Announcing The 2023 Verdantix Climate Innovation Awards Winners

  • Blog
  • Net Zero & Climate Risk

Announcing The 2023 Verdantix Climate Innovation Awards Winners

A cloud computing giant, an entrepreneur in the enhanced rock weathering space, a technology firm, a UK innovation accelerator and a footwear brand make up this year’s Climate Innovation Awards recipients.

On 30 November, we announced the winners of our Climate Innovation Awards at the 2023 Verdantix Climate Summit in London, recognizing and honouring exceptional achievements in various areas of sustainability and climate action. The awards were given in five categories, and winners were selected from hundreds of entries by a panel of three climate leaders at the Lloyds Banking Group, the London Stock Exchange Group and sustainability consultancy Bioregional.

Without further ado, the winners of the 2023 Verdantix Climate Innovation Awards…

Climate Digital Champion

This award recognizes individuals or organizations that have demonstrated exemplary leadership in leveraging digital technologies to drive sustainability and climate action, accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy and promoting sustainable practices.

Winner: VMware (accepted by Matthew Eaton, Head of Responsible Sourcing)

VMware committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions for its operations and supply chain by 2030. A critical first milestone of this is to move 75% of its annual spend to be with suppliers who have set science-based targets (SBTs) by the end of FY25. By the end of FY22, 23% of its suppliers had set SBTs. In early 2023, VMware began a pilot programme to enable suppliers that ultimately revealed promising results: 73% of participating suppliers that interacted with the firm are now interested and/or actively engaged in setting SBTs. From the end of 2022, VMware grew the proportion of its suppliers with science-based targets from 23% set, to 52% set and committed.

Climate Innovator Rising Star

This award acknowledges emerging talents and promising individuals who have shown exceptional commitment, innovation and potential in advancing sustainability across various sectors.

Winner: Jim Mann, founder and CEO, UNDO Carbon Removal

In 2019, Jim co-founded The Future Forest Company – a reforestation effort with a mission to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and restore biodiversity across the UK.       

Realising that tree planting could only go so far in helping solve the climate crisis, UNDO was spun out of the Future Forest Company in mid-2022 with the aim to deliver large-scale carbon removal with a permanence of 100,000+ years. UNDO aims to be the first organization to remove one million tonnes of CO₂ by 2025, a first step towards billion-tonne scale global operations.

Scope 3 Metrics & Supply Chain Sustainability Award

This award recognizes advancements in Scope 3 data collection, analysis, modelling or reporting that improve a business's understanding of climate change impacts, inform decision-making and facilitate the development of effective climate strategies.

Winner: Fujitsu (accepted by Victoria Ward, Head of Environmental Impact)

The Fujitsu Group set a target to achieve net zero emissions from its business activities by 2030, and from the entire value chain by 2040, with certification from SBTi in June 2023.

In 2023, Fujitsu started a project to assess its Scope 3 baseline, expanded its Scope 3 reporting categories, launched a Supply Chain Sustainability solution pilot from Cority, fulfilled Fujitsu's immediate ESG supply chain reporting needs, and established a centralized online platform for efficient acquisition and analysis of primary supplier ESG data.   

Green Building, Infrastructure & Adaptation Award

This award highlights exceptional achievements in sustainable building design, energy-efficient construction, green infrastructure, smart buildings and sustainable urban development that reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions from the built environment.

Winner: Connected Places Catapult (accepted by Elliot Christou, data and software lead)

Connected Places Catapult is the UK’s innovation accelerator for cities, transport, and places. Its project CReDo (Climate Resilience Demonstrator) aims to protect infrastructure industries against climate impacts. The project is developing a climate change adaptation digital twin of the UK’s critical infrastructure assets, such as energy, water and telecoms facilities. CReDo’s developers used the data to build a prototype of the platform with East Anglia as the test area.

CReDo succeeded with its prototype and is now able to scale up the platform across new regions and partners – including the transport sector and local authorities – and for additional climate risks, starting with extreme heat. The prototype’s success has led to £913,000 in funding from Ofwat, the UK water regulator, to incorporate the effects of extreme heat on water networks.

Circular Economy Innovation Award

This award recognizes innovative initiatives that embrace the principles of the circular economy, promoting resource conservation, waste reduction, recycling and product lifecycle extension, and contributing to a more sustainable and regenerative economy.

Winner: Vivobarefoot (accepted by Galahad and Asher Clark, Co-Founders)

Vivobarefoot was founded in 2012 by two seventh-generation cobblers, Galahad and Asher Clark. In 2022, the firm launched Revivo by Vivobarefoot, a circular platform that reduces the impact of Vivobarefoot footwear by extending the life of each pair of shoes for as long as possible through repair, rental,  resale and upcycling. In the year to date, 102,000 pairs have been refurbished, 75,000 refurbished pairs resold and 30,000 damaged pairs have been collected.

Verdantix will be also awarding a further group of Climate Innovation Awards at our upcoming Climate Summit in Washington DC in February 2024. Climate innovators can send in submissions on this page from today.

Announcing The 2023 Verdantix Climate Innovation Awards Winners_intext graphic

Ryan Skinner

Research Director, Net Zero & Climate Risk

Ryan is the Research Director for the Verdantix Net Zero & Climate Risk practice. He guides the research team to develop compelling research at the intersection of net zero strategies, carbon management, climate risk and technology. Prior to joining Verdantix, Ryan was a principal analyst at Forrester Research, where he initiated the research into ESG data and analytics offerings. He also has extensive experience of helping software companies with their messaging, positioning, market and technology strategies. Ryan studied at Duke University, the University of Manchester and the University of Oslo, and speaks Norwegian fluently.