The Richard Heinberg prizes for Environmental Sustainability are sponsored by the Foundation for a Sustainable Future, and named by that foundation in honor of Richard Heinberg for his work in sustainability.
The prize winning teams for 2010 are:
- EGG-energy ($2,000 + 1 pick from the WJF Prize Basket))
This firm packages power from a grid connection or off-grid power station into portable and rechargeable batteries.
- Kwai ($1,000 + 1 pick from the WJF Prize Basket))
Kwai markets well-designed, eco-friendly disposable plates made of palm fronds from India. The products are sturdier than paper, natural, and 100% compostable.
- Pear Tree Preschool ($500 + 1 pick from the WJF Prize Basket))
This school aims to provide an eco-healthy learning environment in an existing building in West Harlem, NY and to teach environmental and social responsibility.
The concept of Sustainability encompasses the various critical issues of population, the consumption culture, technological innovation, limited resources, etc.
The Foundation for a Sustainable Future (www.sustainable-future.org) envisions using business and profits as the mechanisms by which to spread scalable and replicable projects to create sustainability on the planet.
For the purposes of this prize, sustainable is defined as products or services using new or innovative technologies or processes to enhance the usability or effectiveness of natural resources, lead to lower costs and waste, or reduce adverse environmental impacts in the entire product life cycle, which would otherwise constrain future generations.
If you are applying for these prizes, you should add up to a page of commentary that specifically summarizes the sustainability benefits resulting from your project, such as climate change mitigation, energy efficiency, beneficial materials (toxicity, efficiency, renewables, etc.), clean-tech, water security, to name just a few. Discuss the metrics by which these benefits could be quantified. This is a critical part of your submission for the Sustainability Prize.
The 2009 Richard Heinberg Sustainability Prize Winners were:
1st Place: Black Oak Capital Partners provides a return on investment through acquiring California agricultural land, timberlands and rural real estate for conservation and then produce and sell environmental credits gained from rehabilitating these properties.
2nd Place: PowerMundo provides products to the Peruvian market that offer savings in long-term energy and resource costs. This business will improve people's lives and conserve nature by connecting millions of people in developing countries to market driven, affordable, appropriate technology. Product examples include: solar flashlights, wind-up radios, and efficient biomass cook stoves.
3rd Place: Go Cars provides a mobile based service that facilitates utilization of excess seating capacity in private vehicles by connecting people in real time.
The 2008 Richard Heinberg Sustainability Prize Winners were:
1st Place: Biodiversity and Company was chosen the winner of the FSF first prize for providing a model for including and partnering directly with indigenous tribes and efficiently providing economic benefits to them specifically for preserving and expanding the lungs of the Earth. The tribes will get much more of the benefits than if the carbon credits were intermediated by their government or other institutions. This disintermediation has the potential to revolutionize the way carbon credits are currently earned and traded. The tribes provide a potent voting bloc and political/economic force in each country with significant forest resources to counter the interests that have taken the short-term approach of destructively clear-cutting the forests for timber.
2nd Place: Green Pieces was awarded 2nd place for applying cost-effective techniques for the production of energy efficient and resource-efficient "Green" homes in the USA. These techniques will eventually result in a lot less waste and resource consumption, both for production of homes, and also during their ongoing use. While factory-built construction in Europe and Japan has been quite advanced, these techniques have not yet become widespread in the USA, and Green Pieces could be the catalyst to change that. Demonstrated economic benefits will be the motive force for these techniques to become widespread in North America.
3rd Place: Akan Energy was awarded 3rd place for a showing viable means to substitute non-renewable resources with renewable resources in rural communities. Low-cost technology, a distributed network and easily available resource inputs could lead to the widespread use of jatropha and similar low-cost alternative energy sources for those who do not have access to an electric grid, while saving non-renewable resources. This could aid millions in developing countries.