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Sustainia Announces Its Top 10 Sustainability Innovations for 2013

Developed by Dutch designer Chintan Shah, Tvilight smart streetlights illuminate only when needed, reducing light pollution and saving potentially billions of dollars and millions of tons of CO2 emissions each year. | Image credit: Tvilight

Intelligent streetlights that turn off when streets are empty; an electric city bus with a 250 km range; and a piece of paper that reduces food waste. International innovation platform Sustainia has launched its list of the top 10 best sustainability innovations for 2013, featuring projects and technologies from Europe, Israel, Zambia, USA, China and the Philippines.

The selected projects will compete for the Sustainia Award, presented by the Sustainia 100, a committee headed by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the UN’s panel on climate change (IPCC).

"The Top 10 Sustainia projects reflect innovative approaches that can lead to more sustainable industries,” says Pachauri. “Hopefully, they will inspire more businesses to take green practicing to heart. It is not an easy choice to select one, but I’m looking forward to presenting the Sustainia Award winner in Copenhagen.”

Selected among more than 500 projects submitted from 79 countries, the top 10 is distinctive, as all cases are successful drivers of green practice in their communities and industries.

10 Projects with Transforming Impact

The list was unveiled this morning at the UN Global Compact’s annual Leaders Summit conference in New York. The largest gathering of its kind, the summit is a key discussion forum for business leaders on corporate sustainability strategies.

“Sustainia is demonstrating that a transformation towards a greener and more inclusive world is possible everywhere," says Georg Kell, executive director of UN Global Compact.

Representing innovation from different parts of the world, the top 10 projects showcase readily available solutions and technologies capable of transforming businesses, cities, industries and our everyday life. Developed in nine different countries, the 10 solutions are, in total, deployed in more than 90 countries around the world.

The Sustainia Top 10 Sustainability Innovations for 2013:

  • Best solution for buildings: Liter of Light (Philippines) — Bottling solar light for off-grid housing
  • Best solution for food: Fenugreen (US) — Reducing food waste with a piece of paper
  • Best solution for fashion: (Denmark) — Sustainable fashion with top-certified production
  • Best solution for transportation: BYD (China) — An electric city bus with 250 km range
  • Best solution for IT: TakaDu (Israel) — Technology using big data to prevent water leaks
  • Best solution for education: iFixit (US) — Repair manuals that give new life to your broken devices
  • Best solution for energy: Veolia, Dalkia and Borås (Sweden) — Renewable energy storage in hot water reservoirs
  • Best solution for health: CIDRZ (Zambia) — Cellphone-based cancer treatment in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Best solution for cities: Tvilight (Netherlands) — Intelligent streetlights that dim when streets are empty
  • Best solution for resources: Mazuma Mobile (UK) — Cash back for recycling your phone

“The 10 projects showcase that the green transformation of our societies has come a long way. They are 10 reasons for optimism. The challenge is that most projects are unknown to the public. Sustainia’s mission is to create a platform for the best sustainable solutions from around the world in order to ensure awareness and deployment on a global scale,” says Erik Rasmussen, founder of Sustainia.

The 10 projects are also the pool of contenders for the 2013 Sustainia Award, chaired by former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Joined by Chair of IPCC Dr. Pachauri, former Prime Minister of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland, and EU Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, Schwarzenegger will select the recipient of the award, to be announced at a formal ceremony in Copenhagen, November 7, 2013.

The public can also vote for its favorite project; the winner of the public vote will be presented with a special honor at the award ceremony.

SBIO London Fenugreen, one of Sustainia's top 10 finalists, was the winner of the SB Innovation Open in June. If your startup have a game-changing sustainable innovation, enter to win our next competition, the SB Innovation Open London! Entries will be accepted through September 29.

Jennifer Elks is Managing Editor at Sustainable Brands. She is a writer, editor and foodie who is passionate about improving food systems, closing loops and creating more livable cities. She loves cooking, wine, cooking with wine, correcting spelling errors in… [Read more about Jennifer Elks]

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