The Pole Position project: innovating energy-efficient pumps at Grundfos*
This chapter explores the process whereby Grundfos developed its Alpha Pro circulation pump and how the company contributed to the establishment of the EU Energy Classification Scheme. It evaluates the energy-saving benefits that are expected to result from the increased uptake of energy-efficient circulation pumps. The chapter discusses some of the wider implications of the case study, in particular the critical relationship between innovation and public policy in developing and implementing sustainable solutions to climate change. Even though public policy can support business innovations, numerous challenges can be encountered. From this case study, three issues were of particular importance: policy uncertainty, policy weaknesses or gaps in policy and how to use policy to support innovation. The innovation process behind Alpha Pro is therefore a story of how Grundfos engaged with industry peers and policy-makers to overcome this market barrier by creating regulation to support energy-efficient circulation pumps.