DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA: Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd, the world's largest producer of solar panels, received the 2011 Gigaton Prize for its pioneering role in reducing carbon emissions around the world, and leading efforts in the fight against climate change.
The Gigaton Prize is awarded annually to a company that has demonstrably reduced emissions by the largest absolute amount on an annual basis. This year, the Gigaton Prize was awarded at a ceremony in Durban, South Africa, as world leaders, policy makers, celebrities and Fortune 500 executives convene for the 17th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Suntech's founder and CEO, Dr. Zhengrong Shi said: "Suntech is honored to receive the prestigious Gigaton Prize, especially as world leaders are congregating for COP17 to discuss global initiatives around sustainability. The award reaffirms our commitment to the environment, and serves as an inspiration to other companies around the world to join us in our effort to build a sustainable future."
The Gigaton Prize, jointly awarded by the Carbon War Room, The Gigaton Throwdown and the World Climate Summit, is the top honor among all the Gigaton Awards, which recognizes companies for outstanding leadership in carbon mitigation in the consumer goods, industrials, telecommunications and utilities industries as defined by measurable steps toward reductions.
"Suntech has done more than any other company in the renewables space and are therefore helping to reduce the impact of carbon emissions on the environment," said Jigar Shah, CEO, Carbon War Room. "This award recognizes Suntech's pioneering spirit and commitment to a new energy future."
The Gigaton Prize was awarded in part due to Suntech's pioneering work in the solar industry over the last 10 years. Suntech's customers and partners have installed more than five gigawatts of Suntech solar panels around the world, and in October 2011, it became the first solar panel maker in the world to achieve the coveted milestone.
In addition to the on-grid work by Suntech's customers, Suntech's solar panels have provided an estimated 1 million people around the world, primarily in off-grid regions, with reliable access to basic electricity. Suntech aims to provide 20 million people with access to basic electricity by 2020.