Innovation Marathon for the development of solutions and applications for sustainability and entrepreneurship (Sustainability Hackathon)

Innovation Marathon for the development of solutions and applications for sustainability and entrepreneurship (Sustainability Hackathon)

Lidl Hellas

Lidl Hellas has been active in Greece since 1999. Today the company employs more than 6700 workers, while its network includes 230 stores and 5 state-of-the-art supply centers. It is included for the 6th consecutive year in "The Most Sustainable Companies in Greece", while for the 7th consecutive year it receives the distinction of "Top Employer" in Greece and Europe.
At Lidl Greece we are proud because we build perspective for all our stakeholders, on solid, sustainable foundations. Business ethics are a source of inspiration for our values and the chain of responsibility becomes an act of sustainable empowerment for our own people, consumers, partners.
Sustainability for us is not a simple wording, but shapes our business profile and runs horizontally through our daily life.

We are moving on the trajectory of a new sustainability strategy, which develops in three dynamic axes: "Good for the planet", "Good for people" and "Good for you" with the individual actions spread over six strategic pillars: climate protection, respect for biodiversity, conservation of resources, business law, health protection and participation in dialogue. It is a functional as well as an innovative approach that allows us to respond with best practices, at the right time, to a variety of challenges. We adapt quickly, build efficiency and remain sustainable, extroverted and beneficial to the whole.


Corporate videos & Statements

Objective Action

The Sustainability Hackathon is the continuation of the SUP Free Hackathon, the first open innovation action that aimed to create innovative applications for a daily life without single-use plastics.

The aim of the Sustainability Hackathon innovation marathon is to create original applications and solutions on issues of sustainability and environmental protection through technological tools, innovative ideas and methodologies that can be applied to information, business operations and everyday life for all of us.

More specifically, the Sustainability Hackathon has the following main objectives:

  •     Creating a culture of innovation and collaboration internally in the organization.
  •     Supporting youth and innovative entrepreneurship, opportunities for young people, fighting unemployment.
  •     Supporting the local economy, as contestants from all over Greece will be able to participate, who may then create their own business.
  •     Highlighting smart and innovative solutions to the problems and challenges facing both the themes of the campaign and citizens dealing with   related issues.
  •     Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the campaign by leveraging new emerging technologies.
  •     Connecting the campaign with our country's technological innovation and entrepreneurship community.
  •     Create an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship in the field of sustainability.

Target Audience

The Sustainability Hackathon, which took place from 15 to 17 April 2022, was open to engineers, programmers, economists, analysts, environmentalists, researchers, students and business executives, individually or in teams, but in general anyone who has an interest in issues related to sustainability goals, sustainability and entrepreneurship and is interested in developing an integrated application.

Any interested individual, group or company could participate in the marathon in the following ways:

  •     By providing issues or problems or challenges for a solution related to the reduction of single-use plastics and interested in developing it into an integrated application (consultation platform)
  •     Developing original methodologies and applications that address these challenges (contestants).
  •     Supporting this effort (mentors, supporters, public organisations, companies, collective bodies).


The Sustainability Hackathon was announced at the Open Day on 22 March 2022, the three-day Sustainability Hackathon marathon took place from 15 to 17 April 2022, from which the 5 teams that passed to the 5-month acceleration phase emerged, while on 14 December 2022 the grand winner was announced.


The Sustainability Hackathon Innovation Marathon is the second open innovation action aiming at community activation of society and businesses for the creation of original applications. These applications contribute to the education and development of business thinking around sustainability, and are the proposed theme of this hackathon, as well as the innovation workshop.

The action is part of an open innovation roadmap and the Innovation Lab open innovation lab, supported by Lidl Hellas, to promote disruptive technologies in sustainability and environmental protection. It includes the organisation of the Sustainability Hackathon innovation marathon on 15-17 April 2022, the 5-month cycle of support for the 5 proposed solutions, so that the prototype applications can be transformed into productive solutions.

The event supports participants to form teams and collaborate to develop and present their idea.

Starting the Innovation Marathon in April 2022, the 5 winning teams that excelled and then proceeded to the 5-month Sustainability Innovation Lab business acceleration program, presented their ideas at the grand finale on 14 December 2022 where the winning idea was announced.

