Affordable solar energy company ToughStuff has today (19 June) been announced as one of eleven winners at the 2012 World Business and Development Awards (WBDA) for its efforts to improve living standards in some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities.
ToughStuff will be recognised at a ceremony concluding the Business Action for Sustainable Development Business Day taking place during the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), where world leaders along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, NGOs and other groups, convened.
The Awards recognise the role of private companies in reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), rewarding businesses who expand goods and services for low-income people through sustainable, commercially-viable business models.
- ToughStuff was one of only 11 companies worldwide to receive an Award.
- ToughStuff was recognised for its innovative business model which has seen the company reach over a million people with affordable solar energy.
Toughstuff won an Ashden Award in 2011, working in 11 countries across Africa to provide affordable, durable and high performance solar energy to the 1.3 billion people without access to electricity.
Their innovative business model includes working with local partners to improve distribution, from working with commercial distribution channels to collaborating with NGO partners to create Solar Agents who sell to their communities.
ToughStuff CEO Andrew Tanswell said: “I’m honoured ToughStuff has received a World Business Development Award. Our business was set up to help lift people out of poverty and protect the environment. When we lift people out of ‘energy poverty’, we provide a vital ingredient towards the Millennium Development Goals. Having reached over a million people already, our social enterprise plans to keep growing to increase our impact.”
“As progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) comes under threat in the current economic climate, the Awards highlight the critical role of the private sector in stimulating sustainable economic growth and development,” said Jean-Guy Carrier, Secretary General, International Chamber of Commerce.