TCS Sustainathon Singapore
The Sustainathon is now Closed!

Together, we can be better

TCS Sustainathon 2020

Singapore Edition | Combating Food Waste

We have one planet, one human race and a common future. We are inviting you to join us to become a greater force in driving for a better and more sustainable future by using technology to solve pressing sustainability issues we are facing.



When food goes to waste, it means that we are depriving others from access to basic and quality food. In addition, the resources taken to put food our tables; from production, logistic to retailing are creating stress on our environment. This is why the topic of food waste is one of the top priorities in Singapore, and also highlighted under Ministry of Water and Resources (MEWR) Zero Waste Masterplan.


waste streams in Singapore

1/3 lost

(1.3 trillion tonnes) Amount of food lost VS produced


waste generated over the last 10 years


Percentage of global greenhouse gas emission

763mil kg

food waste (2018) ~2 bowls of rice per person per day


No. of people going hungry EVERY DAY

In this edition, three organisations have stepped in to share the Sustainability Challenges they faced. You can be the one that make the difference in our journey to a zero food-waste nation.


Challenge Statement Selection

Select a challenge statement that you wish to take on. You can participate as an individual or form a team of up to four students.

(Tip: Attend our webinars to understand more and interact with Challenge Master)


Submit your proposed idea using our guideline by

15 September 2020 (Extended!).

View Shortlisting Judging Criteria here.

(Note: You need to be registered to submit your idea/s.)


Up to six teams and/or individuals will be shortlisted and invited to our finale on

15 October 2020 (Extended!).

View Finale Judging Criteria here

(Note: Dedicated workshops will be arranged with shortlisted teams/ individuals with mentorship provided.)


Catering for the Community, not the Bin

Reducing catering food waste generated during medium to large-scale community events.

View More

The Environmental Impact of In-flight Food Waste

Reducing food waste generated from airplane flights to reduce it's impact to the environment.

View More

A Student?s Role in the Food Waste Journey

Motivating behaviour change in consumers to reduce plate waste in cafeterias in schools and universities.

View More


Be the Change

Be part of Singapore?s journey towards a zero-waste nation.

Gain Exposure

An opportunity to interact with an eco-system of like-minded government agencies, non-profit, commercial organisations and peers supporting sustainability causes.

Access to Experts

Mentorship and guidance will be provided along the course of the challenge, with winning teams having the opportunity for industry attachment of up to one week with TCS.

Prize money

Winning teams can win up to S$9,000 worth of cash money.


Strategic Partners

Challenge Partners

Panel of Judges (FINALE)

Ms. Goh Swee Chen

Global Compact Network Singapore

Ms. Margriet Vonno

Ambassador of the Netherlands to Singapore and Brunei
Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Singapore

Mr. K Ananth Krishnan

Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
Tata Consultancy Services

Mr. Desmond Tan

Group Director (Resource & Sustainability Group)
National Environment Agency


Session #1 | Let?s Talk about Sustainability

Join us and our partners for a chat about sustainability. Find out how our action matters and the role of young eco-warriors like yourself! We will also be sharing more about TCS Sustainathon during the session.


Date: 6 August 2020, Thursday
Time: 2:45 to 3:45 p.m. (Singapore Time)


Session #2 | Making Sense of Sustainability Challenges

Challenge masters will be sharing more about the Food Waste Challenges they face in their organisations. This is perfect opportunity for you to find out more about the Challenge Statements and plan your way to ace your idea proposal!


Date: 27 August 2020, Thursday
Time: 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. (Singapore Time)


Session #3 | Let your Green Shine!

Preparing for your idea submission and needed that one punch to elevate your proposal? Twelve days to the submission deadline, log in to this session to receive tips and guidance on how to make your idea shine!


Date: 3 September 2020, Thursday
Time: 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. (Singapore Time)



    1. What is TCS Sustainathon?

    TCS Sustainathon is a challenge that aims to inspire tertiary students to envision a sustainable future by leveraging on digital technologies to solve real world problems. It is a platform that enables our young minds to collaborate with private companies, non-profit organisations and government agencies to co-create solutions to tackle sustainability challenges. Students are invited to deep dive and develop ideas and solutions to address the Challenge Statements developed for them.

    Each edition of TCS Sustainathon will focus on a them. For the inaugural session of TCS Sustainathon 2020 (Singapore Edition), the theme is ?Combating Food Waste?.

    1. Why is Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) running this Challenge?

    TCS, along with our like-minded partners is committed to support sustainability causes to create a better and more sustainable future for all. We believe that everyone has a stake to play; technology and innovation can make an impact to our world we live in. We want to inspire the young generation to play an active role in the pursuit of a more sustainable future.

    1. Who can participate?

    This Challenge is opened to any matriculated student in Singapore from pre-university to university cohorts (Technical certificates, diplomas, or degrees of any discipline from Junior Colleges, Polytechnics, Institutes of Technical Education, International Schools, private and local Universities). If you have recently graduated from the above-mentioned institutions in 2019/2020, you are still welcomed to participate.
    Please contact the Challenge Concierge at if you are unsure of your eligibility.

    1. Can the students from the same team come from different institutions?

    Yes. We encourage interaction among various institutions but of course, please practise social distancing and make use of digital collaboration tools to interact during this period.

