Over 4,500 citizens worldwide engaged in more than 100 Climathons last year that generated thousands of innovative solutions to local climate problems. After a grueling selection process, just five solutions will compete for the “Most Transformative Idea of 2020” at the Climathon Awards on 21 January.
This edition of the Awards marks the 5-year anniversary of Climathon and the culmination of the inspiring efforts by citizens, cities, and Climathon organisers that joined the year-long programme to raise awareness, collaborate and rethink the future of our cities.
A public vote will determine what teams advance to the Climathon Awards. Take a closer look at the top five teams competing:
MATE, Climathon Zurich 2020
Climate challenge: Sustainable food education
Team: Aline Herzog, Chiara Schnoz, Lakshman Teja Lattipally, Laura Neufeldt-Schoeller, Rahel Reinhard
Solution: Mate is a Sustainable Food Ambassador Network for Swiss high schools to raise awareness, transmit knowledge and foster behavioral change through competitive incentives such as food consumption challenges. This brings out a competitive spirit in city schools and encourages school mensas to transition towards offering more planet-friendly meals. Each time a student chooses a planet-friendly meal, it will be registered and compared with other participating high schools. The solution can also be implemented in other contexts such as company challenges, enabling large-scale impact.
Impact potential: Overall, food consumption accounts for one-third of the environmental impact of consumption in Switzerland. Therefore, if Switzerland's people eat more sustainably, they would reduce the environmental footprint and make Switzerland more sustainable while improving its population's general health. By providing healthy and sustainable menus in the mensa and the necessary knowledge, MATE can empower society to make this behavioral change, starting with young people that influence many around them and who are in their formative years.
No Appetite for Waste, Climathon London 2020
Climate challenge: Food waste
Team: Benedicte de Gelder, Michelle (Ming Hui) Chok, Sepideh Noohi, Sophie Mosselmans
Solution: No Appetite for Waste is a 4-week programme designed to inspire, excite and equip primary schoolchildren and their parents with the knowledge and skills to tackle food waste. The yearly competition will run in April with the aim to reach 1 million people in London by 2023. The programme provides template activities anchored to key curriculum themes to make it compelling for teachers to embed food waste education in their teaching. Success will be measured by: the number of participants, tons of food waste and emissions saved, and overall cost savings.
Impact potential: UK schools produce 100k tons for food waste per year, generating 155K tons of CO2. London has 700K pupils in primary schools, so assuming each pupil can influence another 2 people (school staff, parents, siblings), that is a total of 2.1 million people that can be engaged in food waste reduction. No Appetite for Waste targets a younger generation who can bring knowledge and best practices home to their families, and grow up to live more sustainably as adults. Children are ultimately very impressionable at this young age, so the more aware they are about food waste, the higher the chance for making a real impact.
Green Penguin, Climathon Ljubljana, 2020
Climate challenge: Energy
Team: Mojca Markizeti, Thorsteinn Svanur Jónsson, Anton Birkir Sigfússon, Nuno Soares, Hossam Zaimi, Robi Zorman, Vladimir Milošević, Lara Šarabon Štojs, Mariia Iglova Andreuzz
Solution: Green Penguin is an environmental competition between Ljubljana schools that calculates CO2 reduction into something tangible that kids can easily grasp: penguins! If all schools and kindergartens of the Ljubljana municipality reduced their CO2 footprint by 15%, they could save 1,086 tons of CO2, which converts to 3,259 m³ of ice not melted or 3,259 penguins saved. The idea uses smart digital technologies to engage schoolchildren through gamification, achieving environmental and digital literacy for younger generations and a substantial reduction the city’s carbon footprint.
Impact potential: By targeting primary schools and kindergartens who are truly motivated by environmental impacts, the game can produce positive effects on the households of every participant. However, Green Penguin can be easily adapted for other organisations such as universities, public buildings, and even the private sector, such as hotels, retail stores, and others. Buildings are the largest contributors of CO2 emissions in the European Cities. Therefore, any impactful action on this sector has a tangible effect on the path towards net-zero emissions.
Ecopolis, Climathon Pasig 2020
Climate challenge: Food security
Team: Marie Sapuay, Rene Francis Dimalanta, Jaymee Ann Manguerra Alon, Gianina R. Custodio, Joni Galeste
Solution: Ecopolis is a holistic food security solution with two components: A mobile application (EcoLink) and a physical component (Floating Farms). The EcoLink mobile app aims to conveniently connect people to nearby compost sites and urban farms. This is considered the primary solution to address food insecurity, making fresh food locally available to Pasig communities. The Floating Farms utilise the city’s rivers to compensate for the lack of available land and offer more space to grow edible crops and to compost food waste.
Impact potential: The EcoLink app will make composting sites and urban farms visible to localities. This will lessen the travel of fresh food to consumers. It will promote composting to lessen food waste and will help increase crop yield and health and will help sequester carbon emissions in the soil. The Floating Farm will help educate dwellers near the riverbanks on how to manage the urban farm to have plentiful harvest and gain livelihood from it. It will be able to accommodate organic waste that can be used as organic compost for the urban farms within the city.
Green Invest, Climathon Stuttgart 2020
Climate challenge: Sustainable investment
Team: David Müller, Klemens Witte, Nicolas Maiwald, Karolina Stuhec-Meglic, Norbert Krain, Ulrich Botzenhardt
Solution: The transition to a low-carbon economy is slow. One of the major reasons: Investors are struggling to locate and assess sustainable projects while the willingness to invest is at an all-time high. To address that challenge, a community-driven investment platform like Green Invest will benefit everyone by facilitating the growth of sustainable projects. Users can quickly search for sustainable investment opportunities in their local area such as a new solar roof on a tennis court or building refurbishments. Investing starts as low as 10 EUR, making the energy transition accessible and catalyzing change at a large scale.
Impact potential: The global energy transition is not aligned with the Paris Agreement and funding is the No. 1 reason CO2-saving projects are not being realised. By creating a fun-to-use app and building a community of green investors our app can make investing in sustainable projects easy, safe, and accessible to everyone thus creating the change we need now. Our platform aims to rapidly reduce C02-emissions. Citizens who invest will be able to make a sustainable profit and grow their investments.