Top 10 Most Influential Projects by Industry

Climate Action

MIP_Flag Most Influential Projects 2022
Project Gigaton
Project Gigaton
Climate Action | North America
From upping its use of renewable energy in stores to diverting landfill waste, Walmart has flexed its sustainability muscle in the past—but nothing compares to Project Gigaton. The challenge Walmart set for itself and the thousands of manufacturing partners and suppliers that keep its 10,500 stores stocked: Reduce or eliminate 1 gigaton (or 1 billion metric tons) of greenhouse gasses from the global value chain by 2030. Developed in consultation with the World Wildlife Fund, the Environmental Defense Fund and the global climate nonprofit CDP, the project reached its midpoint milestone in April—just five years after project launch, and with eight years still remaining on the clock.
14th Most Influential Project of 2022
MIP_Flag Most Influential Projects 2022
Climate Action | Europe
Built on a barren expanse of moss-covered volcanic rock just outside Reykjavik, the world’s largest carbon capture plant looks humble enough—but its ambitions are huge. Orca, built by Climeworks, has the capacity to pull as much as 4,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide out of the air annually, increasing the global capacity for carbon capture by 40 percent. Iceland Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir called the project “a milestone in our fight against climate change.”
47th Most Influential Project of 2022
Earth’s Black Box
One day soon, a steel vault in the middle of a plain in Tasmania, Australia, will quietly record every action—and inaction—the world takes to address climate change. Conceived by Australian advertising agency, Clemenger BBDO, and in collaboration with University of Tasmania researchers, Earth’s Black Box is meant to be a sort of grim time capsule. Although the vault is still being built, its hard drives began recording online climate-related conversations and data in November 2021. The box, powered by solar panels and battery storage, uses an algorithm to capture climate-focused research, news and energy consumption and temperature data. Earth’s Black Box can record 30 to 50 years worth of data and will act as a single reservoir for the story of one of the greatest challenges humanity will face.
Doconomy Billboards
Climate Action
The same billboards that advertise travel deals and beverages on the streets of Stockholm now share a more important message—Sweden’s real-time greenhouse gas emissions data. Starting in June, the 2030 Forecast billboards, developed by sustainability-focused fintech company Doconomy in a partnership with data analytics firm Kayrros, began broadcasting data in four categories on billboards around the city: industry, energy, transport and domestic aviation. Up and down arrows indicate if Sweden is above or below its weekly Paris Agreement 2030 reduction targets. Doconomy hopes that the same marketing techniques that sell toothpaste and shampoo can spur citizens and companies toward a more sustainable future.
Wide angle shot of the Bridge for Creative Learning at Bundanon Art Museum
Art Museum and Bridge for Creative Learning
To maintain an environment that protects and preserves their precious displays, art museums need to consume a lot of electricity. But the Art Museum and Bridge for Creative Learning that opened on the Bundanon estate in New South Wales, Australia in January was built to not just minimize its own environmental impact, but to withstand the fallout from climate change. Designed by Australian architecture firm Kerstin Thompson Architects, the 530-foot-long (161.5-meter-long) bridge featuring dining and guest space is built high enough to allow flood water to flow underneath while the art museum is tucked behind a hill to protect it from wildfires. And joining a growing trend of cultural institutions doing their part to become more sustainable, the spaces are powered by solar panels on the estate and capture rainwater onsite.
Climate Action | Retail
The worldwide secondhand apparel market hit US$96 billion last year and is expected to more than double by 2026, per GlobalData. What’s fueling all that spend? Gen Z shoppers advocating for sustainable consumption—while simultaneously glued to their fashion-filled social media accounts. Looking to satisfy both surging trends: Galaxy, heralded as the first fashion resale marketplace powered by live video. Rather than invite users to post static images of garments, Galaxy was built for sellers to show their clothes in action—just as an influencer would. And several internet-famous TikTokkers and YouTubers have already gotten into the Galaxy act, even making appearances at the platform’s “closet cleanout” pop-ups. All the while, every swipe, scroll and sale is harvested by Galaxy’s algorithms, which use machine learning to fine-tune which retail-meets-entertainment videos a user will be served in the future. Since its launch last year, Galaxy has quickly taken off with young consumers, and with a US$7 million funding round in July (that pulled in Snapchat parent company Snap Inc.), the platform seems poised to rocket into the stratosphere.
Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor
Climate Action
In November 2021, four Latin American countries—Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Panama—unveiled plans for a project that, when completed, will result in the largest marine-protected area in the Western Hemisphere. The countries are combining their marine reserves to form one large reserve known as the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor. It will result in a fishing-free zone that covers roughly 500,000 square kilometers (190,000 square miles). The initiative moves the world one step closer to the goal of preserving 30 percent of the globe’s oceans and land area by 2030. On a local level, the project helps protect the turtles, tuna, squid and hammerhead sharks who call this part of the sea home or use it as a migratory route.
Side angle view of SANCCOB Gqeberha Centre Rehab Pool being built
SANCCOB Gqebertha Centre Rehabilitation Pool
Climate Action
Every year, millions of tourists flock to the islands and coasts of South Africa to see the famous Cape penguins. But the population of the South African penguins has dropped by nearly 65 percent since 1989 due to climate change and overfishing. For years, the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) has helped rehabilitate and release the area’s injured seabirds. That job got easier in August 2021 with the opening of a long-awaited rehabilitation pool. The pool, which was delayed by the COVID-19 shutdown in 2020, allows for the penguins to get in the swimming time they need to waterproof their feathers—a necessity for survival.
ProMeteo Seville
Climate Action
In June, Seville, Spain became the first city in the world to give heatwaves the tropical storm treatment: a naming system. The summer pilot program, ProMeteo Seville, divides heat waves into three categories of severity, based on their expected impact on human health. Category 3 heatwaves, the deadliest of the bunch, will be named in a way similar to hurricanes. A key piece of the program is an algorithm that helps forecast, and categorize, heat waves up to five days in advance. Then the program automatically triggers certain protective measures—from opening public swimming pools to sending health workers to check on elderly residents. It’s a chance to better market the dangers of extreme heat and have a plan in place to react when heat waves hit.
Te Awarua-o-Porirua and Kenepuru Stream Digital Visualizations
Climate Action
Data on its own doesn’t always tell a compelling story. For numbers and factors to resonate, it can help to bring them to human scale. That was the idea behind a partnership between Microsoft New Zealand, New Zealand’s country’s Ministry for the Environment, mana whenua (Maori tribal groups), three local councils, the Open Data Institute and tech partner Aware Group to build digital visualizations of Te Awarua-o-Porirua, an inlet of the north island, and the Kenepuru stream. The idea was to show what the waterways used to look like, how they've changed over time as a result of human action and how they might change in the future. What sets the project apart is that the visualization wasn’t created only with data, but through an inventive blend of historic records, oral histories from the Ngati Toa tribe and the use of machine learning.