Climate change hack wins Wellington team trip to Paris

21 October 2015

Local Wellington start-up Po0ol, an e-commerce marketplace, has been selected from amongst teams all over the world to share their climate change solution developed during the International Climathon competition. Their selection sees the three-woman Wellington team heading to Paris present their business plan at Climate-KIC's Solutions COP21.

The Solutions COP21 event runs alongside the UN’s 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in December. The focus is generating actions and behaviour change in sharing widely and promoting climate solutions.

On 18 June, a global 24-hour hackathon-style event organised by Climate-KIC took place simultaneously in cities around the world.  Globally, Climathon involved 20 cities, and almost 1000 people contributed 22,800 hours - equal to eleven years of work dedicated to exploring carbon-reducing solutions.

The Wellington Climathon, funded by Wellington City Council, Victoria University, Deep South, and the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities, was managed by Enspiral Academy and saw near 100 people attend, the largest turnout of any of the cities involved

Based on the concepts developed during the event, four teams were offered a four-month facilitated program to progress their ideas to the business plan stage, of these Po0ole took out the top spot.

Po0ol CEO Isa Miralles says, “It was such a positive experience and we are happy to have this opportunity to be a part of a great global climate change initiative. Needless to say we are very excited about heading to Paris and presenting our business!”

The three-woman team behind the Po0ol project believe that in as little as two years from now, businesses in Wellington which operate sustainably will be flourishing, the partnerships, channels and market share of these businesses will have increased and more companies will be moving into this space. Po0ol predict that through making it easy, dynamic and attractive for small and medium businesses to integrate sustainable choices into their supply chain, carbon emissions could be reduced 11.5 tonne within the first 2 years of operation.

“Human activity is changing our climate at an unprecedented rate, says Councillor David Lee, the Council’s Portfolio Lead for Climate Change.

“And the magnitude of the problem is so great that if we don't get it right, it will be irreversible so it’s inspiring to see this level of commitment from our young people. The creativity that went into the Po0ol project is just the kind of thing that will help Wellington lead the way in the fight against climate change.”

The Conference of Parties (COP) is the supreme body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It currently meets once a year to review the Convention's progress and establish the rules of its implementation and this year's December conference is the most anticipated yet.