2015: Hack Food Waste


The Invitation

The George Washington University (GW) is inviting creatives, entrepreneurs, and hackers to compete in the 2015 Climathon on June 18th. They will develop real-world solutions addressing a specific climate change challenge, locally in Washington, D.C.  Residents and college students will compete for the opportunity to implement their idea, and travel to Paris for the showcase. The partnership led by GW’s Office of Sustainability, is hosted by the School of Business Institute of Corporate Responsibility, supported by the Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service, and serves the Washington D.C. Department of the Environment.


The Challenge

Climathon participants in the District will be addressing the challenge: How can public-private partnerships reduce food waste/loss generated by the District of Columbia’s residential or commercial sectors? Participants will develop innovative solutions which will lead to reductions in food waste/loss and carbon emissions, and will result in cost savings. Solutions can include products, apps, mapping, policy recommendations, visualizations, communication techniques, etc.

The Outcome

The winning idea from June will work with the host city over a six-month period to make the idea implementable. The Washington, D.C. partners will work together to test the winning solution and ensure real market potential. At the event in Paris, winners and their city will have the opportunity to showcase their developed business models/prototypes and seek investment and further support.

The Need

The District of Columbia is in need of data on the local waste stream, and a better understanding of its impact on climate change. Some greenhouse gas emissions can be traced directly to solid waste. Impacts of climate change are predicted to disproportionately affect disadvantaged communities in Washington D.C. and around the world. Real, local solutions are needed to curb the problem.

Press Release:
Partners: GW School of Business, Institute for Corporate Responsibility, Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service, and District of Columbia Department of Environment.

Sponsors: A big thank you to our sponsor Bertucci'sCanteenRoti and The Coca-Cola Company!