Where ESG meets Innovation

This blog showcases Israel’s Innovation for a better world. Some takeaways from Planetech22 Event.

Jeffrey Levine

1/1/20236 min read

Where ESG meets Innovation

This blog showcases Israel’s Innovation for a better world. Some takeaways from Planetech22 Event. https://www.planetech.org/planetech-world

Great to be back to a live event, and it was a special day at the Plantech22 event in Tel Aviv. The event featured Innovation meeting the climate change challenge. I attended the conference as a journalist, and when registering, I was asked to describe what I do. On the spot, I said I was an activist. And this little article is a good of example of activism. I am very enthusiastic about the potential for change. This change is not only environment or social but also a big economic opportunity for any person or business to consider. There are a host of business and economic opportunities here.

When I started focusing on ESG – Environment, Social and Governance, I coined the phrase where ESG meets Innovation. The premise is that Innovation is needed to make the world a better place. This is a big opportunity for Israel to make a global Impact. In order to bring about change, the starting point is a change in mindset. This is true for the Individual, companies, and government. We are in the process of a Global Reset – the way we live our lives, and I want to share some inspirational Innovations that can make a difference.

There are some themes I want to share here - buildings, urban farming, ESG in the City, carbon capture/sequestration, new energy types, and recycling.


One key challenge of the building is the amount of concrete that is used which accounts for at least 8 per cent of all the world's CO2 emissions. What if we could reduce the amount of concrete in buildings? Meet Structure Pal eliminating concrete over-design with A.I. Not only is there less concrete being used, but this should result in cost savings and be a no-brainer for real estate developers. https://www.structure-pal.com/

The holy grail is having solar electricity integrated into buildings.

Meet Kenotomi, whose mission is: ‘The Future of Urban Solar - Positively impact the global climate with cutting edge technology. The idea is to integrate the solution into the walls of the buildings, walls in general, shade coverings and a host of other applications. If this is successful, then this revolutionizes the way we extract electricity. https://kenotomi.com

Urban Farming

The general idea of urban farming is to grow produce locally, save on unnecessary transport costs and emissions and provide lower-cost and higher-quality fresh produce – vegetables and flowers. There are a number of solutions that are being promoted in this area.

I want to share two of these:

Meet Bing Klima, who has a lovely solution of urban farming & solar electricity generation. Bing Klima's mission is for “anyone can grow their own food and contribute to the environment by doing so - Anywhere Any season”. They have a dual-use technology that enables urban agrivoltaic projects on roofs or gardens that use Solar energy and natural lighting, reduce urban heat load and greenhouse gas emissions, provide fresh produce and create double income. https://www.bing-klima.com

I want to highlight another interesting hi-tech vertical farming solution. This is a good use case for supermarkets to implement or the use of older industrial buildings; unused space could be converted into urban farming projects in city-wide projects. Meet Growin – “Growin smart farming is turning vacant urban spaces into productive green vertical modular farms. Our system uses computer simulations to conduct early tests to evaluate how a variety may perform when faced with different subclimates, nutrition’s, weather patterns, and other factors, and based on machine learning, our growing units are more accurate, efficient, and capable of evaluating a much wider set of variables.” https://growin.ag/

ESG in City

I want to highlight that ESG is for more than just companies. Every city, regional council or government needs to have an ESG strategy and work with local businesses. Here I want to include the social aspect. - looking after the less fortunate, and a great example could be supermarkets to sell near the end of shelf life produce at lower prices and, in some cases, distribute this to the poor. There should be a city and supermarkets project in every city to encourage this, and new legislation to make this compulsory. If the government can tax plastics and sugar, surely the government can encourage lower food prices, reduce food waste and use this opportunity to support lower-income families.

