Entries open for WWF-SA’s innovative Climate Solver awards

Submitted by: Nadia Shah, Monday, December 8, 2014

<p>WWF has launched the 2014/2015 round of the Climate Solver awards [Image Source: WWF]</p>

WWF has launched the 2014/2015 round of the Climate Solver awards [Image Source: WWF]

The World Wide Fund for Nature - South Africa (WWF-SA) are welcoming entrants to the 2014/2015 edition of the Climate Solver Awards. The international competition celebrates innovative technologies that are driving the transition from fossil-fuel dependent economies towards sustainable, low-carbon economies. WWF-SA acknowledges the value of innovation as an immediate and practical solution to tackling climate change. “Innovation, by its nature, brings value to people. WWF believes that this value should include radically reduced carbon emissions, energy access and be compatible with a transition to a renewable energy future,” said WWF-SA CEO Morné du Plessis.

The Climate Solver Competition

The competition is open to small and medium South African enterprises with ambitions for large scale deployment of their climate innovative technology that either reduces greenhouse gas emissions or promotes access to clean energy. The entrant requirements state that the company must own the technology, have developed the product to post-pilot stage, have a clear business plan for developing and promoting the product, and have good communication capacity and a professional website. In addition the technology must be currently available on the market and capable of mitigating 20 million tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per year by 2022 or significantly contribute to improving energy access.

The deadline for entries is the 30th of January 2015. Applications will be judged based on WWF’s methodology and independent expert evaluations which will calculate the potential carbon emission reductions associated with the full life cycle of the products and those they provide an alternative to. Following the adjudication process, up to four Climate Solver winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in April 2015.

Previous Winners

2013/2014 marked the first year of WWF-SA’s involvement in the organisation’s international competition which was initiated by WWF Sweden in 2008. There were three South African winners selected in 2014.

Solar Turtle

Social entrepreneur Ugesi Gold invented an off-grid mobile solar power station ideal for rural electrification. The innovation is packaged in a shipping container which unfolds, allowing a number of battery packs to be charged by photovoltaic panels harnessing solar energy. These battery packs, encased in a recycled plastic bottle produced by Khaya Power can be easily taken to where they are needed to provide a versatile source of electricity.  Solar Turtle offers a cleaner, safer and cheaper energy alternative to rural communities which typically burn wood or kerosene to meet their energy needs. WWF-SA predict that if Solar Turtles were distributed to 100 villages by 2024, they could service 720,000 people and mitigate 7,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the combustion of kerosene. 

Solar Turtle provides a renewable energy solution for rural electrification. [Image Source: Ugesi Gold].


AgriProtein Technologies, a nutrient recycling company developed a process to mass produce maggots, as a more sustainable feed for pigs and chickens which are typically fed fishmeal. The fly larvae also assist with nutrient recycling as they rapidly consume tonnes of food and abattoir waste. WWF-SAestimates that MagMeal emits 81% less GHG emissions per tonne than fishmeal due to the avoidance of emissions associated with ocean trawling and processing fish into fishmeal. In addition, MagMeal has the potential to assist with the protection of natural fish stocks, divert waste from landfill and lessen the impact of meat consumption. WWF-SA’s calculations are based on MagMeal securing an 8.7% global market share which indicates that Magmeal has the potential to mitigate 23 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2024.

MagMeal offers pig and poultry farmers a more sustainable alternative to fishmeal [Image Source: AgriProtein Technologies].

Rhino Modified Wood

Rhino Modified Wood has developed a technique to modify sustainably grown South African pine wood which is soft, porous and susceptible to rotting into a highly durable timber product exhibiting properties similar to imported woods. The process involves a thermal heat treatment and pressure impregnation in order to double the density of the pine wood, resulting in a strong, non-toxic replacement to unsustainably sourced tropical hardwood. An added benefit of Rhino Modified Wood is that it offers a solution to the growing demand for wood whilst protecting against the deforestation of rainforests globally.  Rhino Modified Wood can greatly minimise the GHG emissions associated with imported timber. According to WWF-SA’s calculations opting for Rhino Modified Wood as opposed to Red Meranti (tropical hardwood) has the potential to result in up to 95% of GHG emission reductions. WWF-SA estimates that modified soft wood like Rhino Modifed Wood and similar replacements to tropical hardwood have the potential to mitigate 22.5 million tonnes of GHG emissions per year by 2024 based on securing a 14.4% share of the global sawn hardwood market. 

Rhino Modified Wood has a wide variety of applications including decking. [Image Source: Rhino Modified Wood].

For more information on how to enter, please refer to the Climate Solver Brochure  or visit the WWF-SA website.

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