Heineken – Beer, Sustainability & Creative Crowdsourcing

I was browsing through my Twitter feed yesterday and saw Kate’s (@white_k8) tweet about Heineken holding a crowdsourcing idea contest for its sustainable packaging. As we mentioned in class, more companies are finding ways to make their packaging sustainable including the way products are transported to retailers and customers. Some examples are HP’s laptop packaging, Cargo Cosmetics’ innovative lipstick packaging and of course, LUSH’s Naked bath bombs packaging. All of these companies took on the sustainability challenge given by our society and they all succeeded.

Back to the Heineken Beer Sustainable Packaging, the company is crowdsourcing ideas and innovations for the future of its beer packaging in three different ways: re-using or recycling a larger amount of its beer packaging, discovering new packaging materials and maximizing transportation efficiency in relation to the packaging itself. The contest is open to selected countries and states around the world due to local legislation and restrictions, however, people who are not allowed to compete are still encouraged to share and vote for the most innovative and inspiring ideas.

There are two stages in this challenge. The first stage called the Enrolment encourages people to create a profile and submit unlimited amount of ideas. Participants will be judged based on innovativeness and the number of votes the idea receives from the audience. The top 100 participants will enter the next stage of the challenge called Idea Enrichment stage. In this stage, the selected participants will be invited to work with Heineken experts “in a┬ácollaborative, closed online innovation environment to upgrade the selected ideas”. This stage will be judged by an official jury of external experts and Heineken innovation directors and one overall winner will be selected. The winner will receive $10,000 and will ultimately be part of Heineken’s history. This way of crowdsourcing ideas reminded me of the research paper Professor Darren Dahl did, which he explained in my Creativity class this term. His research paper focused on the effects of social recognition and monetary reward on creativity. His research results showed that when people were told to focus on the creative process (For example, in Heineken’s case: “Since we do not want to limit creativity, you can submit as many ideas as you like.”), people given monetary reward had the most original ideas compared to those given social recognition reward or no rewards at all. The reason behind this is that people who are given monetary reward engaged in more narrow search and more risk taking ideas that were further away from the most conventional idea. So in Heineken’s crowdsourcing ideas for its sustainable packaging, there is a high possibility that they are going to get a high number of innovative and creative ideas as the monetary reward of $10,000 is there and up for grabs. So what are you waiting for? Put on your creative cap and help Heineken with its sustainable initiative!