Amazon has launched its second sustainability accelerator for start-ups leading innovation and development of recycling technologies.

Launched in partnership with climate innovation hub EIT Climate-KIC and UK-based climate action NGO WRAP, the accelerator welcomes early-stage start-ups and small businesses leading innovation in sustainable consumer products and recycling technologies.

As a part of the accelerator programme, founders learn how to navigate the challenges of starting and scaling a sustainable business. The 12-week programme consists of various “expert-led virtual and in-person workshops, specialised mentorship, a tailored curriculum and access to a network of like-minded founders”. 

Last year’s accelerator saw more than 1,300 applications of which 12 were accepted including SURI, a UK-based start-up that uses plant-based materials to manufacture and sell electric reusable toothbrushes.

The participants from last year raised more than £4.5m as part of the programme and saw an average of 250% increase in sales on and off Amazon.

Amazon UK country manager John Boumphrey said: “Innovation is in Amazon’s DNA and through Amazon Sustainability Accelerator we’re looking for sustainability-focused entrepreneurs ready to scale their business and shake up their industries.

“The Accelerator is open to entrepreneurs across Europe and I’d love to see the UK’s talent and innovation represented amongst the shortlist.”

EIT Climate-KIC chief executive Dr Kirsten Dunlop said: “We need radical collaboration between industry and business, policy-makers, and financiers to both connect innovative solutions to one another and shape new markets to bring about bold systemic change.

“Our accelerator programmes set out innovation challenges that encourage entrepreneurs to put these systemic challenges at the very heart of their business solutions.

“At EIT Climate-KIC, we look forward to this new edition of the Amazon sustainability accelerator and to the new solutions that will create opportunities to connect into large-scale, systemic implementation.”