Since there are no currently active contests, we have switched Climate CoLab to read-only mode.
Learn more at
Skip navigation

Industry 2014


How can industry innovate to meet the climate challenge and drive sustainable growth? 

Submit proposals:
Deadline:  July 20, 2014, at 11:59:59 PM U.S. Eastern Time
Rules:  All entrants must agree to the 2014 Contest Rules.
Prizes: Judges Choice and Popular Choice winners will be connected with and able to present to people who can support the implementation of their proposal, which may include policy makers, business executives, NGO and foundation officials, scientists, and others.  They will be recognized and publicized by the MIT Climate CoLab and invited to showcase their proposals at a conference held at MIT fall 2014, where a $10,000 Grand Prize will be awarded. (See 2013 conference.)

Related 2014 contests: Energy Supply, Agriculture and Forestry, Consumption of Products & Services

Other related contests:


Guidelines from Advisors and Fellows


Industry is the key contributor to economic growth and prosperity, and has been a primary engine of economic development over the last century.  It is also a leading global source of greenhouse gases. The International Energy Agency estimates that, to meet global GHG reduction goals, emission reductions of 60-80% will be necessary. Industry is also an important source of innovation and rich with mitigation opportunities: resource efficiency (e.g. energy, materials, water), reducing process emissions of non-CO2 GHGs, industrial ecology, supply chain logistics and geography, manufacturing efficiency, CO2 capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS), and enhanced use of renewables are just some of the areas in which there is great potential for paradigm-shifting progress.

The industry contest seeks innovative, well-described, actionable solutions that will enable continued global economic growth while achieving major emission reductions in the industrial sector over the course of the next decades.

Key issues

Industry contributes to GHG emissions through on-site generation of electricity and heat from fossil sources, industrial processes that directly release CO2, methane, CFCs, and other high impact greenhouse gases, and via the carbon footprint of the materials and resources utilized in its processes and supply chains.

Opportunities for mitigation arise in each of these sectors.  The most promising link emissions reductions to profitable activity, such as increases in efficiency, conversion of wastes to useful inputs or products, or enhanced stability and competitiveness in uncertain markets.

Some of the key areas for exciting innovation are listed below.  These are only a sampling of the possibilities; the breadth of opportunity for improvement is vast.  We encourage contest participants to seek imaginative, cross-disciplinary, and cross-boundary solutions.

Proposal guidelines

To be successful, contest participants should ensure their proposals are:


Some freely-available references for contest participants

General Literature on Industry Emissions, Technologies, and Policies

Energy Information Agency. Manufacturing energy consumption survey for the US

US Environmental Protection Agency. GHG emissions in the U.S.

Canadian Industry Program for Energy Conservation (CIPEC)

Industrial energy and material efficiency: What role for Policies?

Institute for Industrial Productivity

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)  

The Bellona Foundation


Mitigation Technologies

International Energy Agency Energy Technology Perspectives

Example of a roadmap for industry needs: European Paper industry

UNIDO Cleaner and Sustainable Production resource list

Europe’s Zero Emissions Platform


US Department of Energy's advanced manufacturing program


Energy Efficiency

US Environmental Protection Agency's energy star resources

European Union energy efficiency roadmap

Asian Development Bank's Review of Energy Efficiency Interventions

Energy Efficiency Policies in the United States (multiple sectors)

Tracking Energy Efficiency and CO2 emissions from the International Energy Agency

Industrial Efficiency resources from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Business models & tools for sustainability projects

System analysis

Data management & visualisation!

Business Model & Project Investment

Business sustainability


Contest photo source: Gary, Dances With Light