There are already tech solutions to enable this – Meet – Wasteless, who are helping supermarkets and online grocery stores recapture the full value of their perishable products and reduce food waste through AI-powered dynamic pricing. https://www.wasteless.com

Cities / or Regional Councils have a big advantage and are in a prime position to lead this. They have a direct relationship with people in their cities – through the provision of services, charging rates, water, and building and urban renewal. Not only people but business – small, and big – Supermarkets, shopping centres, Industries and farming. What about the G- Governance? Governance and government – national and local. Requires initiatives, legislation (laws), incentives, fines, procedures and more, It starts with education and awareness and then risk and opportunity assessment. it will require measurement, accountability and transparency and programs to bring out about the change. With all the available solutions - our cities and our mayors are in the best position to drive this. Some cities are already started sustainability initiatives (also in Israel) to tackle this.

However, we as “tax” payers have an important role to play here – through awareness, discussions with local members of the city council, activism and more. ESG principles should drive measurability and accountability. For example – We are asked to recycle glass, plastic bottles and more – how do we know the environment impact and are our plastics etc, really being recycled? There should also be legislation, fines and incentives also to encourage more transparency and accountability, “green” build, urban farming and more.

Carbon Extraction

One of the strategies for Target 1.5% Emissions is carbon extracting or sequestration. The global carbon capture, utilisation, and storage market was valued at $1.9 billion in 2020, and is projected to reach $7.0 billion by 2030; This is being led by the large fossil fuel & mining conglomerates that are being forced to become net zero. Besides natural sequestration from trees, there are a few initiatives of large-scale and expensive projects that are building carbon extraction plants (factories) with this carbon being stored under the sea. (which does not make sense to me).

Meet CO2Saas -CO2SaaS extracts CO2 from the seawater in a process resembling oil creation. https://www.co2saas.com


Water remains a major world challenge and need. The Co2Saas solution includes more efficiency and cost saving in desalination a major challenge and need for more water. While there were a number of agro-water efficiency solutions – some which improves both crop yield and water efficiency, I am still on the lookout for solutions similar to Watergen

https://www.watergen.com/ which can extract water from air or can save rainwater rain for agro and other user cases. Hydrogen Another holy grail is the ability to transport energy. Hydrogen is touted as the energy of the future.

Meet h2pro - https://www.h2pro.co/ “E-TAC is a revolutionary method for producing green hydrogen by splitting water that is over 95% efficient, safe, and cost-competitive with fossil-fuel hydrogen.” The vision is to connect Hydrogen to solar power stations and convert this to hydrogen, which is energy stored and then can be transferred to other locations by pipelines and other methods. If this concept works, then this is revolutionary!!


While there are some interesting companies involved in recycling plastic, what about recycling wood – wood, leftover wood shavings, trees that have been damaged by weather or that Ikea cupboard that has been tossed out?

Meet Daikawood - Daikawood is a new all-natural material composed of wood waste, giving industry a sustainable digital adaptation to current wood fabrication processes. https://daikawood.com/

With the increase in international online shopping, one of the major pain points is dealing with items that need to be returned or replaced. Not only is this a headache for everybody,but shipping costs could also be more than the item cost and unnecessary transport, Meet Otailo - Return Anywhere, Resell Anywhere – Otailio – is a smart and circular solution for online product returns management and resale leveraging your existing retail ecosystem https://otailo.com/

Call to action

The solution to climate change will be met by Innovation and various sources. I am very impressed by the solutions presented here; this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Upgrading ESG provides a holistic approach to upgrading ESG to Impact. Our Providers and Resources provide a framework for the CEO, CFO, board, and management to understand the risks and opportunities, needed action plans and processes, and measurement and to report to drive the company’s sustainability frameworks. However, once you know the metrics, the challenge is making efficiencies and bringing in projects to drive the business to net Zero. And that is why I am so excited by these technologies.

Each one has the potential to make a difference.

Meet – Upgrading ESG https://upgradingesg.com/ provides an opportunity for your company to upgrade ESG to Impact. I invite you to find out how we can help you in your ESG to Impact/sustainability journey.

Jeffrey Levine

Please reach out to by email Jeffrey@persofi.com or what’s app +972 54 6668182