RTCC 2013 Awards: Green Business of the Year
Last updated on 19 November 2013, 3:59 pm
Nominations for the inaugural RTCC Climate Change Awards, due to be presented at UNFCCC COP19 in Warsaw
In 2013, Softbank has been continuing its proactive approach to building solar projects in Japan after Fukushima as part of an “Eastern Japan Solar Belt” to promote the country’s shift away from nuclear towards renewable energy and help revitalise areas hit by the tsunami.
A 3MW solar plant in the mainland area of Kanto became operational in August as the seventh solar plant developed by Softbank in Japan. In March, Softbank revealed the start of development on a 111MW plant in Hokkaido, where many of Japan’s ‘mega’ solar projects will be located for completion in March 2015. In August Softbank and Yahoo Japan announced a new home energy use monitoring system for consumers.
Softbank president Masayoshi Son announced in 2011 that Softbank would invest a few percent of its sales revenue on renewable energy as a way of contributing to society, and in the same year, he became one of the founders of the Japan Renewable Energy Foundation.
The Norwegian pension fund pulled its investments in 2013 from 13 coal and six oil sands companies to ensure “long-term stable returns” because these stocks will be “financially worthless” in the future. Storebrand has be cited by the Go Fossil Free campaign as a leading example of European divestment from fossil fuel industries.
Unilever came first in the 2013 Sustainability Leaders survey and showed significant gain in responses from industry experts naming them the best.
Recognised as global leader in sustainability for the past three years, they are committed to engaging their two billion customers as part of their sustainability plan and held their second Sustainable Living Lab in April where around 550 people from 80 countries joined the online discussion on what we can all do.
More than 1,750 comments were posted during the six-hour Lab, equating to one every 12 seconds. As part of their Sustainable Living Plan 2010, they set three big goals to achieve by 2020 – to improve health and well-being, reduce environmental impact and source 100% of their agricultural raw materials sustainably and enhance the livelihoods of people across their value chain.
The Dutch bank decided in 2013 to cease lending money to unconventional energy extraction projects, such as shale gas and tar sands, citing environmental and social impacts as their motivation.
Previously featured on the Ethisphere Institute’s 2012 list of the ‘world’s most ethical companies’ and in 2006 it won Europe’s best CSR report in the European Sustainability Reporting Awards.
Petramas has avoided the release of over 2 million tons of CO2 since 2006 to the end of 2013, which is being accomplished thanks for its efficiency in landfill managements. This efficiency also reduced operative costs to the company, and as a consequence the cost per ton to local governments were also reduced by 70%.
The 6,000 tons of rubbish received daily by Petramas between its two landfills, Huaycoloro and Modelo Callao, represent about 74% from the total waste made in Lima. At both landfills CDM projects have been implemented, where biogas is produced from waste and it is recovered and used for electricity generation provided to the city, avoiding practices like waste burning, pollution of seas, rivers or the use of organic rubbish for pork feeding.
The future of waste management in Lima, with a population of 9 millions of people, is 70% secured thanks to the existence of Huaycoloro Landfill for a period of 200 years.
According to the World Bank, Petramas Huaycoloro Landfill is considered to be one of the best case studies in the world and its example must be followed in other countries from the developing world.
Natura has pledged to buy 30% of its raw ingredients from sustainable sources in the Amazon.
The Brazilian company featured in the top 10 of the 2013 Sustainability Leaders survey and was the best ranking business from the global south.
Natura works with small-scale producers to build local capacity on organic production methods. Its ambitious Amazon programme unveiled in 2011 committed the company to invest 1 billion Reals (£340 million) in the region, build an interdisciplinary network of 1,000 researchers focused on the Amazon and involve between 10,000 and 12,000 small producers in its supply chain by 2020.
In 2012, Natura was voted the second most sustainable company in the world in the 8th annual report of the Corporate Knights.
Seacourt is the world’s first printer to achieve zero waste to landfill, after pursuing a 10-year journey of recycling innovation.
Winner of the Guardian’s Sustainable Business Award 2013 for waste and recycling innovation and has won two prestigious Queen’s awards for sustainable development, as well as being recognised as “one of the world’s top three environmental printers” by a global printing association.
ING Commercial Banking
In September 2013 ING announced it was shifting its European focus from financing natural gas plants to financing renewable energy projects in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. This could fund wind energy capacity of 3GW.
ING has previously been ranked highly by ethical ratings firms.
The business provides electricity, gas, water and sewage in Colombia. It has released two major low carbon initiatives in the past 12 months, the Environmental Strategic Plan 2012-2015 and the Climate Change Strategic Action Plan 2012-2018. The key concept of the Environmental Strategic Plan is “sustainable production and consumption”.
Citizen Energy Berlin
The German locally-owned energy co-operative is aiming to put Berlin’s city grid under citizens’ control when the system goes on sale in 2014. So far, it has recruited 1,000 members and raised €5.4 million (£4.6 million).
The Berlin grid, the largest in Germany, currently gets more than 90% of its electricity from coal but about 40% of Germany’s renewable energy is generated by small-scale producers.