Despite our best efforts, things don't always fit precisely into the frameworks we create. Such was the case with several of this year's submissions that met the stringent entry criteria of the Awards, but did not fall neatly into the categories. As a result, the judging panel opted to create a new category (as did last year's judges) to better encompass—and more fairly judge—the various products that were entered.
This year's winner in the newly-created Innovative Systems category is the SOLON™ Compost System from BLANCO, which collects organic waste out of sight beneath the counter, easily helping users become more environmentally conscious. The SOLON Compost System is an easy way to compost from inside kitchens, both commercial and residential.
Created from the highest-grade recycled stainless steel, the SOLON Compost System collects waste in an effortless and eco-friendly way while adding beauty and style to the kitchen. Simple to clean and dishwasher safe, the product fits into any countertop with a virtually seamless appearance. SOLON's attractive lid offers a hygienic seal that contains odors. By encouraging composting, the product reduces waste to landfills, and raises awareness for recycling and waste management.
The company uses the latest energy-saving exhaust air technology during manufacturing, returning heat energy back to the production process. BLANCO also does not use CFC- or CHC-chasteners. In addition, the company proudly achieved a permanent and significant reduction of oil consumption and CO2
emissions in its facilities, and purposefully purchases from ecologically evaluated suppliers. Water consumption in the manufacturing process was reduced 50 percent by installing water-cooling technology, and BLANCO continues to reduce production scrap by using the highest quality raw materials, computer-controlled mixing machines, optimized processes and production facilities.
The judges were impressed by the company's supplier chain analysis, materials used and the user education component, adding that it "promotes sustainable living, appears easy to use and looks good." And they are
not alone: the SOLON Compost System recently won a number of prestigious honors for integrating green living into kitchen design, including the iF award for product design, an Innovative Green Design Award, an Interior Design BOY Award and the DPHA award for Innovative Accessories Product of the Year.