Products and Design
Unilever Taps Crowdsourcing to Develop Eco-Friendly Shower

Unilever has announced that it will harness the potential of ‘crowdsourcing’ to develop the world’s first sustainable shower.

The company is asking creative individuals all over the world to submit at their ideas and solutions for an environmentally-friendly shower. The winner will receive a cash prize and a trip to London to develop the idea, Unilever says.

Believe it or not, in-home use is responsible for a significant proportion of the carbon footprint of shower products. With water becoming increasingly scarce, there is an urgent need to develop a commercially viable sustainable shower.

Phil Giesler, Vice President, New Businesses Unit for Unilever said the move was in line with taking increased responsibility for the way in which Unilever brands are consumed, and it would allow for the potential of crowdsourcing to deliver a coherent solution to a complex challenge.

“We all love our morning shower yet the showering process hasn’t changed in decades,” said Michiel Leijnse, Water and Innovation brand director for Unilever. “It consumes substantial amounts water, requires a significant amount of energy to heat that water and it isn’t great for the skin.

“As part of our commitment to making sustainable living commonplace, we’d like to reinvent the shower in a way that reduces its environmental impact while enhancing the user experience,” said Leijnse.

The move came after the announcement of a partnership between Unilever and co-creation community eYeka in order to further tap into its open creativity platform across Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Russia and South Africa. Through the partnership, eYeka’s online community of over 250,000 creators will have the chance to develop ideas for a number of familiar Unilever brands.

“eYeka’s mission is to leverage the world’s creativity to enable organizations and people to create a better future together,” said François Pétavy, CEO, eYeka. “This initiative is a tremendous opportunity for our community to have an impact on our environment. We are proud to be invited by Unilever to participate in such a meaningful endeavour.“

Unilever was recently named a winner of the 2degrees 2013 Sustainability Champions Awards, which recognizes success in the execution of sustainability initiatives each year.


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