CDP takes top SME & NGO prize in Zayed Future Energy Prize

For its “pioneering use of market-based tools to solve environmental issues”, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) was this week awarded the top prize in the SME & NGO category of the Zayed Future Energy Prize.

Dr Ashok Gadgil, division director at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Professor of CEE at UC Berkeley, won the Lifetime Achievement award for his sustainable humanitarian work in Darfur. Dr Gadgil is founder and president of the Darfur Stoves Project, which provides energy efficient cooking stoves that cut the need for firewood by 55pc.

Now in its fourth year, the Zayed Future Energy Prize recognizes modern solutions to meet the challenges of climate change. It is one the main features of the World Future Energy Summit, which is held in Abu Dhabi each January.

Designed to celebrate and encourage leadership and innovation in sustainable development and to establish more effective long-term approaches to energy consumption, the awards this year attracted 1,103 nominations and 425 submissions from participants in 71 countries.

“These are people that had the foresight to recognize that investing in the future is based on long term vision and the ability to innovate the technologies that the world so urgently needs,” said Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, director general of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, of this year’s winners.

CDP is a global independent not-for-profit that works to prevent climate change and protect natural resources.  It provides a global system for organisations to measure, disclose, manage and share environmental information and reduce their energy consumption, carbon emissions and water use.  More than 3,700 companies and cities have so far signed up to measuring and disclosing their greenhouse gas emissions, climate change risks and water strategies through the CDP.

“We are delighted to be honored with a Zayed Future Energy Prize,” said Paul Dickinson, CDP’s executive chairman, “We have been working hard for over a decade to reduce greenhouse gas emissions around the globe by using the power of information.

“We believe we are catalyzing real change across the global business system through measurement, reporting, transparency and analysis, creating the win-win scenario of profitable, low carbon growth.  This award is testament to the role that a green economy can play in facilitating sustainable economic prosperity and CDP’s role in driving that.”

As the winner in the category, the CDP was awarded a top prize of US$1.5m. India’s Orb Energy was named first runner-up and received a cash prize of US$1m, while second runner-up Environmental Defense Fund took away US$500,000.

Dr Gadgil, who received a prize of US$500,000, said winning the prize deepens his commitment to energy innovation for sustainability. “Together with my colleagues and co-workers, I will continue to advance the research, design, testing, and scale-up of fuel-efficient low-emission stoves for about three billion people (mostly women) that use biomass for cooking,” he said.

French company Schneider Electric received a Recognition Award in the Large Corporations category for its work towards making energy safe, reliable and efficient.

Grainne Rothery

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