2022 Clean50 Nominee Spotlights: Clean Tech

By: Gavin Pitchford

The Clean50 received a record-breaking number of phenomenal submissions for the Clean Tech category for the 2022 Clean50 awards. We are constantly impressed by the size and scope of Canadian ingenuity – and this year, the number of individuals who responded to their Clean50 nominations – and the inventive solutions they have sold around the world over the past two years.

In the context of Canada’s Clean50 Awards, Clean Technology refers to technology-based products readily available for sale right now and made or designed in Canada, that directly or indirectly reduce resource consumption, transform waste / create resources, or enhance sustainability.

We are highlighting ten exceptional nominees who have submitted their responses in this category. Unfortunately, we cannot recognize all of these individuals as Clean50 honouree; however, each of the individuals mentioned below is worthy of recognition.

We hope to inspire you by spotlighting the extraordinary efforts these individuals have put into advancing sustainability since January 2019. The Clean50 judging panel certainly has their work cut out for them this year!

Nominees are presented in alphabetical order by surname:

Jaeson Cardiff

CleanO2 Carbon Capture Technologies – Calgary, Alberta

A problem solver at heart, Jaeson Cardiff has been a plumber and gas fitter for over 20 years and recognized that the heating industry needed to do more to move towards the eventual elimination of carbon emissions. Fifteen years ago, he started the wheels in motion, and CleanO2 was born. They built an auxiliary device that operates by diverting a portion of the gases generated by burning natural gas through their system where the carbon dioxide is removed, and the heat is recovered. The spent CO2 is stored to be turned into useful products. One byproduct is CleanO2 soap, used by some of the same hotels deploying the technology.  CleanO2 and CARBiN-X are helping industries that rely on natural gas as an energy source in reducing their carbon output.

Dr. Sankar Das Gupta

Electrovaya Inc. – Mississauga, Ontario

Sankar is an award-winning scientist with over 50 US patents who is passionate about the urgency to reduce the effects of Climate Change. He has pioneered the development of Lithium-Ion batteries and Clean Energy in Transportation and showcased the first electric car in the USA powered by lithium-ion batteries in 2003. The first electric vehicle in Europe powered by Lithium-Ion batteries was also showcased by Electrovaya in 2004 using Daimler’s Smart car chassis. Sankar has been a member of many committees including the White House Committee on Energy & Environment, chaired by then Vice President Al Gore, and was recently an Advisor to the Indian PM Modi on Climate Change and Energy Transformation. Sankar received his doctorate from Imperial College, London, and is a graduate of Presidency College, Calcutta. He serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Toronto. Sankar has led Electrovaya with a focus on technology development and innovation to establish an industry-leading lithium-ion battery with exceptional energy capacity, cycle life, and safety with applications in aerospace, e-lift-trucks, e-buses, e-cars, and energy storage.

Danial Hadizadeh

Mitrex Integrated Solar Technology – Toronto, Ontario

Danial expects to transform the Canadian construction industry by developing the world’s first customizable and affordable Building-Integrated Photovoltaic-based cladding system for different structures spanning residential, industrial, and commercial buildings. Mitrex’s patent-pending solar cladding solutions are designed to displace existing, non-solar cladding products and in the process, mainstream solar cladding into the price-sensitive construction market. Mitrex can make the world cleaner by transforming any structure into a renewable, energy-generating powerplant. The $150 Million+, 100,000 ft2 Toronto-based manufacturing facility is supporting 150 new green economy jobs in R&D, design, and manufacturing. Larger plants are slated for construction by 2023 in Canada and the US to serve a range of North American markets. He’s taking orders!

Matt Harper

Invinity Energy Systems – Vancouver, British Columbia

Invinity Energy Systems is the world’s leading provider of durable, sustainable solutions for grid-scale energy storage. By making renewable power available on-demand, Invinity paves the way for intermittent wind and solar generation to be the foundation of a net-zero grid, while still delivering the low-cost, reliable electricity supply that our industries and society demand. Since co-founding the company in 2013 Matt has not only led the development and commercialization of Invinity’s vanadium flow batteries (or “VFBs”) but has led the company from a napkin sketch to a public listing in London, a staff of 150 of whom over 65 are in Vancouver, a rapidly growing order book and an increasingly compelling market position in the global race to net zero. The London-traded (LSE:IES) public company now operates the largest fleet of VFBs ever deployed.

Tim Johnston

Li-Cycle Corp. – Toronto, Ontario

The Li-Cycle team has innovated and commercialized a sustainable and profitable fit-for-purpose patented lithium-ion battery resource recovery solution from the ground up. Li-Cycle’s technology is better, both environmentally and economically than the high-temperature incumbent solutions that have dominated the lithium battery recycling market to date. They have validated recovery rates of up to 95% of all critical battery materials, substantially outperforming prior traditional benchmarks of under 50%. These patented processes yield an estimated 34% reduction of GHG emissions when compared to high-temperature recycling processes. Furthermore, Li-Cycle’s facilities and closed-loop processes optimize water usage, producing minimal clean water discharge. Finally, the team has struck industry-leading partnerships for ‘new age’ lithium-ion battery recycling, to support our battery-powered electrified future.

