Toyota Motor Corporation
Toyota Motor Corporation, the largest car company in the world, released their hybrid vehicle the Prius in 1997. Since that time, they have made numerous improvements to the hybrid technology that drives it. The third generation Prius, for which Toyota ultimately won the Zayed Future Energy Prize, is the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle ever made. Its ground-breaking fuel efficiency system gets approximately 38 kilometers per litre of gasoline, far better than most other fuel efficient vehicles. This fuel economy is achieved through a combination of Toyota's innovative hybrid drive technology, increasing the efficiency of the gasoline engine, reducing the weight of the vehicle, and improving aerodynamics.
Toyota's goals were not to simply develop a more fuel efficient vehicle, however. In order to have a significant impact on climate change, the Prius needed to be adopted on a large scale. As such, the Prius was designed with affordability in mind, while still meeting Toyota's high standards for safety and quality. As of December of 2009, over 1.6 million Priuses had been sold, resulting in cumulative reductions of about 7 million tons of CO2.
Since its introduction in 1997, the Prius has saved over seven million tonnes of carbon dioxide from polluting our atmosphere. Toyota has plans to implement its state of the art hybrid technology into its other car lines in the future, increasing its potential positive impact on our environment.
Founder, Suntech Power Holdings Company
Zhengrong Shi founded Suntech Power Holdings in 2001, and has since grown the company to become the world's largest manufacturer of silicon solar modules, with modules installed in more than 80 countries. Since they were founded, Suntech has been a consistent leader in the solar industry, constantly improving the efficiency of their products. In 2009, Suntech announced that they had beaten all previous records for multi-crystalline silicon module conversion efficiency. They now warranty their solar products to output 6.7% more power than the industry standard.
Additionally, Suntech has been involved in a number of innovative, high-profile projects over the years, including providing solar panels for British Columbia's first net-zero home at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
CEO of International Development Enterprises India
International Development Enterprises India (IDEI) is social enterprise in India dedicated to providing long-term solutions to poverty, malnutrition, and hunger. They work with smallholder farmers to provide low-cost irrigation technologies that can drastically improve the production and livelihoods of these local farmers. Over the years, IDEI has developed technologies for water access, water application, water lifting, and water storage. As CEO Amitabha Sadangi has helped countless farmers in India increase their production and save over 500 million litres of diesel fuel, decreasing their carbon footprint by 1.8 million tonnes of CO2.
In addition to their technological solutions, IDEI has developed a pair of projects to continue supporting farmers: Integrating Rural Poor into Market Systems, and System of Rice Intensification.