London, Paris, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Cambridge: 19th June 2012
Eight19 was announced as one of eleven winners today at the 2012 World Business and Development Awards (WBDA) for our efforts to improve living standards in some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities. Eight19 was recognized at a ceremony concluding the Business Action for Sustainable Development Business Day taking place during the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), where world leaders along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, NGOs and other groups, convened.
The Awards recognize innovative business models that deliver both commercial success and help improve social, economic or environmental conditions—otherwise known as inclusive business models. The high up-front costs of solar have been the major factor prohibiting wider uptake of small solar systems in off-grid emerging markets. By combining solar and mobile phone technology, the Indigo ‘pay-as-you-go’ solar system is paid for with scratchcards through a service model. Users receive 8 hours of fume-free household lighting per day and mobile phone charging, whilst cutting their weekly energy spend by 50% or more. Indigo is eliminating kerosene for lighting and having a transformational impact on peoples’ lives.
A panel composed of nine independent judges selected winning initiatives, under the categories of small- and medium-sized enterprise and large organizations. The 2012 Awards attracted 115 applications from 38 countries showcasing a variety of inclusive business endeavours undertaken by associations, non-governmental organizations and individual companies.
Simon Bransfield-Garth, CEO said "Eight19 is hugely honoured and delighted to be the recipient of a 2012 World Business and Development Award at the RIO+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. Indigo aims to provide sustainable solar power to off-grid communities in Africa, eliminating the carbon footprint of kerosene lamps and providing access to high quality power. The prestigious World Business and Development Award is an important recognition of this work and the tremendous support of our partners throughout Africa to provide clean and safe energy to many more people currently living off grid.”
Celebrating a decade of biennial award giving, the World Business and Development Awards 2012 are organized by the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Netherlands Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the UN Global Compact and sponsored by Cemex.
The Awards demonstrate how companies can, through their core business activities, help achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)—eight internationally agreed targets to reduce poverty and environmental degradation and improve education, health conditions and gender equality by 2015.
“When businesses apply the full force of their core business activities to development challenges and measure their success both by profit and social outcomes, there is no limit to what can be accomplished. The World Business and Development Award winners showcase what businesses of all sizes and in all regions can do to accelerate progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals,” said Clare Melford, CEO, International Business Leaders Forum.
“Past Award winners have shown how companies can help boost sustainable growth and development. They can be a tremendous source of innovative and sustainable solutions which help transform people’s lives for the better,” said Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator.
The 2012 Awards have been awarded explicitly to companies delivering inclusive business models: sustainable, commercially-viable business initiatives that expand access for low-income people to goods and services, or improve their livelihoods by engagement in the business process as direct employees, suppliers or distributors, while also generating sales and profit growth.
“As progress towards the Millennium Development Goals comes under threat in the current economic climate, the Awards highlight the critical role of the private sector in stimulating sustainable economic growth and development,” said Jean-Guy Carrier, Secretary General, International Chamber of Commerce.
Details at www.worldbusinessawards.net
Click here for the Winners' Brochure
Click here for the press release
About the World Business Development Awards
In addition to IBLF, ICC and UNDP, supporting Partners include the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and Cemex.
Eight19: Marketing Manager, Wanda Halbert, wanda [dot] halbert [at] eight19 [dot] com