TCS Launches Virtual Sustainathon Challenge to Address Singapore’s Environmental Issues

Mumbai: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS), a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organisation, has launched TCS Sustainathon Singapore, an initiative to inspire and empower young minds to solve real-world environmental problems through technology. The entire challenge—including industry mentorship and the final presentation—will take place virtually, showcasing how technology can be harnessed to tackle societal challenges at a time of social distancing.

The inaugural edition of TCS Sustainathon in Singapore focuses on combating food waste, one of the Sustainability Development Goals highlighted by the United Nations. Participants are encouraged to leverage technologies such as app development, machine learning and AI, to develop creative, practical and tangible solutions, addressing the food waste issues faced by the challenge partners – the People’s Association Youth Movement (PAYM), Sodexo, and Singapore Airlines.

The challenges identified are reducing catering food waste during community events, minimizing plate waste in school cafeterias, and reducing the environmental impact of in-flight food waste. The focus on technology complements Singapore’s Smart Nation ambition, helping the country’s young digital natives leverage cutting-edge innovations to drive positive outcomes.

“PAYM is proud to be a challenge partner for the TCS Sustainathon as it empowers youths in Singapore with the passion and purpose to discover how they can make a difference, working with the community to a more sustainable future using innovative ideas of their own,” said Dr Goh Jia Hao, PBM, Chairman, PAYM Central Youth Council. “Food wastage is one of the biggest waste streams in Singapore and this is a real problem that organisations deal with every day. We hope the Sustainathon will ignite the spark for young Singaporeans to confidently share their unique ideas on how to tackle these real-world issues.”

“The pandemic has put sustainability into stronger focus for businesses and societies. I am sure that the TCS Sustainathon will inspire young Singaporeans to become advocates of sustainability even as they find creative solutions to prevent food wastage,” said Ananth Krishnan, Chief Technology Officer, TCS. “TCS is happy to work with partners committed to a sustainable future in this endeavour.”

TCS Sustainathon is also supported by strategic partners – the National Environment Agency, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Singapore and the Global Compact Network Singapore (GCNS). Representatives from these organisations – Desmond Tan, Director (Waste & Resource Management Department), NEA, Margriet Vonno, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Singapore and Brunei, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Singapore, and Goh Swee Chen, President, GCNS – as well as Ananth Krishnan, Chief Technology Officer, TCS will form the judging panel in the final virtual presentation, to be held on October 1.

“I want to express my appreciation to TCS for this challenge. Through the TCS Sustainathon challenge, GCNS hopes to encourage business leaders and youths to co-create solutions for global environmental problems. We share the aspiration that Singapore can be a leader in sustainable businesses,” said Goh Swee Chen, President, GCNS. “We are now facing extraordinary challenges. Now, more than ever, we urge businesses and individuals to invest and contribute positively to the community and environment.”

To enter the challenge, students have the option to submit a video elevator pitch on social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, along with their proposal entry, by August 30. Six teams and/or individuals will be shortlisted for the finale and will participate in guided online workshops with mentors to develop their ideas before the event. The top three teams will receive $9,000 and the chance to execute their ideas, if feasible.

The challenge is open to tertiary level students in Singapore from pre-university to university cohorts, including those pursuing technical certificates, diplomas, or degrees of any discipline from junior colleges, polytechnics, institutes of technical education, international schools, private and local universities.

For more information about TCS Sustainathon, please visit