The Innovate Irrigation Challenge


The Innovate Irrigation Challenge, Grayling / AB Sugar
Together, AB Sugar and Grayling launched The Innovate Irrigation Challenge - a hackathon designed to invite new ideas for helping the business reach its sustainability targets. The hackathon had a specific focus on stopping irrigation water losses in agriculture and had a prize of £10,000. As well as these new ideas, objectives also included raising awareness of AB Sugar’s sustainability commitments and its work to address them, as well as positioning the business as an industry leader in terms of promoting sustainable agriculture.

The hackathon aimed to be outward-looking as possible and leverage existing networks while creating credibility in the eyes of stakeholders and mitigating reputational risk. In order to so, we focused on the power of partnerships and existing networks with a focus on the NGO, academic and corporate sustainability worlds. Partners for the campaign included the WaterAid, the Centre for Industrial Sustainability at the University of Cambridge, and range of sustainability influencers like SustMeme’s Jim McClelland.

We deployed a multi-channel, content-rich and nimble communications campaign that included leveraging internal networks and external partner networks and outreaching to relevant universities – as well as traditional influencer relations, highly targeted paid and organic social media activity and media relations.

In total, we achieved coverage across a suite of key sustainability publications with a reach of 1.5 million and reached over 1.3 million people with a highly targeted social media campaign. In its first year, the hackathon received over 90 registrations of which 28 entries were shortlisted.