This last month has seen the second company to be awarded with the Impact Investment Readiness Program – seif Label: CombaGroup.

The lettuce producers are already present in France, Geneva and Zurich. CombaGroup has developed a unique system with the potential to change the way we produce (and consume) our salads. In an industry where 68% of the salad is wasted they have found a way of locally producing fresh, tasty and beautiful lettuce that utilises 90% less land, 99% less water, 100% less chemicals and can potentially halve CO2 emission for each kg of eaten salad.

The lettuces have their roots suspended in the air, more or less like orchids, and their roots are regularly sprayed with the right mix of water and mineral salts (the same mix used in traditional agriculture) thanks to their aeroponics irrigation robots. What the plants do not use is recovered and recycled. Nothing is wasted at CombaGroup’s greenhouses.

It is precisely this significant lower environmental impact, together with their aeroponics system, their committed team members and belief in doing things differently what convinced the Impact Investment Readiness Program Jury members to award CombaGroup with the seif Label.

CombaGroup is a true role model for the Investment Readiness Program – seif Label. Through high-technology transfer they realize a scalable competitive high quality food production platform while protecting the environment by dramatically reducing water consumption, nutrients, and the CO2 footprint and eliminating the need for chemical pesticides.Lutz Nolte,Head of Start-up and Entrepreneurship at CTI

Developed in collaboration with the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI), the Impact Investment Readiness Program – seif Label offers social entrepreneurs tailored support in the groundwork required to present one’s company to impact investors. The seif Label acts therefore as a guarantee for impact investors while backing companies looking for financing.

CombaGroup is in the final stage of the CTI start-up coaching process, and have won the three rounds of Venture Kick prize, as well as have been voted in 2013 one of the Top 5 start-up newcomers in the list of the Top 100 Swiss Start-ups, ranking 32 overall.