Indicative thematic areas


  •     Actions to inform/support and mobilise business and civil society for sustainable development
  •     Digital tools to record actions to achieve the Global Sustainability Goals
  •     Creation of a Digital Sustainability Tool Box
  •     Data visualisation for better understanding of the problem, use of open data
  •     Use of digital tools to achieve citizen access to information and decision-making processes
  •     Impact of the Covid19 pandemic on the circular economy


  •     Applications for educating citizens on good environmental protection practices
  •     Creating smart education solutions for circularity of resource use within companies and public institutions
  •     Development of experiential education programmes through digital tools
  •     Use of Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) technologies for the exchange of good practices
  •     Use of digital tools to organise mentoring processes between citizens, businesses and public bodies
  •     Creating city workshop applications on the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs)


  •     Resource reuse and waste management
  •     Materials, supply chain, environmental footprint of products, actions and activities
  •     New Business Models
  •     Local market organisation models
  •     Use of digital tools to obtain reliable information on the creation of new products and services


Impact on Society

The Sustainability Hackathon attracted the interest of teams and startups from all over Greece, as well as individual participants. Startup companies, developers, researchers, student groups from universities across the country participated,
professionals, as well as business executives. During the three-day event, through the collaborative communication platform,
more than 6,100 messages and calls were exchanged by all participants and more than 110 online mentoring sessions were held between participants and mentors from Lidl Hellas, the Athanasios C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation, Crowdpolicy, as well as academics and market executives, who had been identified through an open invitation to the technology and innovation community.

More specifically, over 375 contestants, 35 teams and 35 mentors expressed interest in participating in the marathon, who guided and supported the teams to shape and further develop their idea, while 30 teams presented their ideas and 5 secured entry into the 5-month business acceleration program.

Out of the total of 30 teams, 5 teams won cash prizes from the Athanasios C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation, gift vouchers from Lidl Hellas and secured their entry into the 5-month Sustainability Innovation Lab business acceleration programme, while the 6th team won a special commendation.

The Sustainability Hackathon mobilizes the creative human capital of society and businesses, fosters creativity and youth entrepreneurship, invests in partnerships, leverages the expertise of participating executives and promotes innovation. It is part of the effort to strengthen the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in Greece and, at the same time, to create an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship in the field of environmental protection and sustainability. In addition, it contributes to tackling the "brain drain" phenomenon by providing incentives for young scientists and entrepreneurs to stay in our country.

A parallel aim of the Sustainability Hackathon is to promote catalysts for local development, such as open data, which is a key component of the digital economy, and the link with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Shared Value Initiative business culture initiative.

Initiative Location

The Open Day was held remotely using videoconferencing tools. The Sustainability Hackathon was held hybrid, with physical presence at Innovathens and remotely using innovative participatory and open innovation technologies and the use of collaborative tools and digital media. The final was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Thessaloniki with physical presence.


Working with Organization

The Sustainability Hackathon was held with the support of Lidl Hellas, in collaboration with the Athanasios C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation, with the technological and organizational support of the Greek innovation company Crowdpolicy, under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment and Energy.


Workers Participation

For the implementation of the project, employees of the Corporate Responsibility department of Lidl Hellas, the A. C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation and Crowdpolicy collaborated, while the production of the videos was undertaken by the team of Sotiris Danezis. Representatives of Lidl Hellas participated as members of the jury and as mentors, while the final marathon was held in the presence of the company's CEO.

Photos Videos

Benefits for Οrganization

This is an initiative with highly appreciative supporters, which paves the way for a better tomorrow. It is proof that for Lidl Hellas, sustainable development is inextricably linked to responsible entrepreneurship. And at the same time it is a source of inspiration and a force for development for our company. All the more so with this action, when we all stand before a number of major challenges. We live in the era of decisive change and disruptive evolution. We use tools and practices that change our daily lives in no time.

The Sustainability Hackathon Innovation Marathon is just that. The concept of collective effort at all levels. We bring in the same environment every company, every researcher, young scientist, student, who is looking and searching for a better tomorrow.

This action is part of REset Plastic, the Schwarz Group's international strategy for plastic, in which Lidl Hellas also participates and specifically in the REsearch field of action. We invest in research and development of innovative solutions and raise awareness about recycling and the protection of natural resources. We have signed the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's New Plastic Economy Global Commitment, which is a strong reflection of our vision for a globally functioning circular economy.

Connection with Global Goals

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