Code4Green: European environmental data hackathon

Code4Green: European environmental data hackathon


European environmental data hack

As we recover from the pandemic, Europe will be facing far-reaching decisions: How do we work towards a green recovery that is resilient, inclusive, and sustainable? We are currently undergoing both an ecological and a digital transformation. Digitalisation without regard for the environment and climate impact can exacerbate existing problems. At the same time, we cannot solve our environmental problems without digital tools and data.

In 2018 the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety brought together teams from across Germany to solve pressing environmental challenges in the first sustainability hackathon of its kind. The problems we are facing don’t stop at national borders, however – so neither do their solutions: Code4Green 2.0 aims to unite Europe’s brightest minds to find innovative and data-based solutions to ecological challenges. We believe that a better and more sustainable future for Europe is possible by reaching out, thinking creatively, and working together.

Apply now, as our application deadline has been extended until midnight July 5th:

Hackathon 2018

- BMU/Benjamin Thieke
  • Make a difference while you #stayhome
  • Join EU innovators
  • Connect with data experts and mentors
  • Gain knowledge and experience
  • Make new friends and collaborate
  • Build an open solution for a sustainable future
  • Gain access to exclusive data

Code4Green 2.0

This year’s Code4Green Sustainability Hack goes virtual. From our physical headquarters in Berlin we will answer all your questions, connect you to data-coaches and mentors and host a few social events along the way that you can tune into. You will connect with your team before the event starts and our seamless cloud-based solutions will have you feeling as though your teammates were sitting right next to you for the 36-hour hack.

With satellites, IoT sensors and environmental monitoring comes Big Data. Current solutions to environmental challenges are often fragmented due to the way this data is collected, especially across Member States. Finding solutions to assist in the timely and standardised collection of such data has never been this important.

We are looking for teams to build open source prototypes using environmental data to build solutions for all of Europe. Our data-coaches and experts will be available to provide guidance, support, and inspiration. We will take care of the data preparation so you and your team can focus on bringing your innovative idea to life.

Need more incentives? The winning teams for all challenges will be provided with cash prizes of 10.000 Euro in total, three months of mentoring by industry experts to turn their prototype into a market-ready solution and potential funding possibilities, as well as a trip to Berlin in October to present their solution to the EU environmental ministers.

At a glance

When? 10 – 12 July 2020

Where? Hack online at your computer

Topics and Challenges: #ClimateChange, #Biodiversity and #CircularEconomy - See below for details.

Apply now at:

Introducing the challenges

Challenge 1: Climate Change

Windrad im Rapsfeld

Climate Change is a central challenge for our societies in the coming decades. By switching to renewable energy, we can greatly reduce carbon emissions.

How can we use environmental data to better and more sustainably produce and store renewable energy in communities all over Europe?

How can we use environmental data and digital tools to mitigate and adapt to climate change at the same time?

Innovative and new solutions are needed for a transition to renewable energy, as well as to improve the quality of life for current and future generations

Challenge 2: Biodiversity

Mohnblume im Kornfeld DURAND

The unsustainable way in which we are currently using land is contributing to the loss of biodiversity. We need to reconcile the economic well-being of people and ensure the survival or diverse flora and fauna for the survival of our planet.

How can we use environmental data to make agriculture and land use more sustainable?

How can we use digital tools to support biodiversity?

How can digital technologies help to modernise biodiversity protection measures?

Giving back more to the planet than we take away is central to our common long-term well-being and prosperity.

Challenge 3: Circular Economy

Eine größere Ansammlung an Abfallprodukten malczyk

Producing goods depends on scarce natural resources that are often imported. At the same time, discarded products cause huge amounts of waste. We need to understand the ecological footprint of products better, use them longer and re-use resources at the end of their lifecycle.

How can we use environmental data to create solutions for a more sustainable production cycle?

How can we reduce waste, extend product lifetimes, and recycle sustainably?

Reducing our consumption and waste footprint, designing durable and easy to repair products and providing visibility to supply chains are all key building blocks of a European Circular Economy.


