Our COP26 Climate Change Hackathon

11 November 2021 - Published by Deirdre Buist
COP26 has been dominating the news and we're all looking at the World Leaders in Scotland, awaiting some key outcomes towards protecting the future of our planet. Such outcomes and real change must also come from individual inititatives at a local level. From 5th-7th November, SURFLOGH and partner SEStran co-sponsored a hackathon event to educate, empower and inspire action for climate change.

Hackathons are a great way of quickly coming up with creative solutions for a problem. So it was with great excitement that The Products of the Planet organized such an event during the COP26, co-sponsored by SURFLOGH and our Scottish partners at SEStran, amongst others.

Five teams, shared ambition

Over the course of the weekend, five teams with a shared ambition went full out to tackle one of the two challenges set – each with their own approach but all trying not to be overwhelmed by the enormity of the problems posed.  They worked hard to develop and prototype new products, under the guidance and support of team mentors. The most popular strategy?  Focussing on finding that one thing that could be impactful and making structured use of the limited time available. It’s an intense process for all participants, but also very rewarding.

Two challenges

Surflogh and SEStran sponsored one of the two hackathon challenges.

  • ‘We’re ordering more goods online than ever before. How can we reduce the number of repeated courier visits to each address, with a particular focus on residential locations.”


The teams choosing this challenge had to come up with ideas and solutions for the issues we all recognise as a result of online consumerism. The task could be approached from a logistics perspective, or by encouraging a behavioural change.

The CO2e conceptualisation challenge was sponsored by Pawprint and Bright Purple

  • ‘ How can we effectively communicate CO2e (CO2 equivalent impacts) to mobilise support and help communities make meaningful, tangible decisions?’


Resulting presentations

Two days of hard work culminated in inspiring presentations on innovative ways to empower action for climate change. The resulting ideas presented were:

  • Team Awkward with the ‘Good Neighbour’ app to incentivise people to accept parcels for others.

  • Team Lion with ‘Green Locker’ – consolidated smart locker system strategically placed in local transport hubs.

  • Team CO2-nect tackled the other challenge on CO2e conceptualisation. They designed a platform that helps corporate employees track their emissions and make better travel choices.

  • Team Techtonics with ‘Get Shifty’ also took the CO2e challenge and developed an interactive educational game, aiming to create a more positive narrative and inspire local community initiatives.

  • Team NoBlah designed a personalised app, with the same name, which used character recognition technology so users could register supermarket receipts and discover the total emissions of their shopping. The collected data would provide personalised recommendations over time.

And the winner is…

After combining the points from the mentors and the judges’ top picks, the calculated winner was…

Team NoBlah!

You can catch the presentations


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