The role that space can play in a greener future for us all is high on the agenda at today’s ESA Space Summit. A new ‘green dossier’ to be released alongside the event in Seville on 6-7 November showcases how ESA’s flagship business-to-business programme is fuelling an unprecedented growth in green and sustainable space-enabled commercial activities to address the challenges of climate change.

ESA works with businesses to develop commercially sustainable products and services that are supported by space for use on Earth, through its Business Applications and Space Solutions programme. The programme helps companies of all sizes in a host of areas ranging from agriculture and tourism to energy and transport.

Maria Mateo Ibora is the founder and chief executive of IBISA, whose pioneering climate insurance system, developed under the programme, uses satellite data to provide accurate and affordable cover to farmers in the developing world. Maria says: “Our collaboration with ESA has truly been a catalyst, bolstering our technological and commercial capabilities, while helping us to combat the everyday impact of climate change. As we look ahead, we see a landscape rich with opportunity.”

“We were delighted to work with ESA in our mission to bring climate-informed decision making to infrastructure investment and management worldwide,” says Tobias Engelmeier, co-founder and chief executive of VIDA, whose satellite-enabled sustainable infrastructure solution developed with ESA subsequently attracted €3 million in external funding. “It has empowered us to accelerate our growth, reach new markets and build our unique assessment tools that help to combat the challenges of climate change.”

Since 2010, the programme has invested more than €180 million into hundreds of green activities, launching 67 this year alone. These bring benefits to the economy and wider society, while supporting the global shift towards a carbon-neutral future.

With ESA’s help, businesses across Europe are helping to reduce waste, preserve habitats, lower energy consumption and emissions, and keep our air and waters clean. ESA’s ambitious green agenda does not stop here: the team continues to plant new seeds, while accelerating innovation through task forces that bring together stakeholders committed to the green transition.

Geraldine Naja, ESA’s Director of Commercialisation, Industry and Competitiveness, said: “The green dossier provides striking evidence of the contribution of the programme to furthering ESA’s green agenda. With almost half of its projects driving the green transition, ESA has its sights set firmly on a sustainable, carbon-neutral future.”

Nick Appleyard, Head of ESA’s Applications and Solutions Department, said: “The team has made remarkable strides forward in establishing space as an essential component in the transition to a green future. It also comes at a defining moment in the new space age, where space assets are becoming ever-more accessible in the drive to transform life on Earth – long may it continue.”

Together with advanced Earth observation technology and solutions, the green dossier is one of the building blocks of the Agency’s collaborative and multi-partner Space for a Green Future Accelerator initiative aimed at catalysing and scaling green solutions towards carbon neutrality by 2050.