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The best ideas go round and round

In 2018, global demand for resources was 1.7 times what the earth can support in one year and is only expected to rise.1 Google Cloud and SAP are coming together to help address this challenge by hosting a social entrepreneurship contest for a sustainable future.

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The $4.5 trillion idea

According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the circular economy is a system that supports economic growth, social wellbeing, and sustainability. By 2030, the circular economy could help generate $4.5 trillion of new economic output.2

Pollution

Design out waste and pollution

Keep Products

Keep products and materials in use

Regenerate natural system

Regenerate natural systems

Circular economy

A circular economy by 2030

In 2015, the United Nations established the 2030 Agenda that's comprised of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Each goal proposes how people and the planet can prosper together. Our contest focuses on SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, which includes establishing green jobs, promoting resource regeneration, and building a circular economy by 2030.

The challenge

To submit a proposal for a revenue-generating idea that uses both Google Cloud and SAP solutions to advance a circular economy.

The reward

Four of five finalists receive:

From the finalists, one grand prize winner receives:

The toolbox

To be eligible for consideration, the applicants had to use at least one Google Cloud and one SAP solution from the list below:

Google Cloud logo
SAP logo

Key dates

Jan 23

Contest opened at the World Economic Forum at Davos

Mar 17

Application submission period closed at 11:59 PM PT

Apr 9–12

Finalists attended Google Cloud Next San Francisco and participated in a hackathon to compete for the grand prize

May 7

Grand prize winner announced at SAP Sapphire
Confetti Trophy

Meet the winners!

Congratulations to the grand prize winner and four finalists of the Circular Economy 2030 contest who innovated sustainable solutions that used both Google Cloud and SAP technology to advance a circular economy. Meet them below, and learn more about Circular Economy 2030 and the social entrepreneurs’ winning ideas here.


Michael Groves

Grand Prize Winner!

Michael Groves

Topolytics

Industrial Waste

Congratulations to Michael Groves, Founder of Topolytics, for your selection as the grand prize winner! Michael is a geographer with a PhD in aerial and satellite earth observation, and over 20 years’ experience in environmental management and sustainability reporting. His company, Topolytics, is a technology company based in Scotland that uses data science and machine learning to maximize the utility of the world’s commercial and industrial waste materials. Topolytics is recognized by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as a leading global circular economy innovator (CE100) and is noted by Cleantech Group as a leading “smart waste” company.

Dysmus Kisilu

Finalist

Dysmus Kisilu

Solar Freeze

Food Waste & Renewable Energy

Dysmus Kisilu is the founder of Solar Freeze, a company that specializes in providing renewable energy solutions to rural communities in Kenya. Dysmus is also the founder of “Each one, teach one” — an initiative within Solar Freeze that aims to impact the next generation of renewable energy leaders in Africa by mentoring young people aged 18–29 years in the operation, maintenance, and repair of renewable energy solutions specifically for agriculture. Since 2016, Dysmus has worked with 3,000 small-scale farmers to increase agricultural yields by over 150%.

Patrick Peter

Finalist

Patrick Peter

Circunomics

E-Waste

Patrick Peter founded Circunomics, an e-waste company based out of Germany, in order to solve one of the Circular Economy’s biggest challenges: significantly reducing the waste of precious battery resources by creating a profitable battery aftermarket. Patrick is a father, PhD candidate in business administration, and holds an MBA from Frankfurt University.

Jasmine Crowe

Finalist

Jasmine Crowe

Goodr

Food Waste

Jasmine Crowe is an HBCU alumna who is working to make the world a better place one cause at a time. In January of 2017, she created Goodr, a tech-enabled sustainable food waste management company based in the United States with a goal to eliminate hunger and reduce food waste. Under Jasmine's direction Goodr has now diverted over nearly two million pounds of food from landfill and serves clients including: Atlanta's Hartsfield Jackson Airport, NFL, The Georgia World Congress Center, MetLife, and more.

Ann Runnel

Finalist

Ann Runnel

Reverse Resources

Textile Waste

Passionate about circular economy, Ann started to look for business incentives and systemic solutions that would help large market-leading corporations switch over to fundamentally sustainable practices. After 10 years of research and five years of running the Estonia-based company Reverse Resources, she and her team have developed a business model and a system to help the fashion industry turn its textile production waste into a new resource.

Meet the judges

Experts in technology, sustainability, and the circular economy, the cross-industry judging panel leveraged their experience — along with the assessment criteria — to select the Circular Economy 2030 finalists and grand prize winner.

Alison Wagonfeld

Alison Wagonfeld

Chief Marketing Officer, Google Cloud

Alicia Tillman

Alicia Tillman

Global Chief Marketing Officer, SAP

Kate Brandt

Kate Brandt

Google Sustainability Officer, Google

Daniel Schmid

Daniel Schmid

Chief Sustainability Officer, SAP

Fatou Ndoye

Fatou Ndoye

Deputy Director, UN Environment

Claire Melamed

Claire Melamed

Chief Executive Officer, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data

Andrew Morlet

Andrew Morlet

Chief Executive, Ellen MacArthur Foundation

So, what were we looking for?

Original idea

Original idea

Creativity is key. We wanted to see new ideas with the potential to impact any aspect of the global economy — from efficient resources and energy use to sustainable infrastructure and green job creation.

Business model

Viable business model

We asked for the nitty-gritty details. A well-researched proposal that describes the problem, proposes a solution, and demonstrates a clear capability for generating revenue.

Potential impact

Potential impact

People were asked to share their vision for a sustainable world — articulating how their idea and model will foster a circular economy and help us achieve SDG 12 by 2030.

Technical innovation

Technical innovation

Applicants synthesized and scaled their idea with Google Cloud and SAP. They outlines how they plan to use data analytics, machine learning, and/or supply chain management tools to achieve their vision.

Get inspired

Spread the word and share your idea with #circular2030

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Google Sustainability

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