Lifestyles in the developed world have been based for a century on relatively low-cost power generation and access to fossil fuel. But the world is changing, and as greater numbers of people worldwide seek the benefits previously enjoyed by those in developed economies, the impact on the environment will only be sustainable if consumers everywhere adapt their behaviour.
Providing consumers with devices that help them make sustainable decisions could play a vital role – by helping to ensure they use the right amount of water, heat and detergent for every clothes wash, for example, or prompting them to boil only the water they need for a cup of tea.
We think devices like these could make a big difference – so we'd like to work with partners in open innovation who could help us develop them.
We're looking for ingenious devices, technologies or design breakthroughs that could help consumers become more environmentally conscious, or help them make more sustainable choices about their behaviour. These could improve:
- Water usage: in the US, average domestic water usage is 550 litres per day, compared to 90 litres in China. We are looking for devices that save water in the bathroom, kitchen or garden.
- The use of energy to regulate temperature: heating or cooling air and water consumes massive amounts of energy. We are looking for devices that reduce the energy consumers use to make tea, shower, or wash up.
- Electricity usage: many electrical appliances in homes are 'instant on', which means that electricity is flowing even when they are off. We are looking for devices that control this flow, or give consumers better information about their electricity usage, to help reduce energy consumption.