As demand for sustainable tech soars, several companies are closing on the cherished $1 billion valuation


Karen Schuett sees money in muck. Lots of it. She is co-founder of Livestock Water Recycling, a fast-growing manufacturer of machines that turn farm animal waste into clean water, fertilizer and renewable natural gas feedstock. And she has an ambition: “We want to be the first manure unicorn.”

That could once have been dismissed as an entrepreneur’s overenthusiasm. Unicorn status — a valuation of $1 billion (U.S.) — is a marker usually connected with slick software companies like Shopify, not someone in wellies talking about manure. But LWR has been on a muddy march in recent years, expanding across North America and into Europe and the Middle East. Schuett says the company is growing so fast that its new office in Calgary is already too small. “It’s going to be a tight squeeze.”

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