Launched in 2006 to critical acclaim, the International Green Awards™were set up to recognise strategies that use creativity in an engaging and effective manner, leading to more sustainable outcomes. It is now an established event on the global sustainable business-calendar.
By showcasing “best in class” examples of effective, innovative and creative approaches to sustainability, the International Green Awards™ aims to be an agent of change. To this end, the Awards team searches the globe every year to find true influencers, leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators, identifying worldwide sustainability success stories that inspire and motivate others. It is no exercise in fluffy back-patting.
The awards are aligned with the Brundtland Commission’s definition on sustainable development, stated as: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
The Awards are part of the Royal Society of Arts Environment Award Accreditation scheme and all submitted entries require evidence of efficacy and transparency. Previous winners have included Nokia, Marks & Spencer, Toyota and the China Environmental Protection Foundation.
In 2010, the International Green Awards™ went completely global and were opened for worldwide participation in every category. This was a major step forward for the Awards, in the fifth year of its production. Last year, the Awards featured a total of 16 categories, including three new ones: Best Green Use of Mobile Apps & Technology, Best Green Product Innovation and Best Green Educational Project. The coveted International Green Awards™ Grand Prix was won by the ‘China Environmental Protection Foundation’, for an innovative outdoor campaign created by DDB China to promote a reduction in vehicle use.
The International Green Awards™ has expanded again and reorganised its categories by looking to support sustainable achievement right across Business, Government & Citizen initiatives that influence change to encompass 360° sustainability projects as well as encompassing its heritage to identify best practice with sustainability communications.
2011 is a vital year for sustainability. The G8 summit has a pivotal role to play if we are going to reach a binding agreement at the UNFCCC’s COP17 summit in Durban, South Africa. Key stakeholders must work together to create the right framework for businesses to succeed in the new low carbon economy. Together we can all make a difference and the International Green Awards™ has an important part to play in this exciting and challenging journey.
It’s evident now there’s an increasing appetite from business and industry for examples of excellence and best practice in sustainability and green issues which the International Green Awards™ showcase.
The Awards have built up a considerable following among sustainability professionals, CEOs, Marketing Directors, Business Editors and CSR Directors spanning nations as diverse as China, Japan, New Zealand, Brazil, USA, the UAE, South Korea, Romania and Greece. In fact, anyone anywhere who wants to engage with green issues, share knowledge and promote best practice in sustainability on a global level now looks to the International Green Awards™. Consequently, the Awards have grown and evolved since their inception.
Last year, over 500 organisations participated. This year, the International Green Awards™ is celebrating as its chosen theme the UN International Year of Forests. What’s more, a unique membership platform connecting global experts, opinion leaders, professionals and citizens in the field of sustainability is also being introduced to further add value. It will be a place where members can share innovative business strategies and debate the defining sustainability issues of our generation.
In keeping with the global nature of the Awards, this year’s judging panel brings together knowledge and expertise from all corners of the world. Julia Marton- Lefèvre, Director General, IUCN; Brazilian Environmentalist & Politician Marina Silva; Tim Smit, Co-founder of the Eden Project; and Brendan May, UK Chairman, Rainforest Alliance are just some of the experts judging in 2011.
As Dr Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity commented:
This year will also see the presentation of the third ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ honouring one deserving global citizen for his/her contribution to sustainability and the environment. This prestigious award has honoured Sir David Attenborough CBE and Dr. Wangari Maathai.
The 2011 International Green Awards™ also saw the presentation of the first ‘Green Celebrity Award’ recognising the efforts of one global media figure to promote sustainability through their public profile.
Given the deliberately populist and egalitarian nature of this new award, the winner will be chosen via a public vote, using social networks and the INTERNATIONAL GREEN AWARDS™ website.
Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
In its 7th year, the International Green Awards™ sought to recognise organisations that had exhibited leadership and innovation in their sustainability approach. We reduced the number of categories in order to recognise the ‘Most Sustainable’ organisations across 6 categories on the basis of their performance on 8 sustainability indicators. The awards were also free to enter that year. In 2013/14 the awards are taking a sabbatical but will relaunch in 2015/16 with a new programme of activity.