Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the U.K.-based nonprofit that works to disclose, analyze and encourage the reduction of carbon emissions of major corporations, was the big winner as the expanded and enriched 2012 Zayed Future Energy Prize award winners were announced in Abu Dhabi. CDP won the $1.5 million award in the Small and Medium Enterprises & Non-Governmental Organizations category, beating out first runner-up Orb Energy, which took home $1 million, and the Environmental Defense Fund, which won $500,000 as the second runner-up.
This was the fourth year of the United Arab Emirates-sponsored prizes, which became even more lucrative last May when the prize pool was nearly doubled. The prizes, named for Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, a founding father of the United Arab Emirates, are intended to “celebrate achievements that reflect innovation, long-term vision and leadership in renewable energy and sustainability.”
The Carbon Disclosure Project was started in 2000 by Paul Dickenson, who began working with institutional investors to press companies to provide information about their carbon emissions and purchases. In a 2007 Wall Street Journal article, Dickenson said the going was rough at first, but by 2003, the tide began to turn and more companies filled out CDP’s surveys.
The group says it now works with 551 investors holding $71 trillion in assets, and “some 3,000 organizations across the world’s largest economies now measure and disclose their greenhouse gas emissions, water usage and assessment of climate change and water risk and opportunity through CDP.” The organization puts out a annual reports focusing on different sectors, including Cities, Investor, Water, Supply Chain, that it says allow market players to make “investment decisions that drive action towards a more sustainable world.”