Our world is facing one of the greatest challenges in modern history—climate change. There are many factors that contribute to climate change, including inefficient supply chains and it is evident that a big percentage of global emissions can be reduced in optimizing supply chains. Creating a more sustainable supply chain system requires a new holistic view over supply chains in many industries and moving from a linear to a circular economy could be a potential solution.
On October 22nd—two weeks before the COP26—o9 Solutions organized its first Climathon, a hackathon-style event based on Climate-KIC initiatives to crowdsource innovative solutions and business ideas focused on circular supply chains that could help tackle the climate crisis. This year’s event was virtual, which enabled us to include participants from across the globe.
The event included participants from the US, India, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Professionals and students with strong sustainability backgrounds formed teams and had less than 12 hours to come up with bright ideas for the overall challenge.
Participants could choose supply chain challenges from 4 different industries:
- Food sector
- Fashion and apparel
- Consumer electronics
- Public sector
To give the participants insights into current challenges across each industry, seven inspirational speakers presented during the kick-off.
- Georg Hantschke from Aioneers highlighted how sustainability can be achieved in supply chains and its impact on both producers and consumers.
- Anna Kulik from Hepp UK dived into transforming urban spaces into places for creatives and looking at modular solutions for building.
- Merijn Koops from Too Good To Go outlined the different challenges of the food supply chain, with a focus on groceries and restaurants.
- Lara Obst from The Climate Choice shared how reductions in supply chains can be achieved and on the metrics their start-up has created.
- Timo Bottema from Closing the Loop gave insights into consumer electronics and how a circularity can be achieved in that sector.
- Neha Malagi from Pangaia showed new ways of using materials for making clothing sustainable and durable.
- Bram van der Grinten from Impact Forecast showcased how startups can visualize the different aspects of their production and calculate their carbon emissions.
The day was a flurry of activity as teams brainstormed and developed innovative ideas. flew by very quickly – brainstorming and innovating. Each team could get advice from 11 dedicated mentors, who could grill the candidates with their questions and challenge them with tricky sustainability questions. Mentors were motivating the teams until their final pitch, which culminated with presentations in front of our expert jury. The jury panel consisted of 5 experts – Igor Rikalo, COO at o9 Solutions, Ana Badell, COO at Beautycounter, Das Dasgupta, CIO at Saatchi and Saatchi, Natalie Paret, Sustainability Manager at PVH, Stanton Thomas SVP Sustainability at o9 Solutions.
In the end the teams developed these amazing projects:
- Team Larch worked on a solution for circular packaging for the food sector
- Team Sutura worked on an app that connects consumers and tailors to facilitate circularity in the fashion industry
- Team Willow created a solution for a movable and collapsable bus stop
- Team Juggernauts had invented a new scheme to fight food waste
- Green Team worked on adjusting labels on packaging for reducing food going to waste
o9’s inaugural Climathon event was a great success. Our team was very impressed by the presentations and can’t wait for next year’s hackathon event!