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Challenges, Prices and Tech Stack

Challenges, Prices and Tech Stack

The Challenges for the Climate FinTech Hackathon are clustered in three categories: Retail-, Institutional- and Open-Challenges. In each category, a winning team will be selected and, additionally, one overall winner of the Climate FinTech Hack.

You are free to work on Web, Mobile and Desktop (or even Decentralized) Apps using the technology you feel most comfortable with.

1. Retail Challenges

a) Ecological footprint in your wallet

ChallengeFind a way to transparently inform private customers about their ecological footprint via their daily spending behaviour.

Background: Ecological footprints are a popular way to illustrate individual ecological impact and help making abstract impact measures much more tangible. This kind of relatable educational instruments show much potential to inform about customer choices in a meaningful way. Implemented as standalone estimations, that need to be manually fed with daily consumption data, they ,however, fail to unlock their informative potential. Automated and personalised calculations that are based on real consumption prove to be, at the same time, more user friendly and substantially more impactful. Using daily spending behaviour as a proxy for consumption is a promising starting point for personalised, real-world ecological footprint calculations.

Considerations: For the daily spending data format see the standard used also in the PSD2 transaction API: Amount, Sender, Date, IBAN Receiver. Take note of existing, prominent projects in this domain that include the Southpole Climate Credit Card and ANT Financials Carbon Footprints.

This challenge is presented by Zürcher Kantonalbank

b) Tell me more – about my customers

Challenge: Come up with a process to capture and model financial and non-financial preferences of retail/household investors.

Background: Regulatory requirements render the gathering of insights into clients’ preferences a complicated and costly endeavour. Expectations regarding risks, returns and the duration of investments are the established trinity of client preferences an investment manager needs to assess. In contrast, non-financial preferences that reflect ethical and sustainability values of clients are hardly ever recorded. Digital tools hold the promise to abolish boring questionnaires while retaining the ability for goal-driven information retrieval in a structured, documentable way.

Considerations: Develop a method to register client preferences that is intuitive and engaging, yet fully compliant with regulatory requirements. Make sure to capture tradeoffs (e.g. how much risk-adjusted return is an investor willing to forgo to be more sustainable)? Make use of cross-checks to ensure the consistency of answers and to detect potential behavioural biases. Think about how you could match the modeled preferences with actual investment products.

This challenge is presented by 2°ii

2. Institutional Challenges

a) Bank stress testing on climate change

Note: An updated version of the challenge will be posted shortly

Challenge: Build a financial model that show the impact of climate change on banks

The G20 countries just recently released recommendations called the TCFD recomendations. It’s bascially a set of ideas on what corporations, including banks, should report on climate change risks that their business is exposed to. Banks are now looking into what this means to their business. One important example are the capital requirements. A number of banks are now trying to find models that help them to estimate the effect of climate change on some of the important financial ratios of their business.

This challenge is presented by Carbon Delta

b) Fight climate change by predicting smart investments

Challenge: Develop machine-readable predictions for climate risks on equity level.

Background: Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data complements more traditional financial metrics when evaluating corporate performance. It is used at financial institutions for investment analysis across all asset classes, company research and engagement, as well as screening and monitoring of investments or portfolios for ESG risks.

RepRisk captures and analyses ESG data related to companies from publicly available sources such as media and stakeholders. The dataset reflects the ESG risks associated with a specific company until today. For the case of climate change, information about current business models, energy supply, or immovable property could be combined with ESG risk data from RepRisk to build predictive models looking at emerging issues and future developments.

Considerations: For the Hackathon, the focus lies on the “E” of ESG, thus environmental data pertaining to climate change. To quickly dive deep into the topic, visit the information booth to consult the sample data and analytical platform provided by RepRisk for the Hackathon.

The challenge is presented by Reprisk

3. Open Challenges

a) Out of space: fast track for climate friendly lending

Challenge: Provide estimates of energy efficiency classifications for housing throughout Switzerland as a mortgage lending insights tool.

Background: Housing is responsible for up to a third of Swiss CO2 Emissions (and 45% of all energy consumption, 75% for heating). While sustainable heating systems already have a market share of 90% in newly built homes, the renovation of existing buildings progresses at an extremely slow pace. If nothing changes, it will take more than 100 years to reach standards that are compatible with Switzerland’s obligations in regard to climate change. At the same time, domestic mortgage lending represents an important activity for Swiss banks: In 2017 it reached more than 30% of their total balance sheets. Renovations are in the bank’s best interest, as they boost the value of buildings significantly. On average, the improvement of one efficiency class equals 10-15m2 of additional living space. Renovations are thus not only seen as important leverage against climate change, but also as value conservation of buildings as well as an effective prevention of stranded assets in case climate legislation for buildings’ emissions tighten over time.

