The William James Foundation and Foundation for a Sustainable Future announce Richard Heinberg Prize Winners and William James Foundation Finalists
WASHINGTON, DC., March 13th, 2009:
The Foundation for a Sustainable Future and the William James Foundation are pleased to announce the winners of the 2009 Richard Heinberg Prize for Sustainability.
The prize is awarded to the for-profits start-ups that are best able to summarize the sustainability benefits resulting from their project, such as climate change mitigation, energy efficiency, beneficial, clean-tech, and water security. 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
The judges were asked to see how well the teams discussed the metrics by which these benefits could be quantified. More than 100 teams competed from around the world, representing more than 15 countries and 25 US states. More than 200 reading judges were involved in evaluating and providing constructive feedback to all of the entrants. The Heinberg prize winners are:
1st Place ($2,000): Black Oak Capital Partners provides a return on investment through acquiring California agricultural land, timberlands and rural real estate for conservation and then produces and sell environmental credits gained from rehabilitating these properties.
2nd Place ($1,000): 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 ($500): GoCars is a mobile based platform that connects people in real time. It improves capacity utilization in various transport categories such as personal cars, taxis and cargo. Powered by social networks, GoCars aims to improve the quality of urban life by providing safe, easy and environment friendly shared transportation to everyone. The firm will launch in Hyderabad, India.
In addition the prizes, each team received an average of twenty pages of feedback and suggestions from bankers and subject matter experts.
The Heinberg Prize is part of the overall William James Foundation Socially Responsible Business Plan Competition. The William James Foundation provides competition management services to partners who wish to reward socially and environmentally focused businesses. The next stage of the competition is determining and announcing the social responsibility prize winners, which will happen on March 20th in Washington DC at the 6th annual finalist competition and award ceremony. Details and RSVP information at www.williamjamesfoundation.org/032009.
The Foundation for a Sustainable Future envisions using business and profits as the mechanisms by which to spread scalable and replicable projects to create sustainability on the planet. The Heinberg prize is named in honor of Richard Heinberg, a leading thinker on Peak Oil and Ecology. Mr. Heinberg is not affiliated with the prize.