AMSTERDAM, 16 September 2013 – Ginger Dosier of the United States has won the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2013. The jury, chaired by Richard Branson, awarded her €500,000 today at the final in Amsterdam to realise her green business plan. The jury chose Dosier for her company BioMason’s CO2-free brick production process. BioMason uses bacteria to ‘grow’ bricks out of readily available materials such as sand. The bricks compare favourably with traditional fired clay ones, whose manufacturing releases copious greenhouse gas emissions. Dutchmen Wolbert Allaart and Patrick Heuts were both awarded with a €100,000 runner-up prize for their green plans.
Dosier could not be happier: “With the prize money we will be able to achieve significant results faster and launch our sustainable bricks on a large scale. This is a huge encouragement.”
Dosier went up against four other startup green entrepreneurs: the Dutchmen Wolbert Allaart of the Hague and Patrick Heuts of Oosterbeek and two other American women Alison Greenlee and Kavita Shukla. Allaart and Heuts each won €100,000 for their green inventions. The jury chose Allaart for his company’s energy-harvesting glider. Ampyx Power’s plane flies at high altitudes, capturing wind at a low cost. This is more environmentally friendly than coal or gas. Heuts received €100,000 for his company's efficient propeller replacement for inland shipping barges. His design moves up and down like a dolphin’s flipper, slashing CO2 emissions with 50 percent compared to current systems.
The public prize went to Kavita Shukla for her product Freshpaper: biodegradable paper which is infused with spice extracts that keep products fresh two to four times longer. Shukla received the most audience votes on Facebook and wins a €5,000 cheque to spend on a workshop or conference of her choice.
Branson praises finalists
Richard Branson said the finalists had impressed him. “I’ve seen some amazing carbon-reducing ideas here today,” he said. “Sustainable goods and services like these can really make the difference in a world that’s dealing with the effects of climate change. But a good idea’s one thing – without the right structure in place, it’s not getting out of the gate. That’s why I wholeheartedly support this competition. I wish each of the finalists all the success in the world with his or her business.”
Hundreds of entries received
Every year since 2007, the Dutch Postcode Lottery has challenged people around the world to enter the competition by sending in sustainable, creative, innovative products and services that reduce carbon emissions. This year, the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge drew 311 entries from 57 countries. Branson returned as jury chairman after first taking on the job in 2007.