As Amazon continues to support innovative small businesses who are providing solutions to the climate crisis, the Amazon Sustainability Accelerator 2024 is once again open for applications from 4 March.

Now in its third year, the programme is an intensive bootcamp designed to help entrepreneurs navigate the challenges of starting and scaling a sustainable business. It combines expert-led virtual and in-person workshops, specialised mentorship, a tailored curriculum, and access to a network of entrepreneurs in the sustainability sector including past participants.

Learn how we invent and test new packaging to eliminate waste, ensure products arrive safely, and end “wrap rage” for our customers.

The Accelerator is run in partnership with EIT Climate-KIC, Europe’s leading climate innovation agency, and innovation strategy consultants Founders Intelligence, part of Accenture. In 2023, it welcomed applications from climate-tech businesses offering consumer products and recycling technologies, and the 2024 edition has been expanded to include two additional categories: packaging and energy in buildings – a reflection of the growing sustainable startup ecosystem.

The programme equips entrepreneurs with the skills and opportunities to grow their business and positively impact the environment. Since launching in 2022, the programme has supported more than 25 startups across the UK and Europe, provided over $1 million in grants and credits, and helped those businesses increase sales by 700% and raise over £16 million to date.

Selected businesses participate in an intense programme and pitch for the chance to secure a pilot with Amazon. If selected, your startup will work jointly with Amazon to scope a pilot proposal and receive cash grants to support their businesses. You would also receive AWS Activate Credits, allowing you to scale your business through the cloud from day one.

But these aren’t the only benefits the programme has to offer. If you’re looking to grow your sustainability business, here are five more reasons to apply:

1. You ’ll learn from experts in startup growth

The Amazon Sustainability Accelerator brings together some of the world’s leading experts in startup growth, climate innovation and industry-specific verticals, and gives participants the chance to access mentorship and advice tailored to their specific field.

As part of the cohort, you can benefit from knowledge and best practice sharing to help take your business to the next level.

SURI, UK based sustainable toothbrush company, is aiming to tackle plastic pollution with over 4 billion toothbrushes thrown away each year. The company was still in the concept stage when joining the Amazon Sustainability Accelerator allowing them to “increase our gross revenue to over £10 million in the last 12 months," and providing them with "unparalleled access to resources and expertise,” according to Mark Rushmore, Co-Founder.

The founders of SURI at Amazon's London Headquarters
Gyve Safavi, Mike Peters, Mark Rushmore and Harry Brannan of SURI

2. The curriculum is tailored to small businesses in the sustainability sector

Participants in the programme benefit from a curriculum tailored for their own industry-specific challenges. They take part in workshops and bootcamps that offer them tools to grow their businesses, and hear from expert speakers who inspire and help them on their way.

"This year’s Accelerator broadens its scope to encompass startups dedicated to decarbonisation, circularity, and resilient value chains,” said Kirsten Dunlop, CEO of EIT Climate KIC. “This expansion reflects the need to accelerate a fundamental shift in sustainable business practices and in lifestyles that use less energy, resources and materials, reaffirming our commitment to fostering impact-driven entrepreneurship for a just, climate-resilient, beautiful future for all.”

For the fourth year in a row, Amazon is the largest purchaser of renewable energy worldwide.

3. You can access the Amazon Sustainability Accelerator from anywhere

The Accelerator is open to startups from the UK, the European Economic Area, and Switzerland. In-person sessions will be held in London with an allowance for travel and expenses. Virtual options are available, allowing entrepreneurs from all over the region to get involved without having to take time out to travel.

4. You ’ll get a Climate Impact Assessment for your business

The team at Matoha Instrumentation, one of the Amazon Sustainability Accelerator 2023 cohort

Participants in the Amazon Sustainability Accelerator’s product cohort get a free bespoke Climate Impact Assessment to help founders understand the potential climate impact of their business. With help from the experts, you can then develop strategies to maximise it.

5. You’ll join a thriving community of sustainability startups

Beyond experts and mentors, participants in the programme are part of a large and diverse community of startups across the UK and Europe, who inspire and learn from each other.

If selected, you will have the opportunity to connect with alumni and join network events to meet more than 25 other businesses who have already benefited from the programme after graduation.

Grub Club, a startup selling high protein insect-based pet food in the UK, has seen year-on-year growth of 290%, since joining the Amazon Sustainability Accelerator in 2022, driving forward their ambition to reduce CO2 emissions through their sustainable pet food. Co-Founder, Alessandro di Trapani said, “We currently still share office space with 4 other startups from our cohort too, which is testament to the amazing network that we’ve gained from the accelerator.

Meet The Experts

The programme will bring together a team of leading startup and sustainability experts, including Ben Honan, Investment Lead, EIT Climate-KIC; Sandra Steving, Villegas, Partner & Head of Sustainability, Founders Intelligence; Kirsty Macdonald, Investment Principal, JamJar; and Zak Watts, Director, Europe Sustainability, Amazon.

“Our aim is for the Amazon Sustainability Accelerator to be the best place in the world for entrepreneurs to create cutting-edge sustainable products and technologies, and we want to help them reach their dream of building a business with unicorn potential,” said Zak Watts, Amazon‘s Director of Sustainability in Europe.

“I’m so excited we’re able to expand this year’s accelerator into new categories and verticals, welcoming later stage startups into the Amazon Sustainability Accelerator programme, to help supercharge their growth, and realise the potential of a more sustainable economy.”

Apply to the Amazon Sustainability Accelerator.