AMSTERDAM, Aug. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The annual Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, hosted by the Dutch Postcode Lottery, announced five green start-ups still in the running to win the grand prize of 500,000 euro (approximately $535,000 USD) for their sustainability business plans. Among the five are two U.S. based start-ups, Muufri and Evrnu. Other start-ups include Ooho! from the United Kingdom and two start-ups from the Netherlands, Land Life Company and Fleet Cleaner.
On September 10, the five finalists will present their green business plans in front of an international panel of experts in Amsterdam, chaired by Steve Howard, chief sustainability officer of the IKEA Group. The winner will receive 500,000 euro to bring his or her product or service to market, while the runner-up will receive 200,000 euro (approximately $222,600 USD).
Now in its ninth year, the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge seeks to support innovative products or services aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases. This year, a total of 271 entrepreneurs from 56 countries submitted their green business plans to participate in the Challenge.
- Jurriaan Ruys (47, Amsterdam, The Netherlands): Land Life Company
Afforestation of dryland – 45 percent of the earth's land surface – has been found to be a key weapon against climate change. But many dryland soils have been degraded by deforestation and mismanagement, making it hard for new trees to survive and flourish. This biodegradable Cocoon incubator helps to address this problem by providing seedlings with water and shelter and then decomposing them into substrate with no irrigation or maintenance needed.
- Cornelis de Vet (26, The Hague, The Netherlands): Fleet Cleaner
Fleet Cleaner's robots remove slime, algae and barnacles from ships' hulls in port without damaging antifouling coatings. Unlike its competitors, it cleans above and below the waterline and collects the materials it removes, protecting local ecosystems. The company also plans to use the fouling as biomass fuel. Regular removal of fouling reduces ships' fuel consumption, cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 5 percent.
- Stacy Flynn (41, Seattle, USA): Evrnu
Given that cotton production can be resource-intensive and harmful to the environment, Evrnu's technology employs a cradle-to-cradle method that enables the full recycling of post-consumer cotton clothing, while reducing emissions. It cleans, breaks down and re-dyes clothing fibers to turn them into premium renewable material. Additionally, the new fibers can be engineered to meet custom specifications.
- Ryan Pandya (23, Menlo Park, USA): Muufri
Muufri's unique process for "brewing" milk could address some of the issues associated with commercial dairy farming, eliminating huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions as well as animal suffering. The company has identified the necessary proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals found in dairy products to blend the milk of the future. A preliminary life-cycle assessment indicates that Muufri's technique generates 35 to 65 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than dairy farming. It also requires much less energy, water and land – and, of course, no animals to produce.
- Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez (30, London, United Kingdom): Ooho!
Ooho!'s cheap and biodegradable packaging for water takes inspiration from fruit skins. The concept involves a culinary technique known as spherification, where the packaging features a double skin that keeps one layer clean and edible. Packaging can be done on a small scale at local factories, minimizing the emissions that stem from transportation. If Ooho! replaced all plastic bottles, it could potentially cut carbon dioxide emissions from this sector by an estimated 80 percent.
For more information:
- Click here to find out more about the members of the international jury of experts who will be judging at the finale of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2015.
- More information about the competition can be found on www.greenchallenge.info.
About the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge
In contribution to a greener world, the Dutch Postcode Lottery has organised the annual Postcode Lottery Green Challenge since 2007. It is the largest annual international competition in the field of sustainability innovation. All participants must submit a detailed business plan, meeting several criteria, for assessment by a preliminary jury. Meanwhile, winners from previous editions have successfully developed their innovative products thanks to the publicity and network of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge. In 2014, British entrepreneur Arthur Kay won €500,000 for his business Bio-bean, which converts coffee grounds into biofuels: biodiesel and combustible bio pellets.
SOURCE Dutch Postcode Lottery