Applications open: 17 June

Applications close: Midnight 5 July

Invitation of successful applicants: No later than 5 July

Hackathon start: Evening of 10 July

Hackathon end, panel discussion and award ceremony: 12 July

Presentation of results by winning teams in Berlin: 30 September - 1 October

Apply now at:

How to apply?

Are you living in Europe? Are you passionate about sustainable development and environmental protection? Do you love to dive deep into data, link disparate datasets to find correlations, optimise current practices, or create digital solutions?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Code4Green is for you!

We are calling all designers, data-scientists, developers, marketers, innovators, coders, analysts, scientists, remote-sensing engineers and analysts, and business and communication savvy entrepreneurs, to enlist to build a stronger and more sustainable EU together.

Apply as a project owner, as a core team or as an individual. Teams will be made up of 5 to 7 people and will be created in an match-making process to ensure a diversity of skills and nationalities. However, you will have the chance to apply with up to two additional team-members.

Special data or coding skills are not required, what counts is your commitment over the 48 hours, and the following three months, should your idea be a winning one!

Apply now at:

Prize and Jury

All teams will present their projects to a jury comprised of high-level representatives from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, experts from EU environmental agencies as well as the start-up scene, including:

  • Dirk Mayer (BMU)
  • Marie Gutbub (Prototype Fund)
  • Benjamin Ledwon (Bitkom)
  • Jan Voss (Team Europe, tbc)

All projects will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Degree of innovation
  • Sustainability
  • Social benefit
  • Technical implementation
  • Presentation

A total of 10,000 Euro will be awarded to the three winning teams of the Code4Green Sustainable Hack. In addition, teams will receive three months of tailored mentoring and coaching to take their prototype to the next level. Our mentors include industry professionals, innovation advisors and start-up coaches.

Panel Discussion: “Sustainable, innovative, social - shaping the European way of digitalisation”

On Sunday at 14:00 (CEST), Code4Green will feature a high-level panel discussion on how Europe can shape a unique path towards a sustainable digitalisation and how we can promote a value-driven tech-ecosystem on our continent. Frontrunners in leveraging digital technologies for our planet from both the public and private sector will discuss what role environmental innovations and open government data play in this process. Hackathon participants and public viewers alike are welcome to contribute and ask questions.


  • Svenja Schulze (Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety)
  • Francesca Bria (President of the Italian Innovation Fund)
  • Hans Bruyninckx (Executive Director of the European Environment Agency)
  • Lukasz Gadowski (Founder and Head of Team Europe)

Moderator: Dan Sobovitz

The event will be streamed live on this website.


Entirely digital?

Yes, the hackathon will be carried out virtually, using slack for communications. The winning teams will be invited to Berlin on 30 September - 01 October to pitch their ideas to European environmental ministers.

Do I need to download any software to take part?

No, all used streaming and communication software will work entirely within your web-browser. To ensure full compatibility and a stable experience, your PC should have the following minimum system requirements:

Operating system:

  • Mac OS: OS X 10.10 or higher
  • Windows: 7 or higher
  • Linux: Fedora 28 or higher; Ubuntu LTS with Version 16.04 or higher; Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0 or higher o

Web browser:

  • Chrome: Version 66 or higher
  • Firefox: Version 60 or higher
  • Safari: Version 10.1 or higher
  • Microsoft Edge: Version 41 or higher

What kind of datasets will be provided?

Public and non-public as well as open-source and commercial data will be provided. All data is either processed or available via application programming interfaces (API).

I have more questions. Who can I ask?

You can find more information on the hackathon in our Code of Conduct and extended FAQ, that we update daily: Code4Green Hackathon - CoC and FAQ

For any other inquiries please refer to our mail-address:

Can I apply if I do not live in the EU?

All European applicants are invited to apply! They do not need to be a member of the EU specifically.

Can I apply as a team?

You can apply to the hackathon with 1-2 team members; however, we can only guarantee that you and one of your choices will be matched together in a team

What are the system requirements?

Chrome 66+ (with automatic updates)
Firefox 60+
Microsoft Edge
Safari 10.1+

Further information