RTCC 2013 Awards: Sustainable Technology Firm

Nominations for the inaugural RTCC Climate Change Awards, due to be presented at UNFCCC COP19 in Warsaw

RTCC 2013 Climate Change Awards: full nominations

(Pic: Cardboard Technologies)

Cardboard Technologies

With their bike made out of recycled cardboard, Israeli company Cardboard Technologies won the Popular Science’s Invention Award in 2013.

This year they launched funding channels for the mass-production of the 100% renewable bike, which is due to start by the end of the year.

The bike has a positive environmental impact by diverting manufacturing materials from landfills; creating an end product that can be recycled at the production facility; encouraging bicycle ridership through its low-cost product and empowering social mobility in poor countries.

The company is committed to using recyclable waste to create useful, affordable everyday products and plans to scale up include wheelchairs and highchairs. They intend to use their products to change mindsets about the value of waste, and foster a recycling culture in developing countries.


The Tvilight system detects human occupancy to control the light intensity in an area through streetlights.

The lights dim during offŒ-peak hours, but when a pedestrian, bicycle, or vehicle is detected, the surrounding lights return to full brightness.

The Dutch company estimates that over 40 million tons of CO2 emissions are caused by the 91 million streetlights in Europe. Tvilight technology has now been deployed in the Netherlands, Ireland, Germany, UK, USA, Canada, Australia, India and the United Arab Emirates, and won the Sustania Top 10 Sustainability Innovations for 2013 Award for Cities.


Opower creates software using behavioral science and data analytics to motivate people to save energy and better manage their energy demand, working with 85 utilities and serving 16 million households worldwide.

Founded in 2007, it was recognised by Bloomberg as “the global leader in customer engagement solutions for the utility industry” and named one of their New Energy Finance Pioneers in April 2013.

Opower has helped consumers save enough electricity to power a city of 500,000 people for a year and $280 million on their energy bills.

Building on a partnership that first began in 2011, in January Honeywell and Opower introduced new technology that allows customers to program and monitor energy usage through a cloud-connected thermostat with web-based tools. Opower also introduced a new mobile app for iOS and Android smartphones to track real-time energy data, compare energy use, offer tips for reducing energy and control devices, like the cloud-connected thermostat.

Veolia Environnement

Winner of Sustainia Top 10 Sustainability Innovations for 2013 as the best solution for energy, Veolia has introduced renewable energy storage in hot water reservoirs in the city of Boras, Sweden.

Its district heating network with thermal storage responds to peak consumption, limits fossil fuel usage and encourages renewable energy development, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 5500 metric tons per year. It has been part of Green Alliance circular economy task force since 2012.

Liter of Light

The Philippines-based company redesigns solar lighting for off-grid housing in developing world using plastic bottles filled with water and bleach, and has grown from one house to 350,000 lights in 10 countries in 20 months.

Each light has the intensity of a 55-watt light bulb but can save 200kg of carbon emissions per year and costs communities just $2.

They are working in 10 countries currently: Indonesia, Cambodia, Bangladesh, India, South Africa, Kenya, Colombia, Peru, Mexico and Spain.

They won the Sustainia Top 10 Sustainability Innovations for 2013 in the Best solution for buildings category.

Marblar, Climate Group, IKEA and Philips: EarthHack initiative

The EarthHack initiative uses crowdsourcing as a way to drive sustainable solutions and save one million tonnes of CO2 a year by the end of the decade.

Backed by the Climate Group, IKEA and Philips, and powered by online platform Marblar, the initiative showcases existing and often dormant technologies and asks users to come up with innovative new applications, instead of developing new inventions.

The best ideas were unveiled at Climate Week New York in September and could be commercialised by IKEA and Philips.


Launched in 2012, the Wonderbag has expanded massively with sales across the world in 2013.

The Wonderbag is a non-electric, heat-retention cooker that enables food that has been brought to boil on a stove or fire to continue cooking for hours after it is removed from the fuel source, without needing additional fuel.

According to the company, the Wonderbag reduces usage of cooking fuels by up to 60% and saves up to half a metric tonne of carbon emissions per year. It is currently deployed in South Africa, Turkey, Rwanda, Somalia (Somaliland), the UK and Nigeria and was featured in the Sustainia100 for 2013.


Trac-Car is a sustainable technology business with offices in Australia and Switzerland.  The company offers accurate metrics for greenhouse gas emissions, through the use of low cost cloud technology, and UML model-led specification to link existing data, meters and statistics to greenhouse gas emissions reporting under UNFCCC Reporting Guidelines on Annual Inventories.

Deciwatt: GravityLight

The GravityLight uses the force of gravity to power an LED lamp, improving access to light in off‚-grid areas.

It takes three seconds to lift the weight that powers GravityLight, which provides up to 30 minutes of light as the weight drops under the force of gravity.

Deciwatt is running global trials from September 2013 and expects to start shipping in autumn 2013. Deciwatt is also planning other projects to allow the same off‚-grid populations to access the internet, communication technologies and education by applying well-known electronics and working with communities at a grassroots level.

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