Find a Solution that Measurably Improves Outcomes
in Sustainability


Global carbon dioxide emissions have reached 36 billion tons annually. These emissions are attributable in roughly equal parts to heavy-industry operations and fossil-fuel-based power plants, buildings (and the built environment) and transportation. The world continues to experience increases in highest recorded temperatures and days above historical average temperatures, as well as increasingly erratic weather patterns and extreme storm events. If we do not take action now, these conditions will continue and become irreversible.

Currently, the creation, expansion and growth of the hydrogen economy; the rapid increase in the electrification of transportation; and the dramatic growth in renewable energy generation and storage infrastructure are expected to reduce carbon emissions associated with homes, commercial buildings, already-electrified industrial processes and land-based transportation. However, emissions from many heavy industries, along with air and marine transportation, remain the same. A shift toward a lower-carbon economy via renewable energy sources and disruptive solutions is desperately needed in all sectors to face the climate challenge.

Even if all land-based transportation runs on 100% renewably generated electricity by 2050, in order to meet global climate goals — such as limiting the increase in global warming to no more than 2 more degrees Celsius — we would need to remove 10 to 20 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year from now through the end of the 21st century. The climate challenge cannot be solved by technology alone. Important factors like economics, policy, social behavior and health will all play a role. To achieve these goals, individuals from diverse backgrounds will need to think collectively and creatively to develop solutions that have the potential to solve one of the major challenges in our lifetime.




Reduce or offset the carbon footprint, at scale, emitted from industrial operations, commercial buildings, homes and multi-family dwellings, electricity production and/or transportation through an innovative, pragmatic, and commercially viable solution that integrates technology and/or data.


Judging Criteria


Teams will be evaluated based on the following four criteria*:


The team incorporates technology as a core component of the proposed solution and exhibits full understanding of its potential impact, readiness and applicability.


The solution is innovative with respect to its reliance on existing ideas, processes and/or products. For example, the team must convey evidence using research and demonstrate what makes its solution innovative.


The solution is realistic. The team has defined concrete next steps to implement the solution. The team also provides well-defined next steps and ample evidence to prove the solution’s feasibility.


The solution alludes to societal value. The team fully explains its structured thought process for identifying market need and societal value add.

* Criteria are subject to change.




$50,000 in total cash prizes for the sustainability track:

First Place

Second Place

Third Place


Important Dates

  • Registration Deadline: 2/5/2021
  • Business Plan Submission Deadline: 2/19/2021
  • Sustainability Track Final Round: 4/23/2021

Find Your Team


If you have a sustainability idea/team and are looking for members to join your team

If you are a participant and are looking for interesting teams to join


Next Steps


Register your Team

Sign up for E-Mails

Join us on Slack


FAQ and Contact Information


For FAQ, click here. For questions, please contact Jaymie Park, Innovation Challenge Program Manager at OR pop in to a virtual office hour held most Fridays from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.