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Scots urged to become global green heroes

16 May 2012

Commenting on the launch today (Wednesday) of the the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge which calls on entrepreneurs to submit business plans for products or services which are able to directly reduce CO2 emissions, [1] Dr Richard Dixon, Director of WWF Scotland said:

"Scotland has an amazing history of inventing things and this is a great opportunity to showcase our creative talents to come up with new solutions to help tackle climate change. In the week that WWF published its health check on the planet, its biennial Living Planet Report, it is clear we need to act urgently to slow down our plundering of the Earth's natural resources.

"We hope the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge inspires people throughout Scotland to come up with the ideas that will contribute to saving our wonderful planet."

Notes to Editors

[1] People's Postcode Lottery Press Release

For use: Wednesday 16 May 2012


• £400,000 top prize
• Backed by Sir Richard Branson

A global contest in search of the next big carbon cutting innovation was launched in the UK today (15 May 2012) at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation.

Now in its sixth year, the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, which has received backing from major figures around the world, including Sir Richard Branson, is on the search for a global hero to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions through innovative sustainable business ideas.

The Scottish Government is also supporting the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, as it continues towards meeting its ambitious Climate Change Scotland statutory emissions reduction targets of 42% by 2020. Commenting on the Challenge, Stewart Stevenson, Minister for Environment and Climate Change said:

“The Postcode Lottery’s Green Challenge is a great example of galvanising people in Scotland and worldwide to take action to reduce emissions. The achievements of previous competition winners illustrate what an incredible impact seemingly simple ideas can have. With a strong history of invention and innovation in our country, I’m sure we’ll see more entries from Scotland in this year’s challenge – and perhaps even a Scottish winner.”

The contest, which runs until the end of July, will see entrepreneurs submit business plans for products or services which are able to directly reduce CO2 emissions. Entries must be at the stage where they can be brought to market within two years. The winning concept will be awarded £400,000 (EUR 500,000) and invaluable support and guidance from leading industry experts to bring their product to the market.

Sir Richard Branson said:

“The UK has long been a nation of inventors, creating ideas that last a lifetime. The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is about using that innovation to make a real difference to climate change and we are calling on all British entrepreneurs to enter the competition. A great British idea could be the next thing to shake up the way we do business and help tackle climate change – and the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is the springboard to get that idea there.”

Assessing the viability of the entries will be a celebrated panel of business and sustainability leaders who will select a handful of finalists to present their ideas before an international jury of experts in September at the multimedia conference PICNIC ’12 in Amsterdam, Holland.

The announcement of the winner will take place at a dinner hosted by the United Postcode Lotteries in conjunction with the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting.

Sir Richard continued:

“Since the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge started in 2007, British entrepreneurs have reached the competition’s finals year on year. We want as many UK entrepreneurs to enter as possible – the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is about showcasing sustainable invention and ideas, sharing expertise and knowledge.”

Organisers of the Challenge are calling for more UK entries this year and hope for another British winner following the success of 49-year-old Dean Gregory in 2009, who took top place for his innovative RidgeBlade MicroGeneration design. RidgeBlade is a low-cost rooftop turbine which harnesses the wind’s power to produce renewable electricity. It is visually unobtrusive which makes it suitable for city housing as well as environmentally sensitive locations such as national parks, the initial inspiration for Dean’s design.

Jo Bucci managing director of the People’s Postcode Lottery said:

“Climate change is something we need to urgently tackle, and previous Postcode Lottery Green Challenge winners have shown us how one idea clever, creative green idea really can make a difference. We want the UK to once again be represented at the final of this global competition, so I urge entrepreneurs across the country to visit www.greenchallenge.info and find out more.”

Dean, who was on hand today to launch the UK drive for entries to the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, is calling on entrepreneurs, like him, from throughout the UK who have spotted a better way of doing things, to put forward their ideas. He said:

“My moment of inspiration came from frustration at the current formats available for micro-turbines and I wanted to develop a product that could be used almost anywhere without attracting planning objections. Realising the concept could significantly reduce carbon emissions on a global scale, I submitted my plan to the contest.

“To have reached the finals and receive feedback and encouragement from a panel that included Niklas Zennstrom, founder of Skype, was fantastic. To go on to win the top prize has given us the freedom to spend time refining and developing the product and we are now at the stage where we are ready to bring the product to market.”