Considerations: On a European level, the Energy efficient Mortgages Action Plan (EeMAP) aims at the standardized collection of data on real estate energy efficiency, but relies on a bottom-up collection on the level of individual households. At the Hackaton, we instead aim for top-down solutions based on estimations and intelligent data gathering and processing providing insights for the entire Swiss real estate market.

b) Gamify – creating a market place to gain climate-hero points

Challenge: Create a (decentralized) marketplace that lets the user collect and gain ‘points’ when he/she chooses climate friendly behaviour. Build in gamification elements and a loyalty rewards scheme.

Background: Incentivise  climate friendly behaviour, simultaneously raising awareness and teach ‘better’ behaviour. For example, take the train or bike or bus, instead of your own car/ eat the veggi burger instead of the beef burger. Competition between teams might create and additional fun factor, let it be teams within an organisation or in school, or elsewhere. Take Pokemon Go as a great example and vision, with this time having a real purpose behind – fighting climate change. Consider how business could profit from such a tool, supporting loyalty program goals or addressing and winning potential new target groups. Blockchain / DLT might be a great foundation to build a marketplace for the ‘points’ acquired.

This challenge is presented by Capgemini

4. Freak Challenges

Surprise us!

Got an awesome idea that fits the topic of Climate FinTech but none of the other challenges? Go for it! But make sure to quickly pitch it to someone from the Climate Hack team before you start developing.

We are happy to introduce you to the jury of the Climate FinTech Hackathon

Climate FinTech Hack 2017

We are bringing together experts and creative minds in the areas of finance, tech and sustainable development. The goal is to develop both, products and policy suggestions, allowing a swift move from ideas to implementation of innovative, sustainable financial services and products. In 2017 we concentrate our efforts on three main events.

By invitation
Open Situation Room
Think of a Hackathon, but on the policy level. Participants develop policy solutions which are regularly pitched to the audience and stakeholders in order to get feedback and move ahead fast. The format is unique in combining the idea of a political situation room with iterative design thinking elements.
Nov 17-18
During the Hackathon programmers, designers, hackers, developers, students and companies to work on and solve a set of challenges related to Climate Change and the financial services industry. The aim is to develop new and unique prototypes for innovative FinTech ideas addressing climate issues.
By invitation
Following the Open Situation Room and Hackathon, selected experts and partners will come together to recapitulate the developed outputs and proposed solutions. During the refinement we will identify strengths and weaknesses of existing, respectively proposed policies, as well currently available infrastructure. We will equally identify potential for further improvement to push for real-world adaptations and tangible products.
Not quite sure about something? Feel free to reach out to us
Climate FinTech Hack

Open Situation Room*

November 2nd

Participants are confronted with problems in the area of climate finance. The challenges will initially be prepared and presented by foraus and the Swiss Finance + Technology Association together with partner organizations. In groups, the participants will develop policy solutions which will be regularly pitched to the audience and stakeholders (e.g. government, private sector, NGOs, politicians.) in order to get feedback. The format is unique in combining the idea of a political situation room with iterative design thinking elements.

* Open Situation Rooms are a format developed by Nicola Forster, president of foraus, together with the German Federal Foreign Office.


November 17-18th

The Climate Finance Hackathon allows programmers, designers, hackers, developers, students and companies to work on and solve a set of six challenges. It gives the sponsoring companies, our main event partners, the chance to be one of the first players in Switzerland to push forward the topic of Sustainable FinTech, with a focus on a tangible output. The challenges will be defined by the main event partners (with the one remit to focus on climate and finance related solutions) and one challenge will derive from the discussion in the Open Situation Room.


November 30

Following the Open Situation Room and the ensuing Hackathon, participants will come together to recapitulate the developed outputs and proposed solutions, as well as incorporate the learnings of the previous events. During the refinement we want to identify strengths and weaknesses of existing, respectively proposed policies, as well currently available infrastructure. We also want to identify potential for further improvement to push for  real-world adaptations and tangible products.


During the Hackathon, Experts from partnering organizations such as WWF, F10 and Sarasin will be on place providing mentoring.

Main organizer
Main corporate partner
Main association partner
Supporting corporate partner
Network partner
In-kind Sponsors
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