The winners and highly commended are:
Achievement in Low-Carbon Urban Transformation
Based primarily in China, Microvast have developed, manufactured and sold battery power solutions to 10,000 electric buses in 26 provinces across China and four European countries. Their latest development is an ultra-fast charging battery pack, MVPACK, specifically designed for use in cars, with a battery life that matches the life of the vehicle. The convenience of this environmentally friendly energy solution is expected to encourage and contribute to the mass adoption of affordable electric vehicles, and the long-term electrification of urban transport systems.
In the words of the judges, the winner of this category is transforming the public transit sector in one of the world’s most polluted and densely populated countries where renewable energy solutions are in big demand. If rolled out globally, this approach could play an important role in the fight against climate change
Highly Commended: Lumos and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)
Lumos has partnered with OPIC to provide affordable and solar electricity to off-grid homes in Nigeria, developing a solar-connected indoor unit that allows people to purchase reliable electricity on demand. Working in cooperation with mobile phone operators, the project utilises their existing sales, marketing, distribution and billing infrastructure to ensure that payments can be made via mobile, on a pay-per-use system, without the need for a mobile money infrastructure.
The special commendation in this category goes to a company whose impact goes well beyond its sector by offering a novel and affordable solution to the acute challenge of access to energy.
Special Award: Excellence in City-Led Transformation
Winner: New Taipei City Government
New Taipei City is a newly established municipality circling Taiwan’s capital Taipei City. The vision of the city reform is to build a “Liveable City” that identifies and accommodates the needs of its people. Innovative policies have included the Happiness Protection Station, whereby children of disadvantaged families get free meal boxes in convenience stores, and the Department of Social Welfare can then collect the data and reach out to the families in need. This experiment in modern-age urbanization is citizen-oriented and has encouraged public participation in effective governance, inviting members of the public to be part of committees in major policy areas to enable citizens’ input at every stage of policy planning.
In the words of the judges, the winner of this category is an exemplary city-wide transformational program that offers a sustainable solution to the worldwide challenge of equitable urban development
Highly Commended: Harare City Council
The council’s Harare Slum Upgrading Project aims to enhance housing sector inclusiveness and reinstall Council service delivery. This has been achieved in part by engaging the urban poor in slum upgrading processes, and mediating between increasingly active citizens and a stretched national government. Operating within a reform-starved, resource-stressed environment, Harare City Council has served as an invaluable example for other councils in Zimbabwe.
The special commendation in this category goes to a city that is achieving remarkable results in an exceptionally challenging environment. It is building a new relationship with the urban poor, introducing significant reforms and sharing its experience with other cities.
Achievement in Transformational Technology
Winner: Piramal Foundation
Piramal Sarvajal designs and deploys innovative technology to ensure safe water access for India’s rural villages. The company installs local, remotely-tracked water purification systems, and has built a strong network of ‘water ATMs’, the solar-powered, cloud-connected vending machines that dispense water for villagers at the swipe of a smart card. As the ATMs track every transaction that takes place, they enable sophisticated market forecasting and 24-hour access to water, as well as the possibility to provide targeted subsidies to certain villages through government-run programs.
In the words of the judges, the winner of this category is offering an innovative technology to provide access to a basic resource in rural areas. This model holds a lot of promise:
Highly Commended: what3words
This addressing system is based on a global grid of 57 trillion squares, each 3m by 3m in size. The what3words algorithm allocates each square a fixed, unique 3 word address, giving the whole world a simple and communicable address listing that is as accurate as GPS. The apps and codes are then plugged into existing services, and used to track disease outbreaks, send aid and disaster relief to precise areas, address informal settlements across the world, facilitate environmental conservation recording and enable real-time reporting at exact locations.
The special commendation in this category goes to a company whose innovative technology will allow for the delivery of much-needed products across a number of countries:
Achievement in Transformational Finance
Winner: NatureVest, The Nature Conservancy and JPMorgan Chase & Co
NatureVest’s restructuring of the Seychelles’ sovereign debt has converted a portion of this debt back into a local currency payment stream, to be used to support conservation in the local area. The restructuring provides $281,000 per year for marine conservation activities, and will also see the Seychelles increase its marine protected area in return. This collaboration is the first time that private investment capital has been used to finance a debt-for-nature swap, proving that this model is viable and replicable as a conservation method.
In the words of the judges, the winner of this category was able to leverage strategic partnerships to deploy a novel financial solution, which can be replicable in small island states:
Achievement in Sustainable Development: Sustainable Agriculture
Based in Ghana, Farmerline’s technology enables communication with farmers in rural areas that would be otherwise out-of-reach due to barriers in connectivity, literacy or language. MERGDATA is available via voice technology in local languages, and provides information including agricultural tips, weather data and market pricing to farmers even in low-connectivity areas. Farmerline has also developed technology to improve the efficiency of the agricultural value chain, including GPS mapping of plot size and systems to facilitate mobile money payments
In the words of the judges, the winner of this category developed user-friendly technology to connect farming communities in remote areas to much needed business intelligence and training on their terms.
Highly Commended: Honey Care Africa
Honey Care sources and sells South Sudanese honey, guaranteeing a fair market price for the farmers who harvest it. Farmers are organised into ‘clusters’, each with a local manager to provide support and apiary training, which ensures that the company can continue to pay them even in areas cut off from the head office due to security issues following the 2013 civil war. The raw honey is then processed and branded before being sold locally or exported to Kenya, bringing much-needed local and foreign exchange revenue and stability to local economies. HCASS plans to expand this sustainable business model and introduce a new product every few months, ultimately aiming to develop food ranges designed to combat malnutrition.
A special commendation in this category goes to a company that developed a viable business model for farmers operating in one of the most challenging environments. This model could be followed in similar countries.
Achievement in Sustainable Development: Maternal and Infant Health
Winner: Kwara State Health Insurance Program
In order to improve access to primary healthcare – particularly maternal – for the people of rural Kwara, the PharmAccess Foundation has joined forces with the Kwara State Government, insurance company Hygeia Community Health Care and the Health Insurance Fund. By educating communities about maternal and child care through outreach programs and mobile health initiatives, and facilitating access to this care by enrolling women and children in the subsidised health insurance program, Pharma Access has had a demonstrable impact on local trust in hospitals and health care.
In the words of the judges, the winner of this category is filling a tremendous systemic need for access to quality healthcare for women and children by forging partnerships with government, foundations, the private sector and the healthcare community.
Excellence in Transformational Business
The distinction of being winner of the winners goes to a company that offers the potential for a truly remarkable energy solution for polluted cities across the globe.