The Carbon War Room and the Gigaton Throwdown on Saturday announced the winners of the first annual Gigaton Prizes, a set of awards intended to inspire and challenge businesses to lead on climate change. The prizes were awarded to:
- NIKE for its energy savings program aimed at reducing its global greenhouse gas emissions;
- Reckitt Benckiser Group for demonstrating its leadership in mitigating risk from climate change and sustainable practices;
- Suzlon for its achievement in managing its emissions and overall sustainability milestones;
- 3M for its leadership in improving energy efficiency and sustainable practices;
- Vodafone Group for its new business which provides carbon-reducing connections; and
- GDF Suez for its demonstrated leadership by emitting among the lowest CO2 per kilowatt-hour produced in Europe.
Sir Richard Branson, Co-Founder of the Carbon War Room, co-hosted the event in Cancun Saturday evening. “Today marks an important milestone in the fight against climate change,” he said. “These companies demonstrate the potential the business community has in developing innovative solutions that are good for the environment and the economy. The world’s leaders need to embrace the fact that there does not have to be a trade-off between the economy and the environment, and these awards prove that.”
A few weeks ago, Time’s Bryan Walsh explained some of the thinking behind the project, writing, “Given the political paralysis on the global stage — and the total gridlock that is the U.S. legislative system — focusing on business in a big way might be one of the fastest routes to carbon cuts.” Sunil Paul, founder of the Gigaton Awards, puts it even more succinctly: “Now more than ever, the world needs role models to offer a pathway to climate stability.” By highlighting companies that have adopted innovative approaches to reducing emissions, the Gigaton Awards provide just that.