Heineken Starts Online Search for Green Beer Packaging

by | Apr 3, 2012

Beer company Heineken has become the latest company to launch an online open innovation platform, as it seeks ideas to help green up its products.

The first challenge set by the company’s Ideas Brewery is for innovators to submit their ideas for sustainable beer packaging. In particular the company is looking for re-use or recycling of beer packaging; new, sustainable packaging materials; and new ways to distribute or transport the packaging in a more sustainable manner.

Ideas will be assessed on the criteria of “innovativeness,” feasibility, and number of votes from the online audience, Heineken says. The best ideas will win $10,000. Ideas need to be submitted by May 8, and the winners will be announced in June.

The project will kick off today at 5pm GMT, with a “mini challenge,” as Freedom of Creation creative director and 3D prototyping pioneer Janne Kyttanen locks himself up in a secret location for 48 hours, during which he will try to develop solutions to Heinken’s sustainability challenge.

Heineken’s announcement follows similar moves by Unilever and Procter & Gamble.

In March, Unilever’s Open Innovation team launched an online platform seeking help on a range of sustainability issues such as better packaging and natural food preservation. Projects are listed on the Unilever web site as a series of “wants.” The company said that it launched the web site looking for a “fresh, serious” approach to developing new technology.

Procter & Gamble is now seeking to generate $3 billion in annual sales from products jointly developed with outside innovators.

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