information on the WWF’s Global Cleantech Innovation Index is available online.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

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