    1. Can I participate as an individual?

    Yes. You can.

    1. How many people can I have in my team?

    You can have up to four (4) people in a team.

    1. Can I be part of different teams?

    Yes, you may. However please take note that you can only submit ONCE as a team and ONCE as an individual for each Challenge Statement. If you have already submitted as part of a team in one of the challenge statement, you may still form a new team to submit for another Challenge Statement.

    1. Can I change my team members after I have submitted my application?

    Yes, you may. You will need to write in the Challenge Concierge at to request for a withdrawal of your submission. You will then need to form your team again in the portal and re-submit your idea proposal before the submission deadline.

Submissions and Challenge Statements

    1. How can we submit our idea proposal?

    First you have to register to the platform by clicking on 'APPLY NOW'. If you have a team, your team member should also register. Once you registered, you can login and apply to the Challenge Statement you are interested in. When applying, you will get to choose whether you are submitting as an individual or a team. You can submit your idea proposal after you have applied to it. Your idea proposal should be submitted using your desktop/laptop computer.

    Please note that if you want to apply to a Challenge Statement as a team, your team member should all register to the platform beforehand.

    You may check the status of your submission through the TCS sustainathon portal.

    1. Can we submit proposal for more than one Challenge Statement?

    Yes. You can.

    1. Can we submit more than one idea per Challenge Statement?

    If you apply as an individual, you can only submit ONE (01) idea. If you apply as a team, you can submit ONE (01) idea as a team, but you can also submit ONE (01) idea as an individual if you have an additional idea.

    1. Does my idea proposal need to have a technology component?

    This challenge encourages participants to leverage digital technology to solve sustainability challenges. It is thus mandatory for your idea proposal to have clear and distinct technology component/s.

    1. What kind of technology can I leverage in my idea proposal?

    The sky is your limit! You can leverage on technology like Application Development, Blockchain, Data Analytics, Image-processing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) ? the list goes on.

    1. I am not from any technical background. Can I participate?

    TCS Sustainathon welcomes ideas from a diverse background. We believe that innovation does not need to be restricted to any areas of study. Simply submit your idea/s using our guided template. For individuals or teams shortlisted for the finale, the Challenge Mentor will guide you through the preparation for the presentation, including the creation of prototype (if applicable).

    1. What do I need to submit?

    To participate, you or your team needs to submit an Idea Proposal. A guideline of the proposal submission can be found here.

    1. What is the deadline for submission?

    The submission deadline has been extended! All the submission must be completed on your account by 15 September 2020, 23:59p.m. (Singapore Time).

    1. Can I still make changes to my presentation after I have submitted my entry in the portal?

    Yes. You will need to write to to request for your submitted proposal to be removed and re-submit before the submission deadline. Please note that it take 2 ? 3 working days for your requested to be processed

    1. Who owns the intellectual property rights?

    All Intellectual Property Rights from the challenge belong to Tata Consultancy Services.

Webinars and Workshops

    1. Do I need to attend the webinars if I want to participate?

    The webinars are good opportunities for students to hear from experts and Challenge Owners. Q&A sessions will be held during the webinars for students interact with the organiser and Challenge Owners (for selected webinar). We strongly encourage you to attend the webinars.

    However, it is not mandatory. Recorded versions of the webinars will be made available after the session..

Shortlisting and Finale

    1. What will the shortlisting process like?

    All the idea proposals submission that meet the eligibility will be reviewed and evaluated by the organiser internally. Up to SIX (06) idea proposals will be selected for finale presentation.

    1. How and when will the shortlisted team be notified?

    The organizers will be evaluating eligible entry on the following criteria:

    • Innovation & Creativity (30%)
    • Impact & Relevance (30%)
    • Feasibility (20%)
    • Technology (10%)
    • Depth (10%)

    Shortlisted submission will be notified via the email (registered during the account creation) by 1 October 2020.

    1. What happen if I have been shortlisted?

    The organizer will notify the individual/ team via email if they have been shortlisted. The individual/ team will have to respond to the invitation to the Finale Presentation within TWO working days.

    The Challenge Mentor will be introduced to the finale teams. The Challenge Mentor will be assisting the finale teams with their presentation and prototype (if applicable).

    1. What is the format of the Finale Presentation?

    Each shortlisted individual/ team will be invited for a finale presentation on 15 October 2020. Each presentation consists of a 10min presentation & 5min Q&A session. It is mandatory to prepare your presentation deck, which should be submitted to the organiser by 14 October 2020, 12noon.

    The details of the Finale will be shared to with the shortlisted individual/ team.

    1. When is the finale?

    The virtual finale will be held on 15 October 2020.

    1. What are the judging criteria for the finale presentation?

    The finale presentation will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

    • Innovation & Creativity (30%)
    • Impact & Relevance (30%)
    • Feasibility (10%)
    • Technology (10%)
    • Depth (10%)
    • Presentation (10%)

    Bonus points will be awarded for advanced prototype and demo.

    1. What are the prizes?

    There will be SIX (06) team shortlisted for the Finale Presentation. A total of SGD9,000 will be awarded to the top THREE winning ideas:

    • Top Prize: SGD4,000
    • Second Prize: SGD3,000
    • Third Prize: SGD2,000

    On top of the cash prizes, winning teams are invited for a one-week industry attachment with TCS.

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