Eben Bayer grew up on a maple farm in Canada. To fire up the boiler they’d use woodchips, which is where Bayer first learned about mycelium or “nature’s glue”. Heaps of woodchips would – as you may imagine – start to grow mushrooms when left alone outside and when it was time to move the woodchips into the boiler, some chunks would stick to each other and the shovel because of the mycelium in the mushrooms. At the time, Bayer probably didn’t think he would use this knowledge to transform the packaging industry, but that is in fact what happened.

Robert Matthams pitched his company Shiply back in 2009 to the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge and won the support of €100,000 to help expand. Now operating across ten countries, with over 1.7 million customers, 3.2 million delivery listings posted and 100,000 transport companies using the platform, Shiply has thrived off the back of the support.

So, bricks. How much time have you ever spent thinking about bricks? Unless you’ve built your own house, I’m guessing the subject has hardly ever crossed your mind. This means that you’d probably be somewhat surprised to find out that bricks are used in over 80 percent of global construction. I say ‘somewhat surprised’ because it isn’t a truly mind-boggling statistic is it? Ok, let’s try this one: 1.23 trillion bricks are produced every year. A little bit more impressing if only due to the word “trillion”, right? Alright, then here’s for the real slam-dunk: producing all these bricks creates 800 million tons of carbon emissions worldwide on a yearly basis. Why? Because bricks need to be “fired”. 

In December, the world changed. Our low carbon future became inevitable, irresistible and irreversible.

In the closing days of 2015, Paris hosted a landmark event in the series of annual United Nations Summits on Climate Change. The 21st Conference of Parties, or “COP21” in UN-speak, was billed by many as the world’s last chance to secure a meaningful, truly international agreement to act on climate change before our time runs out.

The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is all about stimulating green business entrepreneurs. Through this annual competition the Postcode Lottery wants to ensure that groundbreaking sustainability solutions actually get developed and make it to market. Each year the five finalists present unique, creative and forward thinking business plans. One of this years finalist was Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez of Ooho! They have created an alternative packaging solution for plastic bottles, based on natural containers such as fruit skins. Now, more than two months after the final, we have asked him a couple of short questions to hear about his background, how they came up with Ooho! and how he looks back at his participation in the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge.

Ryan Pandya and Perumal Gandhi had a dream about a world where milk comes from breweries rather than factory farms. To turn their dream into reality they started Muufri, a start up that has identified the proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals in milk and is developing a blending process that could replace factory farming. They submitted their business plan for the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2015 and knew to impress the jury. Muufri was rewarded with the runner-up price of €200,000 to further develop their product and bring it to market. We asked Ryan three questions to find out what his participation brought him and his company.

It's been nearly two months since the five finalists of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2015 presented their business plan to our jury. One of the finalists was Stacy Flynn with her company EVRNU. Her vision on how to recycle the million tons of textile waste into premium renewable material is inspiring. TEDx thought the same and invited her to give a TEDx talk. Reason enough to ask her some questions about her participation at the Postcode Green Challenge and how she is doing today.

The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is the largest annual international competition in the field of sustainability innovation. Ever wondered how the competition can help accelerate your business when you’re announced as the winner? To find out we asked this year’s winner Jurriaan Ruys of Land Life Company three short questions.