Johnson Controls, Pepsi, Danone Among Gigaton Award 2011 Nominees

Though there's been a global revolution in how companies address their carbon footprints, progress is still happening far too slowly across the board.

In an effort to reward the companies that are best walking the talk, and inspiring other companies and industries to become climate leaders, the Carbon War Room along with The Gigaton Throwdown and the World Climate Summit last year launched the Gigaton Awards, aimed at recognizing the world's climate leaders.

Tomorrow, the group will officially unveil the nominees for the second annual awards, to be handed out during the COP 17 climate summit in Durban South Africa. As the official media partner for the awards, GreenBiz.com got an early look at the nominees.

Fifteen firms made the cut across five broad industries. The nominees are:

• Consumer Discretionary:Johnson Controls (US), Fiat (Italy), Philips (Netherlands)

• Consumer Staples: Danone (France), PepsiCo, Inc. (US), Tesco (UK)

• Industrials: Deutsche Post (Germany), Schneider Electric (France), Siemens (Germany).

• Telecommunications: Swisscom (Switzerland), Royal KPN (Netherlands), Telefonica (Spain)

• Utilities: Fortum Oyj (Finland), PG&E (US), Centrica (UK)

"It is so wonderful to see so many companies who are truly making a difference by reducing their carbon emissions, and even more exciting to see some of these leaders inspiring whole industries to change." Sir Richard Branson, Co-Founder of the Carbon War Room, said in a statement. "I'm as excited as the rest of my fellow Academy of judges to be picking the very best from the shortlist over the next month."

Nominees were first selected based on their scores from the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). Companies earning a CDP Carbon Performance Score of A, A- and B were the firms the make the first cut; those companies were then screened based on "ethical and carbon related criteria." Finally, the Carbon War Room analyzed emissions-intensity metrics for each industry to determine which firms are the most efficient performers among groups of closes competitors.

"We are delighted that the CDP data set has been used by the Carbon War Room on the Gigaton Awards and to see the awards help demonstrate to the wider business community the changes that are possible as a result of more sustainable business practices," Paul Simpson, CEO of Carbon Disclosure Project, said in a statement.

The Awards have three goals:

1. Inform the business community about the excellent work by companies to embrace sustainable and profitable business growth.
2. Establish a framework for understanding business performance regarding emissions.
3. bring prestige and recognition to leaders in this community.

The Awards will be announced at the World Climate Summit on December 3. The Summit is an exclusive, business-focused event that occurs during the United Nations' COP 17 climate summit in Durban, South Africa.

Sunil Paul, a venture capitalist and entrepreneur who founded the Gigaton Throwdown said, "This award recognizes the companies doing the most to achieve climate stability. These companies are inspiration to realize a business-led transition from a fossil-fuel based economy to one based on clean energy."

Last year's Gigaton Award winners, announced in Cancún, Mexico, during COP 16, included Nike, Reckitt Benckiser, Suzlon, 3M, Vodafone and GDF Suez. This year's awards will also include an award for the leading country or countries, although the Carbon War Room did not announce nominees for that category.

During the run-up to the awards, GreenBiz.com will be publishing profiles of the nominees, starting with today's profile of Johnson Controls.