Green Innovation on the Run
You’ll be surprised just where can a run take you
My morning run has unleashed a creative side to me I never expected. As you can imagine, running in Guragon, India, produces a lot of heat and sweat and as I pounded my way around the track and looked at my fellow runners doing the same I started to think where does this energy go?
Yes, I’m burning calories, yes, I’m keeping my heart healthy but what would be possible if my kinetic energy was turned into electric watts? What if all the running and walking humans do every day could be truly exploited?
These thoughts regularly rushed around my head, but I’m neither a professional inventor nor a physicist, so I was pretty sure that I would never bring that idea to life.
By coincidence I heard about an employee contest organized by adidas that challenged us to find a new retail sustainability innovation.
Our Innovation Hub contest, driven by our Retail Innovation and Green Company initiative, was designed for people to move outside their area of expertise, look at new challenges and most importantly take the time to research and bring an idea to life. It was a unique opportunity for me, and I took it.
I explored different technologies that could convert kinetic energy into electric energy and found ‘piezoelectric’ components that when pressed generate green electricity. This was really a WOW moment for me!
I thought about using the piezoelectric components in floor tiles of stores to generate green energy. I could already see adidas consumers walking around our stores, trying out our shoes and all the time creating green electricity!
My colleagues at our Innovation Hub saw the same vision and I won the Retail Green Sustainability contest which will bring my vision to life later this year.
Thanks to this competition I’ve learned three really valuable yet simple things to be more creative:
- You don’t need to be a master of a subject to excel in it.
- Rely on available resources – there are lots of useful tools around you.
- Don’t be afraid to try out something new. You never know where your daydreams can take you!
What creative ideas are you turning over in the gym, on the track or in the pool? Don’t be afraid to bring them to life…there’s plenty of tools and supporters out there to help you along.
When you mention green innovation and sustainability innovation, my mind turns to the athletic gear we wear when running. Traditional durable materials such as leathers and plastics, and traditional performance materials such as petrochemical fabrics, work really well on the road, but in the long run are neither green nor sustainable. I would love the chance to work in the Innovation Hub and help develop new materials that would be friendly to both athlete and Earth.
thanks for your inspirational comment.
Sounds like Gaurav's article really triggered your creativity :) Will be interesting to see how adidas will bring Gaurav's vision to life.
Talking about sustainability, have you already read our GamePlan A story "Plastic bags at adidas stores are history - here's how we made it happen!"?
If you have a story which you think would be interesting for creators, who are tackling work life with an athlete's heart, you're invited to submit it via our contribution tool: www.gameplan-a.com/contribute.
If you're interested in working for the adidas Group, please check out careers.adidas-group.com.
I'm looking forward to reading more about your ideas and visions!