These 7 Chicago Greentech Companies Are Doing Right by the Environment

These companies are helping to create a greener future for the entire planet.

Written by James Risley
Published on Jun. 28, 2024
These 7 Chicago Greentech Companies Are Doing Right by the Environment
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While some big tech companies have huge environmental initiatives, like Apple’s goal to use 100 percent renewable energy, it’s the smaller companies building new tech that will likely lead to us to a more sustainable future.

With venture capital firms like Energy Foundry backing local, clean energy companies, Chicago is a great place to build your environment-saving startup. With that in mind, here are top Chicago companies helping to create a greener future for the entire planet.

Green Companies in Chicago to Know

  • LanzaTech
  • Sphera
  • Enablon
  • LuminAID
  • NETenergy 


Invenergy is a sustainability tech company focusing on green energy generation and storage facilities. Its projects include large-scale battery storage plants that bank energy from solar, wind and other sustainable sources for use as needed. Invenergy’s initiatives prevent approximately 64 million tons of CO2 emissions each year, highlighting its commitment to environmental responsibility.


Using carbon capture technology, LanzaTech takes the carbon that is created by heavy industry and biorecycles it into sustainable raw materials and consumer products. Its end goal is a circular carbon economy. The company operates three commercial plants and says its efforts since 2005 have resulted in more than 250,000 tons of carbon dioxide avoided. 


Sphera provides Integrated Risk Management software for Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) protocols. The company’s platform gives businesses a better understanding of their process safety risk levels, so they can work efficiently to reduce environmental impact and increase product stewardship. Dow, Siemens, ADM and BP are some of the biggest users of Sphera’s platform, so they can make their safety protocols safer and greener.


For many companies, going green is synonymous with spending green. But doing good for the environment can also boost your company’s bank account in the long run, and Enablon helps to make sure that happens. Enablon’s software solutions lets companies implement sustainable practices while maintaining profitability and ensuring regulatory compliance.


Changing the world with fancy new tech may improve the future, but plenty of people can benefit immediately from green tech initiatives, too. LuminAID makes solar lanterns that pack flat for easy shipping and transport. The little LED lights illuminate large areas thanks to an inflatable, opaque chamber. That means they’re a great addition to your emergency kit, but they also are in use around the world in areas that lack standard power sources.


In warmer months, a key way to cut down on energy use is to turn the air conditioning off when you can. But you don’t want your office full of overheated workers who can’t focus on the task at hand. NETenergy has created a thermal battery that stores cooling energy generated overnight for use during the day. While that cuts down on energy costs by cooling down during cooler parts of the day, it also uses energy in off-peak hours, which means energy companies are willing to give you a discount.


While moving toward greener renewable energy sources is a great goal, we can't just wait for that tech to take over. Making our current tech more efficient means we can squeeze more power out of the same amount of fuel. RedWave Energy captures heat that would otherwise be wasted, converting it into energy with the help of nanoantennas. 


Sara B.T. Thiel contributed reporting to this story. This article was originally published in 2016.

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