Cogo, Scoobic, Plastecowood – meet the sustainable startups that won Santander’s X Environmental Challenge

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There’s a growing number of startups focused on solving climate change and more broadly Global Goals related issues. And at the same time there is also a growing number of competitions designed to incentivise them.

Earlier this year Grupo Santander teamed up with the Oxentia Foundation to launch a competition to support entrepreneurs who have developed innovative ideas to build a more sustainable future.

The key entry criteria were that firstly the entrepreneurs had to hail from the countries where Banco Santander operates and secondly their companies needed recurring sales of at least one product or service and annual revenue between 200,000 and 5,000,000 euros.

An initial shortlist of 20 startups were given the chance to pitch to the judging panel and last week six winners were chosen. They’ll receive mentorship, media exposure and 20,000 euros each to support their development.

The six are;

CoGo Connecting Good Ltd.

Jointly based in the UK and New Zealand Cogo Connecting Good, has created an app that shows consumers and companies their carbon footprint in real time and then comes up with suggestions on how to reduce it. Users input their bank details into the app which then calculates a personalised carbon footprint that is linked directly to spending transactions and lifestyle choices.

The app’s personalised ethical recommendation engine then offers advice in reducing carbon footprint and increasing people-positive spend by committing to actions. 


Hailing from Santander’s home country of Spain Climatetrade is a blockchain marketplace where companies can buy carbon credits directly and with full transparency from mitigation project developers to offset their carbon footprint. Businesses can look through a series of projects across the globe and decide which is the most impactful way of offsetting their carbon emissions

SCOOBIC Urban Mobility

Another Spanish startup Scoobic Urban Mobility provides sustainable solutions for getting around in cities with last-mile vehicles. The company has created small electric-powered vehicles, that are aimed largely at delivery providers. They are greener and more nimble than vans and more versatile than motorbikes and cycles. Coming soon is the Scoobic Mouse, a delivery vehicle designed to operate in even the most narrow city streets.


Xilinat is a Mexico-based startup that transforms agricultural waste into natural sweeteners through a sustainable processing. Its core product is made from Xylitol , which the company obtains from corn cob – a raw material it buys from 13 farming families. The Xylitol is transformed into a natural sweetener through an environmentally friendly process.

Plastecowood Ltd.

Plastecowood is an innovative British company that  turns mixed plastics into durable, environmentally-friendly plastic lumber. It takes plastic waste, mainly from household collections, and reprocesses it to produce recycled plastic lumber – planks, boards, posts and profiles, primarily for external uses. It calls this range of high endurance, long-life products Smartawood. The company claims that for every tonne of Smartawood it creates, we save 700kg of carbon from landfill

Breeze Technologies

German company Breeze Technologies helps enterprises monitor, manage and optimise air quality indoors, in cities and in industrial settings. The company’s small-scale air quality sensors measure common pollutants like carbon and nitrogen oxides, ozone, particulate matter and many more. The company claims its competitive price point allows for new applications like smart air quality management in office buildings or large-scale environmental sensing in urban environments.


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