Jean-Francois Leroux

Sketch Nanotechnologies Inc. – Saint-Laurent, Québec

Sketch Nanotechnologies Inc. has developed three key technologies offering green refurbishment possibilities to encourage actions in line with a circular economy and extend the lifespan of existing infrastructure: SketchThermo, SketchMinero and Sketch Thermo-Shield®. SketchThermo is a thermal insulation liquid coating for windows that blocks ultraviolet (UV) and infrared rays (IRs), while maintaining high visible light transmission and also extends the lifespan of windows by 15 years. SketchMinero has been the mineralization leader for over 20 years, waterproofing and prolonging the life span of porous materials like stones and concrete. Finally, Sketch Thermo-Shield®’s reflective, refractive, and conductive properties serve to lower energy costs in all types of climates and protect the building envelope, which produces energy-saving up to 15-20%. Sketch Nano products are mineral or water-based and better for the environment. Over the past 27 months, Sketch Nano has sold 165,000 square feet of the SketchThermo, installed in over 71 buildings in Canada, resulting in 10-20% energy savings per unit. Sketch Nano actively participates in giving materials and substrates a second life, enhancing their performance, actively promoting circular economy while reducing energy over-use. 

Derek Lim Soo & Imran Noorani

Peak Power – Toronto, Ontario

Peak Power’s AI-powered analytics platform has transformed over 10M square feet of commercial real estate – representing 200 GWh of annual energy demand – into sustainable grid-connected resources. Over 50kt of CO2e of Canada’s emissions have been reduced as a result. Peak has deployed a combination of hardware (sensors, batteries, bidirectional EV chargers) and software (Peak Insight) to both provide energy efficiency and load shaping services, both of which reduce GHG emissions. Peak’s technology has resulted in about a 12% efficiency reduction in YoY energy use across CRE clients. Peak’s load shaping services have positively impacted the grid by reducing client energy use during the most critical peak hours with over 90% accuracy – providing the grid with much-needed relief from firing up dirty natural gas peaking plants or even implementing rolling blackouts. Peak’s emissions impact also includes PM, NOx, SOX, VOC mitigation of 1, 54, 93, and 0.5 metric tonnes annually.

Dan Parmar

Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc. – Vancouver, British Columbia

Dan Parmar is the President and CEO of Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc. (“Ostara”), a leader of breakthrough technology with a vision to feed the world while protecting its precious resources. Ostara recovers critical nutrients from wastewater around the globe and transforms them into an environmentally friendly and agronomically beneficial fertilizer. Nutrient run-off from farms entering the water table contributes to the creation of toxic algae blooms that lead to dead zones in water bodies (ie. eutrophication). Using Crystal Green® fertilizer in a typical crop application will reduce leaching/run-off (and other phosphate losses) into water by at least 25%. Further, the typical crop application of Crystal Green has the potential to reduce fresh-water eutrophication by between 9-60%, and marine eutrophication by 6-33%. Mr. Parmar is growing the adoption and implementation of Ostara’s sustainable solutions through impactful leadership and innovative thinking. With his passion for transforming innovative technologies into commercial reality, Mr. Parmar has facilitated Ostara’s business growth as a key player in the global water and agricultural industries.

Paul Raymer

SoilOptix Inc. – Tavistock, Ontario

Growing up on his family’s dairy farm, Paul realized greatly of missing opportunities of valuable data for growers in various aspects of agriculture. Old age practices require new technology advancements and innovations to progress the higher demand for stronger healthier crops. Paul (Co-founder & President) of SoilOptix® Inc., through research and development, created the SoilOptix® service (high-definition soil maps) using the data from a gamma-ray spectrometer developed from Holland. The SoilOptix system can detect the soil’s natural decay and the radiation which it emits and assist in monetizing total sequestering carbon in a sustainably focused cropping landscape. In the past year, this service provides growers worldwide the most accurate high-definition soil maps in various macro and micronutrients as well as textures. The valuable information gained from these maps provides agronomists and service providers the potential to create carbon maps to accurately map both organic and active carbon in the soil.

Louis Tremblay

FLO | AddEnergie – Quebec, Quebec

Louis Tremblay co-founded FLO | AddEnergie in 2009, with a mission to accelerate EV adoption. The company he created quickly focused on delivering a flawless charging experience to EV drivers, controlling, and ensuring quality for all key steps involved in EV charging: From hardware design and manufacturing to software, network operations and customer support. With this ambitious model, the company quickly expanded to become Canada’s top EV charging network and provider of charging equipment. Today, FLO | AddEnergie has produced over 45,000 Level 2 and Level 3 EV chargers, sold in Canada and in the US. In addition to being present in all major Canadian cities, the FLO network is now also present in Los Angeles, and New York City. Accelerating EV adoption is how FLO | AddEnergie vows to support the fight against climate change. Its focus on high-quality charging experience has enabled the company to have a significant impact as Canada has started to embrace greater EV adoption.