Region of analysis for NASA Harvest. Unharvested wheat around the villages of Lepetykha and Fedorivka captured by PlanetScope on July 16, 2022. © 2022, Planet Labs PBC. All Rights Reserved.
Curious Planeteer working to make the Earth's changes visible, accessible and actionable.

The 2023 Planet Purpose Award Winners


Earlier this year we announced our second annual customer awards! The Planet Purpose Awards recognize and celebrate companies that are leading the way in the respective categories that align to Planet’s core values. 

This year the theme is “From Transparency to Action.” While Planet believes transparency and accountability are critical to understanding the global challenges facing organizations today, it is not enough. It’s about the need to take action now.

Planet’s data and platform enable an ecosystem of customers, partners, and the scientific community to shed light on events and behaviors where accountability is most needed – ultimately with the goal of driving better outcomes for a sustainable, secure planet and today we’re excited to recognize the pioneers leading the way.

We were overwhelmed by the great submissions in each category that our leadership team at Planet read through and voted on. Without further ado, this year’s winners are…

Do Good: NASA Harvest

The first category, Do Good, recognizes those whose work helps bring transparency to our changing world and strives to make it a better place for people and the environment.

The Do Good Award goes to NASA Harvest. Analysts at NASA Harvest have been tracking the impact on agriculture in Ukraine since the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian war. With Planet’s satellite data, they have been able to observe crop planting, commodity harvesting, and even fires along the frontlines of the conflict where fields are burned. Their latest study (re-posted in full from NASA Earth Observatory) shows that farmers have harvested 26.6 million tons of wheat in both Russian- and Ukrainian-occupied territories in 2022 – several million tons higher than expected in leading forecasts.

This is the third report using Planet satellite imagery and other data sources that the NASA Harvest team has produced about the war’s effect on Europe’s breadbasket. Previous surveys documented how much of Ukraine’s agriculture was under Russia’s control a few months post-invasion, and a subsequent progress report showed how many winter crops had been harvested and summer/spring crops planted, especially around the frontlines.

Dream Big: Polícia Federal do Brasil & Santiago e Cintra Consultoria Ltda. (SCCON)

The Dream Big award highlights customers and partners who push the boundaries of what’s possible, driven by a big audacious mission.

This year’s award winner is Polícia Federal do Brasil and SCCON. Polícia Federal  and SCCON conceived and implemented the largest program for monitoring and detecting changes in the Amazon using high-resolution daily satellite images and alerts that prove the illicit event with traceability proven by Planet images of before and after the illicit act accompanied by their respective metadata. The Brasil MAIS Program is one of the Ministry of Justice and Public Safety’s (MJSP) strategic initiatives and is the largest remote sensing operational project in Brazil.

With the implementation of SCCON Platform alerts powered by Planet data, the Brazilian Federal Police has made great strides in preventing illicit activities in one of the most remote regions of the world:

  • With its use of Planet satellite data and SCCON’s automated change detection, the project has collected over $ 1.9 billion / R$ 9.6 billion from fines, seized goods, and the freezing of assets since 2020.
  • Over 3,300 public agents were mobilized in over 120 joint operations, using satellite imagery and data from the project.
  • To date, over 270 institutions and 26,000 users have direct access to the data in one platform, including geoservices, dashboards and reports. This cohesion promotes broad participation and support for decision-making within the Federal Government.

Drive for Results: Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare Department, Odisha &

Odisha Space Application Centre (ORSAC) &

Technology Partner: SPARC Private Limited (India)

Drive for Results awards those who rapidly hypothesize and test, measure, and improve the way they approach solving a problem to drive more results.

The Drive for Results award goes to ORSAC, the Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare Department, Odisha, and technology Partner: SPARC Private Limited (India). Under the aegis of Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department, Government of Odisha (India), Odisha currently procures Paddy worth INR 14,000 Crores (about 1.7 BIllion USD) from more than 1.5 million farmers across the state covering about 50,000 villages under the MSP (Minimum Support Price) scheme. 

With Planet data, ORSAC was able to check the validity of reported paddy crops at the farm land level in these villages. The successful implementation over a large area was possible due to availability of near real-time satellite images from Planet which resulted in validation of paddy grown in farm lands of Odisha. This encouraged more small and medium farmers to avail benefits of the scheme, improving their participation from 67% to 73%.

Strive for Openness: Radio Free Europe

Our mission at Planet is to make change visible, accessible, and actionable which is why the Strive for Openness award promotes those who build bridges and share information in a way that fosters openness and shared outcomes. 

The award goes to the journalists of the Schemes program, the investigative unit of Radio Free Europe’s Radio Liberty in Ukraine who have been using Planet to document the War in Ukraine.

On the morning of April 21, 2022, a local Ukrainian resident reported mass burial sites in their region. The journalists of the Schemes program turned to Planet to quickly to obtain satellite images that allowed them to confirm these reports. On the same day,Schemes reporters found the first mass burial site near the Mangush cemetery in Mariupol. In the following days, Schemes also identified a burial site near the village of Vynohradne and reported on another site at the Old Crimea cemetery in the vicinity of Mariupol. In May, Schemes continued to monitor the mass burials using Planet imagery and recorded an increase in the number of graves. In July, they reported  that the mass burial site at the Old Crimean Cemetery doubled compared to May.

The reporting by Schemes has shed a light on the devastating impacts of the War in Ukraine and has since been re-reporting and quoted by major Ukrainian, European and American media, including CNN, The Wall Street Journal and many others.

Be Collaborative: Norway’s International Climate & Forests Initiative (NICFI)

Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT)

The Be Collaborative award showcases how groups and partnerships can collaborate to do something that each individual couldn’t accomplish alone.

Since October 2020, when Norway’s International Climate & Forests Initiative (NICFI) launched its Satellite Data Program with an international contract awarded to Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) with partners Planet and Airbus, the global community has had a tremendous resource available in the fight against tropical deforestation: High-resolution satellite monitoring. KSAT has been instrumental in coordinating across partners, users, and clients in the NICFI Satellite Data Program contract to ensure that Planet’s data helps achieve critical climate and conservation goals.

They gifted the whole world with new satellite images to allow anyone, anywhere, to monitor tropical deforestation. This is innovative, groundbreaking, and a fantastic example of a Public-Private Partnership.

That wraps up our second-annual Planet Purpose Awards. Congratulations again to all of the winners and thank you for the critical work you are each doing for the world.