The Sixth International Green Awards celebration took place at a glittering gala in London last week. The awards, which are accredited by the Royal Society of Arts, were established to recognize creativity in promoting international sustainability, focusing on media, communication, product design, people and innovation.
Their goal is to “bring together and make more visible a wide range of ideas and achievements designed to help our globe to become more livable by making it more sustainable.”
A panel of experts, including representatives from Carbon Disclosure Project, WWF, Carbon Zero Solutions, The Carbon Trust, The Mayor of London’s office, and Environmental Advisor to the Prince of Wales among others were charged with making the selections.
Supermodel Gisele Bünchen won the Best International Green Celebrity Award for her work with Don Cheadle on World Environment Day where she encouraged people to plant trees. She has also been active in defending Brazilian forests with SOS Mata Atlantica (Atlantic Forest).
Bronze, Silver and Gold awards were given out in 20 additional categories including:
Best Green International Business Award (Small, Medium & Large Companies)
Best Green Government Award
Best Sustainable Investment
Best Green Technology Award
Best Green Energy Efficiency Initiative Award
Best Green 4R’s Award (Reduction, Reuse, Recycling, Recovery)
Best Green Intelligent Buildings Award
Best Green New Product Innovation
Best Green Service Innovation Award
Best Green Educational and Sustainability Awareness Award
Best Green Employee Engagement Award
Best Green Not for Profit Organisation
Best Green Conservation and Biodiversity Award
Best Green Water Stewardship Award
Best Green Advertising & PR Award
Best Green Audio-Visual Award
Best Green Cross Platform Digital Media Solution Award (Best use of Mobile Applications Social Media and Online Content Award)
Best Green Collaborative Initiative Award
In all, 17 countries were represented, including the US, which won four, including gold for Best Green Cross Platform Digital Media Solution (Lucid Design Group – building dashboard) and Best Green 4R’s Award (Ecologic- packaging). US-based Puma took the silver for Best Green Large Company.
The Best Green Product Innovation winners were:
- Solvatten AB (Sweden) Gold for its solar powered water purifier
- Samsung Electronics (UK) Silver for its Ecobubble Washing Machine
- Nissan (Belgium) Silver, for the Leaf
- Puma SE (USA) Bronze, for its Clever Little Bag
The overall Grand Prix winner was given to Unilever PLC, which also took the gold medal for the Best Green International Large Business Award. The company was commended for the radical new sustainability strategy in which they have pledged to:
- halve the environmental footprint of their products
- source 100 percent of their agricultural raw materials sustainably, and
- help more than 1 billion people take action to improve their health and well-being
This last item is based on what they call their “Five Levers for Change.” These consist of 1) make it understood, 2) make it easy, 3) make it desirable, 4) make it rewarding and 5) make it a habit.
The lifetime achievement award was given posthumously to Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan Nobel prize winner, who founded the Green Belt Movement, and who passed away earlier this year.
RP Siegel, PE, is the President of Rain Mountain LLC. He is also the co-author of the eco-thriller Vapor Trails, the first in a series covering the human side of various sustainability issues including energy, food, and water. Like airplanes, we all leave behind a vapor trail. And though we can easily see others’, we rarely see our own.
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