Omnipreneurship Awards - Innovation

Achieving our ambitions to be net zero and nature positive by 2030 need Group-wide innovation, internally and externally. The Omnipreneurship Awards are the driving force of this innovation.

Encouraging innovative ideas

Founded in 2020, the Ominpreneurship Awards communicate what Omnipreneurship means to the world. The Awards offer the winning company $1 million for sustainable solutions to the challenges facing the group’s key sectors.

The Omnipreneurship Awards has two sides. Internally, for our colleagues to enter, and externally, for anyone in the world to enter.

The internal awards are run via a collaborative innovation platform open to all business units and colleagues.The outreach into the businesses is supported by Omnipreneurship trainers, ambassadors and council members.

The challenge

The Omnipreneurship Awards were created to incentivise innovations that will drive sustainability. Each year the award focuses on a different challenge in one of the groups key sectors.

The first year challenge, in 2020, was led by Tanmiah. The challenge was to find a sustainable solution to convert poultry waste to value. The traditional disposal practice is via landfill. This leads to greenhouse gas emissions, social and water pollution and pathogen-related health risks. It also accounts for 10% of the carbon footprint of chicken production. Poultry litter is a substance rich in nitrogen and phosphorous nutrients and while the team knew there was huge potential in this waste stream, the technology was not available to capture it at scale. Due to COVID there was a delay in announcing the winner, which happened in 2021.

The second-year challenge, in 2021, was led by Petrolube. The winners will be announced in 2022. The challenge focuses on finding innovative solutions to refine used vegetable cooking oils into bio-base oils that can be used in lubricants. Currently, some 540,000 metric tons of cooking oil are used in Saudi Arabia every year. Finding ways to prevent this going to waste will help prevent pollution and provide a more sustainable input for Petrolube’s products.

The response and results

The 2021 prize was won by Polymeron. Their biochar technology converts the waste into biochar to be used as a bio-organic soil improver and biodegradable plastic polymer.

This soil improver is then used to further Tanmiah’s One Million Tree Initiative, avoiding the need for expensive, imported fertiliser. The trees provide a habitat for wildlife and local communities to enjoy as well as providing inputs back into the poultry farms in the form of wood shavings which would otherwise be transported in from hundreds of miles away.

Companies within the group are exploring other ways to use biochar. FPS is investigating how it can use biopolymers, whilst Red Sea International are experimenting with low carbon biochar to replace high carbon cement in construction.

The response to the 2021 challenge was global. Ideas were received from 14 different countries, across 5 different continents. The winners are being announced in 2022.