Heineken starts online search for green beer packaging

04 april 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. Heineken’s announcement follows similar moves by Unilever. 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 (Environmental Leader, 3 April 2012).