During SNI’s Winter 2022 Hackathon Challenge, our team comprised of members from Bulgaria and the Netherlands focused on developing decentralized incentives for collaborative regreening of urban areas. Throughout the weekend, we focused on identifying ways we could apply these solutions at De Ceuvel, an Amsterdam-based innovative land-trust that inspired the hackathon’s challenges. From ReCheck’s perspective, trees and revegetated sites can be turned into sovereign natural entities from which various data can be measured. This data could then provide insights regarding nature’s health and trigger smart contracts to reward people and organizations that took the initiative and contributed to realizing or maintaining nature’s wellbeing.
ReCheck’s proposed hackathon solution works to combat often invisible air pollution by building a new collaborative tool for data-driven and incentivized rewilding of urban nature. This approach could help improve local efforts by providing trustworthy and structured data for decision-making. Additionally, this tool could use the data to set objectives for urban regreening efforts, making it easy to reward anyone who contributes once the desired effects are achieved.
Out of all the types of air pollution, small particulate matter is causing the most severe health issues to people, including conditions like lung and cardiovascular diseases. Long-term exposure to high concentrations of this type of pollution has also been shown to lower life expectancy. While air quality is improving globally on average, problems with particulate matter are occurring more frequently and appear to be locally related. These cases are often related to heavy traffic on adjacent roads or emissions from nearby houses, businesses, or factories. Additionally, city expansion often results in building more “concrete jungles” and results in additional dense traffic spots in urban areas.
ReCheck’s ideal approach to resolving these outstanding issues is to rewild. However, such efforts are highly dependent on local situations. For example, planting and maintaining the trees at optimized locations can help filter up to 60 percent of the small particulate matter in their close surroundings. As a result, the enhanced air quality does not only improve the ecosystem’s well-being, it also allows for buildings to be ventilated with cleaner air and makes the neighborhood more attractive for residents and visitors. Such improved green zones have the potential to create enhanced rainwater accumulation and inner-city biotope diversity. These long-term benefits of Rewilding also lead to enhanced property values and turnover potential for businesses and enterprises.
The solution ReCheck presented at SNI’s hackathon involved creating incentives for citizens and enterprises to collaboratively act and improve the air quality in their neighborhoods by planting trees. Our tool allows a variety of data to be used and measured to showcase local levels of the smallest particulates (PM2.5) in the air, noise levels in public spaces, the average surface of green zones, and more. This data can then be used to define the objectives to be proven before rewarding all contributors will be triggered.
Participating in this SNI winter hackathon has brought our entire team to another knowledge level. Over the weekend, we became more conscious of the multiple positive effects that nature can have on our society. We had many meaningful conversations with mentors and learned a lot from the other teams’ proposed use cases. We learned that single-sided, non-sustainable goals too often incentivize human behavior. This realization had us challenge our assumptions several times before we decided to pivot to our final plan. By putting the measurable, sustainable effects of nature at the center of our use case, we managed to create incentives for enhanced and more collaborative human behavior.
We are thrilled to embed our SNI hackathon solution in the already-existing ReCheck product range. Our customers are continuously looking for solutions that help them realize their environmental, social, and governance pledges. As a result of the support we received during SNI’s hackathon, we believe we can provide a new tool that helps stakeholders prove the benefits of restoring nature and setting better-informed goals for rewilding efforts.
We hope SNI will continue spreading our narrative in their network. Our aim is that people worldwide start talking about our tool, resulting in it being applied in more local situations. When asking us how ReCheck will measure the success of its participation in this SNI winter hackathon, we would like to use this opportunity to introduce our own corporate pledge to nature: we will re-invest 15% of the turnover created with this tool in support of local initiatives for urban rewilding.
ReCheck helps organizations with data protection, tracking, and verification. Developing and deploying decentralized technology to create environmentally friendly, open-source solutions is part of our DNA. We also develop products with our modular building blocks, including the ReCheck Green Box and ReCheck Air. Both products help real estate owners and managers reduce energy consumption, CO2 emissions, and maintenance costs by up to 40 percent. Our data-driven solutions enable users and operators to improve their wellbeing in buildings with better and more comprehensive information provided to operators and users and informs data-driven interaction with any available connected equipment, such as HVAC, lighting, or other energy-consuming installations. We do this by connecting to devices and collecting different performance data in a well-structured, trustworthy, and interoperable way. The collected data can provide consistent insights in any desired output format. Furthermore, such data can support fully automated and traceable interaction between devices, resulting in enhanced optimization of operational building performances. Increasing historic data insights enables enhanced pattern recognition, scenario-analysis, deep learning, and self-learning AI. Last but not least, our trustworthy data collection allows tailored incentives to be created for anyone who conducts behavior to achieve measurable objectives.