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Centre for Commercial Law Studies

qLegal is proud to support sustainable start-ups

qLegal is delighted to be able to work with some of the start-ups prioritising social responsibility and environmental protection. Eco-friendly, energy-efficient and recyclable products and services are being increasingly developed by sustainability start-ups. “Tech for good” start-ups are focusing on inventing tools, devices, software, and apps to reduce plastic waste, promote vegan diets, analyse and report carbon footprint.


qLegal supports entrepreneurs and start-ups across all sectors, and has strong relationships with university enterprise clinics, including Imperial College London's own start-up incubator, Imperial Enterprise Lab, who often signpost clients to qLegal’s services. This academic year, qLegal had the opportunity to support several start-ups on its 1:1 legal advice clinic and placed over 14 students into sustainable businesses as part of its unique Externships programme offering. Postgraduate law students are placed for a 1-day a week work placement in a start-up for 6 months. The externs cannot provide legal advice, but they conduct legal research, flag issues, and help with tech and commercial matters including AI capacity building, and marketing and communications.

qLegal is proud to work with a variety of sustainable businesses hosting externs during the 2022-2023 academic year. This list includes businesses that are:

Supporting nature protection and rehabilitation:

They value nature and offer local forestry investment portfolios, direct finances towards nature conservation initiatives using their data or provide consultancy services on how to preserve the world’s biodiversity.

  • Alo Mundus helps businesses to create sustainable urban environments through targeted local forestry investment portfolios. The benefits of investing in forestry include carbon offsetting and improved air quality.
  • Treeconomy uses technology to quantify, track and deliver reliable data to help markets direct private finance towards carbon offsetting initiatives that reverse nature loss and combat climate change.
  • Biodiversify is a consultancy working at the forefront of biodiversity sustainability. Their team of leaders from data scientists to decision-makers work to find new and innovative ways to preserve the world’s biodiversity.

Using tech/AI to monitor and enhance sustainability and sustainable choices:

They are leveraging the power of modern technology to measure and monitor how different industries affect the environment. By sharing the data with analysts, asset managers, and customers they create space for more sustainable choices.

  • Orbio Earth is creating a world-first dataset of high-frequency, multi-scale methane emission quantification for any location on earth by leveraging the power of satellite data and reconciliation algorithms. This dataset helps analysts and asset managers to benchmark emissions and prioritise reduction opportunities on global scales.
  • Qtrace is building a quality control tool that utilises AI, image recognition and machine learning to assess the quality of seafood at each stage of the cold chain.
  • Karfu is a mobility (i.e. the vehicles, technologies, products and services) comparison website. Their platform guide users to make conscious decisions on which are the best vehicle or access options based on their needs, location, budget, preferences, and environmental impact.

Developing recyclable products, or recycle by-products:

They find ways to develop and reuse products, such as turbines, potato plant and food packaging which would not be reused or recycled traditionally.

Eva. Turbines developed recyclable turbines which generate energy using the turbulent airflow of transport.

fibe is developing sustainable fibres from potato plant, the massive by-product/waste left over potato harvesting worldwide. 

Moree developed a reusable packaging to encourage and make it easier for businesses to switch to reusable packaging.

Creating eco-friendly and energy-efficient batteries:

They make batteries more sustainable by implementing better methods to recycle them, using modelling to test them or create products providing easier access to electric car chargers.

  • Solveteq (a Payne Research Lab Spin-Out)’s technology replaces the most energy-intensive and polluting steps in the lead-acid battery recycling process with a low-temperature, solvent-based method.
  • About:Energy uses modelling to accelerate the development of new battery technologies and combines world-leading expertise in battery testing and software.
  • Nodum created the ChargeBridge installation to bridge the charge gap and enable users’ easier access to electric car chargers.

Food industry pioneers:

They are developing sustainable food products for customers and the cellular agriculture industry, that produces agricultural products from cell cultures (i.e. cultured meat).

  • Sow Foods – Radiant Foods’s plant-based meat product use 98% less land, 94% less water and emit 98% fewer carbon emissions without compromising the complete protein profile of meat.
  • Multus Biotechnology provides an all-in-one growth media solution for the cellular agriculture industry. They design advanced media formulations and ingredients for the food industry, helping them build a sustainable supply chain of scalable food-safe ingredients.

Recruitment of externship hosts for the 2023-2024 academic year will start in July 2023. If you are interested in joining the programme, please email qLegal looks forward to hearing from innovative businesses.



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