KLU Students Win Decarbonization Hackathon

Two KLU master's students from the Global Logistics & Supply Chain Management program have been faced with the challenge of making logistics CO2-free, and they are clearly heading in the right direction. Their team came out on top as champions over the nine teams competing in the Transporeon4Future Hackathon, which was held on March 19th and 20th. Their winning pitch involved developing a standard tool to enable a realistic calculation of carbon emissions on multiple levels from a single shipment up to the annual emissions of a carrier or shipper.

The new tool is meant to allow for tracking and steering logistics suppliers’ CO2 footprint, displaying for both carrier and shipper the level of decarbonization progress on a standardized dashboard. The aim is to introduce sustainability-related KPIs (key performance indicators) equivalent to those which have been used for many years in evaluating logistics service performance.

Business Model for Sustainable Logistics

KLU student Ramón van Almsick wants a sustainable approach to become the norm in logistics. It was his desire to make a real impact that inspired him to participate in the hackathon. “I was curious to apply my newly gained knowledge from the lectures to create a business idea in the context of sustainable logistics. Discussing our idea with teammates from different backgrounds and experts allowed me to gain new valuable insights about developing a business model from just a brief idea.” Van Almsick is also involved with sustainable logistics in the young professionals’ network “Logistics4Future” (L4F) within the BVL International - Bundesvereinigung Logistik.

“The hackathon turned out to be a thrilling experience,” confirms team partner and KLU student Varunkumar Prathapam Srinivasan. “We had to come up with a viable project idea within a short time period for developing sustainable solutions in supply chain technology that moves logistics towards a greener future.”

Next Stop: Brussels

Transporeon’s aim in organizing the hackathon was to uncover the next generation of sustainable solutions in supply chain technology. The jury consisted of seven leading members from the logistics platform Transporeon, Smart Freight Centre (SFC), ALICE (Alliance for Logistics Innovation by Cooperation in Europe), and external experts. The winning team along with another four teams will continue working on their innovations until a very basic first prototype aka a minimum viable product (MVP) is developed. Transporeon plans on investing in up to five MVPs and help take them to market.

The final winners will be appointed by a jury including KLU Professor Alan McKinnon and will then present their business idea in Brussels to stakeholders from European institutions. However, all finalists will get the opportunity to pitch to ALICE members. Ramón van Almsick and Varunkumar Prathapam Srinivasan will pitch their team’s MVP by 21 May.

In the meantime, we’ll keep our fingers crossed for them!

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