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Christoph Sutter and Renat Heuberger awarded as Swiss Social Entrepreneurs of the Year 2011

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Desirée Mohindra, Senior Media Manager, E-mail: desiree.mohindra@weforum.org; Tel: +41 22 869 6492

Zurich, December 13, 2011 - The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship has named Christoph Sutter and Renat Heuberger as the winners of the 2011 Switzerland Social Entrepreneur of the Year award. The award recognizes the work of their company, South Pole Carbon Asset Management, which combines local commitment to sustainable development in emerging and developing countries with solutions for global climate change.

The idea behind South Pole Carbon is to confront climate change using market-based approaches. In Switzerland, for example, the reduction of one tonne of CO2 costs nearly 10 times as much as in Vietnam. Therefore, Switzerland can reach its reduction target under the Kyoto Protocol by investing in climate change projects abroad.

With 10 offices around the work and operations in over 20 countries, the company enables the implementation and operation of high-quality emission-reduction projects that address climate change and sustainable development, including in the areas of waste management and reforestation of degraded tropical forests. The projects allow companies or individuals to compensate for their emissions that cannot necessarily be reduced at source. In addition to fighting climate change, South Pole’s projects also generate jobs, protect the local environment, transfer sustainable technology and boost local economies in developing countries.

Since 2005, the Social Entrepreneur of the Year prize is awarded in Switzerland every second year by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, in partnership with the Boston Consulting Group. Candidates for the award are judged based on three main criteria: innovation, sustainability and direct social impact of their work. An independent panel of pre-eminent judges met on December 13, 2011, to determine the winner among three finalists. The other finalists are:

Roman Bleichenbacher, Codecheck
Codecheck is an online guide that helps consumers with their purchasing decisions. It provides them with a website and free apps to access background information and expert opinions on a range of products.

Martin Spirig and Beat Drittenbass, POINZZ
POINZZ rewards young people when they consume little or no alcohol. It gives young people the opportunity to do a breath test after an evening out. Depending on the result, they receive a certain number of points, which can be redeemed on the company's website for such gifts as CDs, DVDs, and concert and theatre tickets.

Social Entrepreneur of the Year for Switzerland
The award ceremony for the Swiss Social Entrepreneur of the Year took place on 13 December 2011 in Zurich. The winner of the annual competition enters the Schwab Foundation’s global community of social innovators. Social Entrepreneurs are driven by their mission to create substantial social change, developing new products, services and models that benefit underserved communities. They pioneer role models of inclusive growth

“The economic crisis shows just how important their place is in our society, especially in industrialized countries where the capacity of states is increasingly limited and social entrepreneurs embark into new areas of social services,” says Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and Co-Founder, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.

The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship was co-founded by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, and his wife, Hilde. The Boston Consulting Group and Credit Suisse are partners of the Foundation. Since its inception in 2000, the Schwab Foundation has been identifying the world’s leading social entrepreneurs around the globe. Social entrepreneurs of the Schwab Foundation community actively participate in World Economic Forum events, thus providing unique opportunities for them to connect with business, political and media leaders.

The Jury 2011

  • Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and Co-Founder, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship
  • Dr. Elmar Wiederin, Senior Partner, The Boston Consulting Group
  • Markus Hongler, CEO, Die Mobiliar
  • Dr. Arthur Vayloyan, Head of Private Banking Switzerland, Credit Suisse
  • Paolo Richter, Schweizer Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2009
  • Martin Dahinden, Director, Die Direktion für Entwicklung und Zusammenarbeit (DEZA
  • Carolina Müller-Möhl, President, Müller-Möhl Group; Young Global Leader (WEF)
  • Dr. Christian Wenk, Physician, Clinic St. Anna; Young Global Leader (WEF)
  • Dirk Schütz, Editor-in-Chief, Bilanz

Notes to the Editors:

Schwab Foundation at www.schwabfound.org
Schwab Foundation on Twitter  www.twitter.com/schwabfound
Schwab Foundation on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/schwabfound
Schwab Foundation Blog http://www.forumblog.org/socialentrepreneurs

Website of the "Swiss Social Entrepreneur 2011": 
South Pole Carbon Asset Management - www.southpolecarbon.com

Websites of the two other finalists:
Codecheck - www.codecheck.info
Poinzz - www.poinzz.ch


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Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is independent, impartial and not tied to any interests. It cooperates closely with all leading international organizations (www.weforum.org).