A rare optimistic voice in the fray over carbon emissions and energy waste, Hal Harvey, Energy Innovation CEO and founder of the ClimateWorks Foundation and the International Council for Clean Transportation, works from the premise that global climate change is in fact solvable, and that the move to zero-carbon energy technologies can be accomplished. He is honored for his efforts in the United States, India, China, Europe and in developing countries, where he has focused on solutions and strategies in sectors where incremental improvements to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions can make the most significant impact: cars and trucks, buildings, utilities and industry. As part of the accolade, Mr. Harvey will receive an unrestricted cash award of $250,000.
Mr. Harvey has united multidisciplinary thought leaders to leverage best practices in energy efficiency and renewable energy. As a result of strategic guidance by Mr. Harvey and others, just last month the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released new fuel efficiency standards for heavy-duty trucks that will save more than one billion tons of CO2 emissions annually. Also in the United States, programs and policies instituted by the Energy Foundation Mr. Harvey established in 1991 are reducing energy consumption in buildings by 50 percent through the use of more efficient windows, walls, floors, ceilings, heating and cooling systems and advanced lighting. The use of these materials costs no more than energy-wasting materials, and results in extremely efficient buildings that become “a one-hundred-year asset instead of a one-hundred-year liability,” Mr. Harvey said. In part due to his leadership, California now claims one of the nation’s lowest per-capita rates of energy consumption, demonstrating just one success in the efforts of Mr. Harvey and his collaborators to reduce energy waste.
His international efforts include a focus on China, where he launched Energy Foundation China to provide research, recommendations and expertise to assist the country in plotting a more sustainable, environmentally friendly course. One resulting initiative there—the “Top 1000 Program” for energy efficiency in China’s heavy industries—saved more than one hundred million tons of coal equivalent in the first five years of the program, and was later expanded tenfold to cover the nation’s top 10,000 energy-consuming enterprises.
“We have building codes for structural integrity, we have food safety codes so kids don’t get poisoned by eating bad meat. Why is energy any different? This is where we must push the conversation,” Mr. Harvey said. “Transitioning to zero-carbon energy technologies is actually simpler than you might think, and we must do it. We’re in the midst of an unprecedented and nasty change in the atmosphere, and the consequences are far more precipitous than most people realize. I don’t dwell on that because I think it’s disempowering. We have one or two decades to turn this thing around, so we must grasp the opportunity that is now in front of us.”
“Hal Harvey is unequalled as a champion of immediate and long-term environmental improvements,” said Teresa Heinz, chairman of the Heinz Family Foundation. “He is a convener of the highest order, bringing together leading minds in diverse fields to find innovative, practical solutions to the world’s complex environmental challenges. His visionary and strategic thinking has steered the environmental movement with clear direction, especially on issues of efficient and renewable energy, and he has been instrumental in implementing environmental best practices on a global scale.”
Over nearly three decades, Mr. Harvey, the CEO of Energy Innovation since 2012, has founded and led influential partnerships including the Energy Foundation and Energy Foundation China, ClimateWorks Foundation, the European Climate Foundation and the International Council for Clean Transportation. One example of the work of these partnerships is the development of the Energy Policy Simulator, a computer model created by the team at Energy Innovation that lets users test various climate and energy policy combinations across all sectors to identify policies capable of decarbonizing the economy at the lowest price. Through ClimateWorks, Mr. Harvey helped build a network of grantmakers and experts who share best practices in areas such as vehicle emissions standards, building codes and energy efficiency around the world.
Established to honor the memory of U.S. Senator John Heinz, the 21st Heinz Awards this year recognize those who have made significant contributions in five distinct areas of great importance to Senator Heinz: Arts and Humanities; Environment; Human Condition; Public Policy; and Technology, the Economy and Employment. Now in its 21st year, the Heinz Awards has recognized 128 individuals and awarded more than $25 million to the honorees. For more information about the awardees visit http://heinzawards.net/2016.
In addition to Mr. Harvey, the 21st Heinz Awards honored the following individuals:
- Arts and Humanities: Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, New Orleans, La.
Mr. Andrews, a celebrated multi-instrumentalist and performer, is being recognized for his achievements as a musician and for his community work to preserve and pass on to younger generations the rich musical heritage of his native New Orleans.
- Human Condition: Nadine Burke Harris, M.D., San Francisco, Calif.
Dr. Burke Harris, a pediatrician, is being recognized for her work in establishing pioneering protocols to identify and treat children suffering from toxic stress caused by extreme poverty, neglect and unsafe or chaotic surroundings.
- Public Policy: Michelle Alexander, Columbus, Ohio
Ms. Alexander, a legal scholar, advocate, civil rights attorney and author, is being recognized for her work in drawing national attention and constructive action to the issue of mass incarceration of African American youth and men in the United States.
- Technology, the Economy and Employment: Matt Mullenweg, Houston, Texas
Mr. Mullenweg, visionary co-founder of WordPress, is being recognized for creating a free, simple-to-use, open-source website and blogging platform that is helping to democratize online publishing.
Winners will receive their awards in Pittsburgh on October 4, 2016.
EDITORS/REPORTERS: To obtain photos of Mr. Harvey or any of the other recipients, please contact Abby Manishor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 917-539-3308.
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About the Heinz Awards
Established by Teresa Heinz in 1993 to honor the memory of her late husband, U.S. Senator John Heinz, the Heinz Awards celebrates the accomplishments and spirit of the Senator by recognizing the extraordinary achievements of individuals in the areas of greatest importance to him. The awards, administered by the Heinz Family Foundation, recognize individuals for their contributions in the areas of Arts and Humanities; Environment; Human Condition; Public Policy; and Technology, the Economy and Employment. Nominations are submitted by invited experts, who serve anonymously, and are reviewed by jurors appointed by the Heinz Family Foundation. The jurors make recommendations to the Board of Directors, which subsequently selects the Award recipients.
For more information on the Heinz Awards, visit www.heinzawards.net.
Contacts: Abby Manishor
**This Press Release was originally published on the Heinz Awards website on Sept 14th, 2016**
Photo credit: Jason Henry