As a nation of entrepreneurs, it is anticipated that this will be a bumper year as both the business world and consumers really begin to invest in green alternatives. A recent report by Verdantix highlighted that spending by large UK companies on energy, environment and sustainability initiatives will grow at an average 16 percent per year between 2012 and 2015. It estimates that the growth in ‘green’ business spending this year alone will rise by 12 percent to £4.3bn, almost 20 times faster than the expected growth of the UK economy (0.6 percent).

Each year, interest in the online contest grows around the world and attracts increased support from major figures in the business and sustainability community, which is reflected in its judging panel. This year’s panel includes Steve Howard, chief sustainability officer of IKEA Group and Jim Walker, the co-founder of The Climate Group. Sir Richard Branson will also be encouraging Britain’s entrepreneurs to put forward their ideas. Last year, the contest added a touch of Hollywood glamour when actor Brad Pitt sent a message of encouragement to the finalists in Holland.

The entrants are measured on their ability to help reduce CO2 emissions in a range of categories including; ICT, Lifestyle, Design, Energy and Mobility. Last year, the Energy sector had the highest number of UK entrants, with Londoner Andreas Zachariah reaching the global final with his pioneering smartphone application, Carbon Diem, which detects the user’s mode of transport and calculates their carbon footprint.

Last year’s winner, UK born Nick Christy’s innovative Water Recycling Shower, could potentially save 61.8million tons of CO2 a year, if every shower in the UK was converted to their system. His idea could save the equivalent of 2,380 oil tankers full of water, or take the equivalent of 12.4million cars off the road.

London-based Robert Matthams, a runner up in the 2009 contest, has estimated that since winning funding and advice from the Challenge, Shiply, his online transport marketplace has grown by 500% and has helped save over 36million unnecessary truck miles – the equivalent of driving around the world 1,472 times, saving over 8million kg of CO2.

Entrepreneurs are encouraged to step up to save the planet and log onto www.greenchallenge.info for more information and to download the application form, which must be submitted before 31 July 2012.

- ENDS -

Notes to Editors:

• Interviews are available with past UK winner Dean Gregory, who created RidgeBlade • Photography of the launch will also be made available • An accompanying info-graphic on how much CO2 emissions last year’s winner and the UK runner up in 2009 have generated is also available.

The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2012 • The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is an international creative competition from the Dutch Postcode Lottery, championed in the UK by its sister lottery the People’s Postcode Lottery. The competition encourages creative green entrepreneurs to submit innovative, carbon-cutting ideas for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
• A top prize of over £400,000 (€500,000) is presented to the entrant with the best idea to execute his or her business plan. A further £175,000 (€200,000) is also available for either one or two runner-up initiatives.
• Backed by Sir Richard Branson, the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is aimed at creative, innovative people who can instigate change. The jury of judges are looking for products and services that could contribute to an eco-friendly lifestyle and directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in addition to scoring well on convenience, quality and design.

About People’s Postcode Lottery

* People’s Postcode Lottery is Britain’s charity lottery. Players play with their postcodes to win cash prizes while raising money for good causes in their area.
* The People’s Postcode Lottery manages multiple society lotteries promoted by different charitable organisations which support a range of good causes. For details on which society lottery is running each week, please see www.postcodelottery.co.uk/drawcalendar
* The People’s Postcode Lottery’s beneficiary Trusts – Postcode Green Trust, Postcode Care Trust and People’s Postcode Trust – are run in support of the following participating charities:
o Postcode Green Trust awards funding to the following charities: Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Wildlife Trusts Wales, Woodland Trust, WWF Scotland, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.
o Postcode Care Trust awards funding to the following charities: CHILDREN 1ST, Children North East, Daisy Chain, Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres and Missing People o People’s Postcode Trust is a grant-giving charity which funds projects that benefit local communities

* The Trusts are funded entirely by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery
* There are five large draws a month and each draw costs £2 – paid in advance by monthly direct debit. 40p from every £2 spent on tickets goes to good causes. We believe in supporting communities so all the money raised in each country (Scotland, England and Wales) stays in that country.
* People’s Postcode Lottery players have raised over £17.6 Million for great causes across the country

Issued on behalf of People’s Postcode Lottery’s Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2012 by The BIG Partnership.

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