In September and October, Carlsberg Group accepted submissions for its "Cheers to Green Ideas" competition, hosted in partnership with think tank Sustainia. The competition asked people and organizations from around the world to submit their ideas about how to make Carlsberg more sustainable. The six finalists have been announced, and the two winners will be announced on December 6 at the Sustainia Awards, in connection with the COP21 climate conference in Paris.
The competition highlighted three key challenges for consideration by participants: how to package beer in an eco-friendly way, how to increase recycling, and how to use less water and energy during production. 162 ideas were contributed by entrepreneurs and consumers from 33 countries. Three finalists were selected for each of the two awards.
The Cheers to Green Ideas Award finalist ideas, in the running for $20,000 and the opportunity to work with Carlsberg experts and partners in the Carlsberg Circular Community, are:
- Using microalgae to produce biomass, by Guillermo Luque Consuegra and Michael Malott from Spain and the United States. The use of microalgae in waste water treatment, the creation of biomass, and other processes could reduce breweries’ environmental impacts and costs over the long term.
- Using brewers’ spent grain as a wood substitute, by Ana Lima from Portugal. She suggests spent grain could be used to replace various materials, for example, wood products used in coasters.
- Edible beer packaging, Skipping Rocks Lab’s Ooho! packaging. Ooho! is made out of seaweed and a calcium-chloride based membrane for an edible, biodegradable beverage container. The solution was suggested for the competition by John Boerrigter of the U.S.
All from Denmark, the JC Jacobsen Special Award finalist ideas in the running for $10,000 and the collaboration opportunity, are:
- Turning cardboard frame into a trashbin, by Frederik Sperling Nygaard. Frustrated by the waste created by festivals and other large events, Nygaard’s idea is to create a portable recycling bin out of the cardboard tray that beer cans are sold in to promote recycling and encourage event attendees to think about their recycling habits.
- Plastic bag from bioplastic for holding six-packs together, by Marika Énglen. Bioplastic is made from renewable biomass sources. Énglen’s idea is a unique design that would use the material first for Carlsberg can six-packs, then as a regular plastic bag for other products besides beer.
- Green consumer ideas, by Søren Højland Boesen. Boesen submitted ideas for lightweight beer crates and better beer caps. He suggests the beer bottle caps could be magnetic to be more fun and engaging for the customer (rather than simply metal waste), or could be made out of sustainable materials to encourage recycling, or could contain seeds customers could plant.
“I’m very excited about the many ideas we received and look forward to exploring how we can use them in our quest to make our beer more sustainable, together with the winners.” Charlotta Lyon, Vice President for Sustainability at the Carlsberg Group, who will be presenting the awards at the Sustainia ceremony. “The global reach and interest in the competition shows that by engaging with our stakeholders in new ways, we can get creative sustainable ideas into the business.”