New Climate Hero Awards promises greater public participation

Jeunesse-Park-2

The Climate Hero Awards (CHA), which aim to inspire action, motivate change and promote awareness towards an inclusive and low carbon economy, reduced extreme weather risks, green options for food security and a healthy and sustainable continent, will open for entries in December 2012. Now in its fourth year, the CHA sees a number of updates and revisions, yet takes its lead from its predecessor, the Climate Change Leadership Awards.

Name change

‘The name change is part of a rebranding exercise that makes it even more accessible and includes a revamped website, new logo and a strong social media focus for this year’s participation,’ says Jeunesse Park, founder of the Climate Hero Awards.

Climate change is recognised as the greatest threat to life as we know it, for our communities and our planet. Increasingly the message around climate change response is that it is up to individuals, businesses, organisations and cities to take action. 

‘Applications and nominations will be easier this year with the updated website, Facebook and Twitter channels when we open for entries in December,’ says Park. ‘Communication and participation are important for the awards as we highlight the serious and irreversible climate change and resource depletion now widely recognised as the biggest environmental, social and economic issues facing humanity.’

Prizes are presented in five categories: Large Business; Small Medium Enterprises; Smart Low Carbon Cities & Towns; Community, NGO, CBO, Individual or School; and Climate Hero of the Year selected from the four categories for the one who demonstrates extraordinary leadership, legacy, innovation, influence and enduring impact.

Sponsors

Pick’ n Pay will again sponsor the CHA this year, along with Amalgamated Beverage Industries (ABI). Primedia Broadcasting is once more the official media partner of the CHA. Avis Rent a Car South Africa, too, supports the CHA indicating their recognition of the importance that sustainability issues play within the corporate, education and social environments.

‘The growing significance of the SME sector has led to an emphasis on their social and environmental impact. At ABI we are committed to efforts made to improve the environment and especially in making our communities more sustainable,’ states Gaopaleloe Mothagae, sustainable development manager at ABI.

Keith Rankin, chief executive of Avis, comments that ‘we are pleased that sustainability best practices are being acknowledged, by being responsible citizens and businesses is how South Africans will continue to develop and grow their communities.’

CHA still hopes to welcome more partners, companies who are Climate Heroes in their own right and are proactive in supporting climate action. The awards are facilitated by the Carbon Protocol which manages the adjudication and approves and accredits the carbon neutrality of the awards.

‘The adjudication panel includes astute and credible climate change and environmental specialists, professionals and consultants from across the country,’ says Park, ‘and the awards are audited by PKF South Africa.’

Winners of each category and the overall Climate Hero will be announced at a ceremony held in Johannesburg in October 2013. Supporters of these awards benefit by aligning as heroes themselves, as well as through Web-based promotion, PeoplesWeather channel coverage, print and social media platforms and radio coverage with Primedia Broadcasting. Partners also have use of the Climate Hero Awards’ branding.