A global contest seeking the next big green sustainable idea is now open for entries and the organisers are hoping for another bumper year of entrants from Britain.
Now in its sixth year, the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is looking for new carbon cutting innovations and is encouraging sustainable entrepreneurs to enter before the 31stof July for their chance to win £400,000. The Challenge has received backing from major figures around the world including, Sir Richard Branson, who is encouraging Britain’s entrepreneurs to put their ideas forward.
The competition is looking for creative and sustainable concepts that will directly reduce CO2 emissions and greenhouse gases. All entries must be at the stage where they can be brought to market within two years. In addition to the £400,000 (EUR 500,000), the winner will receive invaluable support and guidance from leading industry experts to help bring their product to the market.
Assessing the viability of the entries will be a celebrated panel of business and sustainability leaders who will select a handful of finalists to present their ideas before an international jury of experts in September at the multimedia conference PICNIC ‘12 in Amsterdam, Holland. In addition to CO2 reduction, entries will be tested on their user-friendliness, quality and design. The announcement of the winner will take place at a dinner hosted by the United Postcode Lotteries in conjunction with the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting.
Britain has achieved significant success to date in the global competition and organisers of the Challenge are hoping for another British winner following the success of 49-year-old Dean Gregory in 2009, who took top place for his innovative RidgeBlade MicroGeneration design. RidgeBlade is a low-cost rooftop turbine which harnesses the wind’s power to produce renewable electricity. It is visually unobtrusive which makes it suitable for city housing as well as environmentally sensitive locations such as national parks, the initial inspiration for the design.
As a nation of entrepreneurs, it is anticipated that this will be the contests biggest year, as both the business world and consumers really begin to invest in green alternatives. A recent report by Verdantix highlighted that spending by large UK companies on energy, environment and sustainability initiatives will grow at an average 16 percent per year between 2012 and 2015. It estimates that the growth in ‘green’ business spending this year alone will rise by 12 percent to £4.3bn, almost 20 times faster than the expected growth of the UK economy (0.6 percent).
Each year, interest in the online contest grows around the world and attracts increased support from major figures in the business and sustainability community, which is reflected in its judging panel. This year’s panel includes Steve Howard, chief sustainability officer of IKEA Group and Jim Walker, the co-founder of The Climate Group. Last year, the contest added a touch of Hollywood glamour when actor Brad Pitt sent a message of encouragement to the finalists in Holland.
The entrants are measured on their ability to help reduce CO2 emissions in a range of categories including; ICT, Lifestyle, Design, Energy and Mobility. Last year, the Energy sector had the highest number of UK entrants, with Londoner Andreas Zachariah reaching the global final with his pioneering smartphone application, Carbon Diem, which detects the user’s mode of transport and calculates their carbon footprint.
Entrepreneurs are encouraged to step up to save the planet and log onto www.greenchallenge.info for more information and to download the application form, which must be submitted before 31 July 2012.