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Energy Globe World Awards 2016

World’s Best Environmental Projects Awarded at the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakesh

10 November the Oscar of the environment - The Energy Globe Award - was presented in a spectacular and interactive ceremony to the most sustainable environmental projects worldwide. Amidst great rejoicing and attention, the internationally renowned ceremony took place at the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakesh. The tension and excitement before the announcement of the category winners was high and transmitted to all viewers on-site and online.

The interest about the nominated environmental projects, as well as 178 national winners was huge. A lot of participants of the conference came to the Energy Globe at its booth with the Austrian Economic Chambers to find out more about the projects that protect our planet and all of them were thrilled!

The partners of the Energy Globe – The Austrian Economic Chambers and the Greiner Group, with whom the category Sustainable Plastics was initiated, were satisfied as well. “The Energy Globe Award shows that emission free use of resources is possible. With their help one can promote sustainable development and reduce negative environmental impacts”, says Kofi Annan.

Out of 2.000 submissions the international jury selected 17 projects in 6 categories. The jury consists of famous persons engaging in the environmental protection. One of them is the former Indian Minister for Environment, current Minister for Women & Child Development Maneka Gandhi, who for many years has been promoting sustainable use of natural resources. She is the chairperson of the international jury, which selects the best of the best. “The submissions from all over the world reflect a deep desire by every country and its citizens to change for the better. I wish every country would take part in the protection of our environment and submit at least 100 applications more, 178 countries are simply not enough!”

Wolfgang Neumann, the founder of the internationally renowned environmental price, was present on-site and shared his joy with the winners. “It is simply sensational how Energy Globe Award has developed. I am proud that we have meanwhile received 2000 applications from 178 countries. It is very motivating and gives us hope for the future to see the variety of these innovative projects. Together we can change the world and work towards a future worth living in! I am especially happy that one of the winners is from Austria - my home country.”

The brilliant winner in the category Earth is an initiative from Bangladesh. Together with the local community the organization plants trees and provides clean water technologies based on renewable energy. The organization Tahzingdong takes care of almost 13.000 hectares of village common forests and more than 1000 indigenous forest dependent families. Two water systems capture approximately 400.000 liters of clean water for the public. It decreases the general water scarcity and 70% of water borne diseases in the community. Another nominee in this category was an initiative from Honduras. Inga alley system is a revolutionary method, that secures means of living for the farmers and is a sustainable alternative to slash-and-burn farming. The third nominee was a project from Morocco, which was comprised of a wastewater system, plant and a treated wastewater storage pond as well as solar-powered irrigation system.

Multicon Solar won the Energy Globe Award in the category Fire. The German company has developed a mobile solar power station that replaces loud and polluting diesel generators. The solar power station is based on a plug & play principle – once delivered it can be directly put into operation. Depending on the version, the solar containers have a performance of up to 52 kWp and store up to 100 kWh solar current. Among the other nominees was We Care Solar in Ethiopia with the development of a solar suitcase, which provides clean energy to medical facilities and therefore saves lives of women and children, as well as reduces CO2 emissions. The third nominee was an initiative from Kenia that educates young people on how to make solar lamps from recycled materials.

Three outstanding nominees hoped to get the coveted prize in the category Water. Tropical Research and Conservation Centre from Malaysia that restores coral reefs with an innovative approach was claimed the winner. Coral reefs are worldwide endangered and have been gradually destroyed. In this project 0.5 hectares of reefs have been replanted. The replanted reefs have more diversity and more fish biomass. What a great project! Among the other nominees was the Sudanese Woman’s General Union which provides internally displaced persons with clean water, sanitary facilities and hygiene services. The third nominee came from the small town of San Crisanto in Mexico, where the organization together with the local community protect mangrove and other threatened ecosystems.

Austrian retail chain Hofer– a pioneer in the food retail in German speaking countries who works in a completely CO2 neutral way - celebrated victory in the category Air. All emissions that are not saved through the large-scale campaign, are compensated through climate protection projects. The unique concept of the avoidance of emissions, selection of regional products, as well as integration of customers and employees helped them to win in this category. Besides Hofer, projects from the USA and India were nominated in this category. A software from the USA for monitoring the infrastructure in data centers helps center managers run their facilities at peak efficiency. Armed with real-time information, managers can plan and manage capacity, minimize downtime, reduce energy consumption and save money. The Indian social enterprise Pollinate Energy trains people to provide renewable energy to India’s city slum dwellers.

Youth is one of the most important categories, as the next generation is our hope. The victory here belonged to Association Vertidos Cero for developing an app for cleaner beaches. Everyone can enter the illegal marine litter, thereby allowing to develop strategies against the pollution of beaches. This app convinced the jury, as only specific knowledge of waste disposal sites allows for efficient waste management and future avoidance. In addition, one could see the project of another finalist - Inspiria Science Center from Norway, which informs 50.000 school kids yearly about renewable energy and waste management in an entertaining way. Another nominee was SolarGrid from the Republic of Tanzania. In a pilot project young people were trained to become solar technicians, who are simultaneously selling the solar products. Solar systems can be acquired with a help of micro financing loan.

The new category Sustainable Plastics refers to sustainable use of plastics. A showcase for this is the winner Mbezi Recycling from Tanzania. The company produces fencing posts from plastic waste, which is dumped in huge amounts. The production from plastic materials not only reduces the amount of waste, every 25 posts save one fully matured Red Cedar Tree, as normally these posts are produced from wood. It truly is an amazing project, which shows how meaningful plastic can be used. The second nominee was Air X-TEX from the USA with its air filter. It is produced from a recycled material and saves thousands of trees and tons of steel, simultaneously reusing millions of discarded plastic bottles.

The Energy Globe received congratulations from all over the world during the prize ceremony. One of those greetings came from the Nobel Prize laureate Professor Munasinghe, who congratulated the founder personally: “That is an amazing event – keep it up!” Kimberly Budinsky, the current Miss Earth Austria, is still smiling when remembering the Energy Globe World Award ceremony in Marrakesh, Morocco. “I am really carried away by all the unique environmental projects that were submitted this year. It is hard to believe with how much engagement and motivation people stand up for environmental protection. The ceremony was great, the atmosphere unbelievable and applause for winners absolutely deserved. I am grateful that I could part of it and moderate this event.”

More information about the winners and nominees here.

Photos and more information online or here.