Product, Service & Design Innovation
Unilever Foundry's Ideas Platform Announces Winners of First 3 Sustainability Challenges

Unilever Foundry’s new idea platform today announced the winners of its first three sustainability challenges. The debut round of idea sourcing saw over 70 community members submit more than 150 ideas across the three categories. A panel of Unilever judges have now selected a grand prize winner for each challenge.

Unilever Foundry launched the ideas platform in June as a global crowdsourcing community, to put the public’s ingenuity at the heart of its sustainability innovation. The platform enables peer-to-peer collaboration, bringing together consumers, key opinion-formers and innovators to co-create solutions to sustainability challenges.

“The Unilever Foundry ideas platform enables the general public to share ideas and develop solutions which help to make sustainable living commonplace. Good ideas can come from anywhere, and we’ve been overwhelmed by the initial response to the three launch challenges. In addition to recognizing and celebrating these ideas, we’re now looking at how we can support these innovators to bring these ideas to life.” said Sue Garrard, SVP of Sustainable Business Development and Communications at Unilever.

Unilever Foundry’s ideas platform was launched with three ‘grand challenges’ that aimed to solve sustainability issues in the areas of sanitation, hygiene and nutrition. The following winning ideas have been selected for each category:

1. Improving Access to Sanitation

Grand prize winner — Saurabh Saraf

Saraf’s solution, Waterhubs, is a modular water and sanitation infrastructure for urban slums. Modules will be designed, which when integrated together will provide functions such as sanitation, in-situ wastewater treatment, resource recovery, energy, and community services such as showers and laundry. This will provide access to sanitation services as well as enabling safe disposal and treatment of waste. Waterhub facilities can serve 2,000–50,000 people and aim to reach 100,000 people with its services in the next five years.

2. Improving Global Nutrition

Grand prize winner — Onyinye Uche

To reduce the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia in Nigeria, Uche proposed an education program that partners Knorr with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Nigeria’s mandatory yearlong program for tertiary graduates. During their orientation, Knorr would educate the NYSC on iron deficiency anemia and the importance of consuming iron-rich foods, knowledge they would then pass on to the various institutions, schools and communities the NYSC visit during their service.

3. Imagining the Shower of the Future

Grand prize winner — Yehuda Goldfisher

Goldfisher’s shower solution took inspiration from the traditional toilet with half and full flush buttons. The concept shower will have two buttons — the ‘short’ button will be used to wet the body before soaping to reduce unnecessary water waste, while the ‘long’ button will be used to wash the soap off and complete the shower. Like the toilet, pressing the button for longer will allow more water to drop, which will in turn control water usage and wastage.

Unilever Foundry will be announcing the next round of idea challenges at 12pm GMT on 12thOctober. Register in advance for a chance to get involved: https://www.ideas.unilever.com/User/Register

Read more about each winning idea.

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