Jan 6, 2020

BP aims to create energy tech unicorns

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

BP is revealing more info about Launchpad, a quietly formed internal unit aimed at creating billion-dollar technology companies — including firms that help produce oil-and-gas more efficiently.

Driving the news: BP says Launchpad is aimed at building five companies each worth a billion dollars — or "unicorns" in startup-speak — by 2025.

  • BP says it's aimed at the challenge of meeting growing energy demand with fewer emissions.
  • I learned about it — and confirmed with BP — from this Financial Times piece Sunday.

The intrigue: Launchpad is separate from BP Ventures, the company's internal VC arm.

"[H]ere we intend to majority-own or wholly-own companies that we can grow into large entities. These companies could be from outside or grown out of our technology."
BP spokesperson David Nicholas

Where it stands: Right now BP says Launchpad has three portfolio companies, including the subsurface data company Lytt and Stryde, a seismic technology firm. But it's slated to soon grow beyond oil-focused firms, per FT.

  • "Other companies in development include a predictive wind energy infrastructure maintenance platform and a carbon management and offsetting app," they report.

But, but, but: Yesterday's FT piece wasn't the first revelation of the in-house unit. The Houston Chronicle briefly described it last May in a story focused on Lytt.

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Exclusive: IEA to track oil companies’ efforts on clean energy

Data: International Energy Agency; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The world’s oil and gas companies will undergo annual reviews by the International Energy Agency to assess how they’re doing on climate change and clean energy issues.

Driving the news: The group released a report on Sunday showing that oil and gas producers, including those owned by governments, spend on average just 1% of their total capital expenditure outside oil and gas.

Go deeperArrowJan 20, 2020

Hundreds at Amazon call for company to toughen climate policies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Hundreds of Amazon workers are pushing the company to adopt tougher policies to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change.

Why it matters: The employees are putting their names to their comments, posted on Medium, and the move defies Amazon's corporate policy.

Go deeperArrowJan 27, 2020

Microsoft vows to become "carbon negative" by 2030

Photo: Pedro Fiúza/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Microsoft vowed Thursday to be "carbon negative" by 2030 and announced new plans to fund emerging technologies and methods that pull CO2 directly from the atmosphere.

Why it matters: Those plans and other climate efforts Microsoft rolled out are perhaps the strongest among Big Tech companies.

Go deeperArrowJan 16, 2020