Swedish multinational energy firm Vattenfall has created what looks like a very ordinary cot. One that you might see in the home of any family with a small baby. But, while it might look familiar, this particular crib cost £22,289 to make – the high price is because it’s been made completely without the use of fossil fuels.
Today it is almost impossible to manufacture items that fit the everyday needs of a household without the use of fossil-fuels. The way in which the everyday objects that we buy and use are created plays a huge role in the search for green solutions.
The cot is a proof of concept to start a conversation on the current challenges around fossil free manufacturing. Its aim is to show the challenge of sourcing such materials without the use of coal, gas or oil. The bedding has been hand-woven, the Texel-island wool used in the mattress was transported by sailboat, the wood was felled, sawn and dried using green electricity and even the logo uses the first steel in the world made with hydrogen – instead of cokes – which was transported by train and electric car.
The process of making this cot proves that fossil-free product creation is possible but it also highlights the complex challenges such a feat presents.
Across Europe, a number of industries have already almost disappeared and crafts that have been handed down over generations are in danger of becoming history. The price of losing these skills and the time needed to create a totally green item is too high and must be brought down to ensure a better and cleaner future for the next generation.
Vattenfall is working for that next generation by focusing on finding solutions to make fossil-free living scalable and affordable. To this point, Vattenfall works with various industries like the steel, cement and transport industry to create greener solutions. The aim is to find ways to bring everyday items back to an acceptable price, financially and for the planet.
The fossil-free cot was conceived and developed by Amsterdam creative agency DDB Unlimited. With the aim of making Vattenfall’s brand ambition for “fossil-free living within one generation” tangible. And to make it clear that while this ambition is challenging, it is achievable – with cross-industry cooperation.
Maarten Vrouwes, Executive Creative Director at DDB Unlimited says: “Designing and producing a fossil-free product was more challenging than we could ever imagine. But also, one of the most rewarding journeys we’ve ever undertaken. The end result is a beautiful combination of cutting edge innovation and the skills and crafts of our ancestors.
Cindy Kroon of Vattenfall says: “What this crib demonstrates is the challenge for the coming years in getting these types of processes scalable and affordable. And that we have to do this together. We are of course an energy company, not a furniture manufacturer, but we do want to take a broader perspective and seek cooperation to help industry and the transport sector in becoming fossil free”