As the Earth’s population continues to grow, so does our agriculture and energy usage, pollution and overall consumption. Last year, the global demand for resources was 1.7 times more than what the Earth can support in one year.* And it’s getting worse.
By 2030, we will need two Earths to support our consumption needs, according to the Global Footprint Network. It’s an unsustainable trend that needs to be addressed here and now. To spur action — and innovation — SAP and Google Cloud are partnering to co-sponsor a sustainability contest for social entrepreneurs called Circular Economy 2030. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals for revenue-generating ideas using data analytics and machine learning that work toward creating a circular economy in which consumption and emissions are minimized through recycling, reuse, refurbishing, and repair.
“SAP is proud to partner with Google Cloud to further our commitment to sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals while we strive for a circular economy,” said Alicia Tillman, chief marketing officer, SAP. “At SAP, we embrace the challenge of environmental responsibility and believe it is our duty to put our technology to use to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. Teaming up with Google Cloud and environmental entrepreneurs, the sky is the limit.”
The contest launches today and will be officially announced by SAP and Google Cloud at the World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, held January 22 to 25. The deadline to submit applications is March 17. Five finalists will be selected and announced at the Google Cloud Next Conference, taking place April 9 to 11. Finalists will be invited to participate in an in-person hackathon to be held April 12 in San Francisco for the chance to win over $100,000 in prize money and benefits, participation in Google Cloud for Startups’ Bootcamp plus one-on-one mentorship. The remaining four finalists will each receive $25,000 in prize money. The grand prize winner will be announced at SAPPHIRE NOW on May 7.
“At Google Cloud we believe that with the help of modern technology, businesses can be a positive catalyst for a more sustainable future,” said Alison Wagonfeld, chief marketing officer, Google Cloud. “That’s why we’re thrilled to be partnering with SAP to not only help encourage social entrepreneurship, but also to continue our engagement with commitment to the SDGs and our work to advance a circular economy.”
A circular economy strives to increase social well-being and economic output, while also fostering a healthy environment; moreover, a circular economy could generate $4.5 trillion of new economic output by 2030. This year also coincides with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda, made up of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including ending poverty, establishing gender equality, and taking climate action. The Circular Economy 2030 contest focuses on SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.
Adaire Fox-Martin, member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, Global Customer Operations, who sponsors the company’s flagship SAP One Billion Lives initiative, said the Circular Economy 2030 contest complements the company’s many purpose-driven initiatives to help the world run better and improve people’s lives.
“Entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship are two sides of the same coin. By supporting social enterprises and at the same time nurturing our own intrapreneurship, we harness technology for good, for the future, for a better world for all,” Fox-Martin said. “Working closely with Google Cloud, I am eager to see all the innovative ideas generated by the Circular Economy 2030 challenge.”
The judges will look for original ideas that can impact any aspect of the global economy, from eco-friendly packaging solutions to sustainable agriculture. Each proposal must include a viable business model, a vision for advancing SDG 12, and a plan to use both Google Cloud and SAP solutions to achieve the original idea at scale.
As part of the Circular Economy 2030 initiative, SAP and Google Cloud are working closely with experts in the fields of circular economy and sustainable development, including UN Environment, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data.
Let’s get to work and find solutions to the greatest problem we’ll ever solve. Bring us your ideas. They might just change the world.
SAP and our partners. Improving lives. That is our purpose.