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The Green Futures Hackathon: innovation toward a more sustainable world


The weekend of June 9th and 10th, a group of talented and passionate individuals gathered in Capgemini’s Accelerated Solutions Environment in San Francisco California for the Green Futures Hackathon. Over 36 intense hours, these individuals formed teams, brainstormed ideas, and set themselves to the task of producing viable tools to be used to help solve pressing sustainability issues.

The event capped off Capgemini’s observance of United Nations World Environment Week, which this year carried the goal of spreading awareness and spurring action on reducing waste and eliminating plastic pollution. In pursuit of that objective, we presented four categories for the teams to pursue in their solutions: The Circular Economy, Waste Reduction, Renewable Energy, and Sustainable Workplaces. While there is no shortage of sustainability issues and topics to choose from, these four challenges are particularly relevant as we attempt to rethink the way we approach waste in our lives and in our work, and move our world into a more sustainable future.

capgemini green futures hackathon

“It was my first public hackathon and I enjoyed the entire event. Thank you to Capgemini and the organizers for giving us a chance to learn new technologies and implement them.”

Although 10 teams made it through the weekend to final judging, three teams rose to the top:

1st Place: Smart Bin – Circular Economy and Waste Reduction Challenge

  • Using IBM Watson and Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform, the first place team developed a prototype system that would allow a smart recycling bin to use visual recognition to identify and inform the consumer which bin to allocate it into, and use machine learning to continuously improve its accuracy, taking human error out of the recycling process.

2nd Place: Green Score – Sustainable Workplaces

  • Using Amazon Web Services (AWS), Green Score developed a system which would take in information about the subject’s lifestyle and use that to calculate their “green score”, a numerical indicator of how sustainable they are. In addition, it would use predictive analytics to continually suggest the most impactful ways to improve the subject’s score. The solution was presented as being usable both by a sustainability-motivated individual, as well as by an enterprise to improve the overall sustainability of its workforce.

3rd Place: Green Karma – Circular Economy Challenge

  • Using IBM’s DSX and cloud platform, Green Karma proposed a blockchain-based application to be used by retailers to perform due diligence on the sustainability of their manufacturers and suppliers, ensuring that they are minimizing the environmental impact of their upstream supply chain. The team developed a compelling proposition of consumer advocacy encouraging adoption by retailers, which in turn would provide incentive to manufacturers to improve their standards so they would be more likely to be selected.

The weekend was jam-packed with learning experiences for all involved. The hackers received the opportunity to learn about some of the newest and most cutting-edge toolkits provided by our sponsors and apply them to real-world scenarios. The sponsors interacted with talented professionals from across multiple industries, and spread the great work that they are doing, not only on the frontier of technology, but also in environmental sustainability and corporate citizenship. And everyone came away with a renewed passion for sustainability and ideas for how to become champions of Green Futures in the marketplace and in outside life.

“The Green Futures hackathon was my second hackathon with Capgemini and they keep getting better. I believe that the app we made can make a real change for a greener future.”

Green Futures was organized by the North America Corporate Social Responsibility team and incredible volunteers from our CARES and MIC Employee Resource Groups, who put in many hours outside the scope of their billable work to take the event from idea to reality. Congratulations to the winners and a huge thank you to the sponsors, mentors, judges, organizing team, and volunteers.

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