After earlier winning the Award for the southern region in July, Andrew Grant, CO2 Group CEO, was honoured with the national 2009 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in the Cleantech category. The presentation was made 12 November in Sydney.
Out of 30 national finalists from around Australia nominated for an award, seven outstanding entrepreneurs were announced as winners for the categories of Cleantech, Listed, Products, Services, Social, Technology and emerging industries and Young.
The Chair of the 2009 National judging panel, Paul Cave, Chairman of BridgeClimb and 2001 Entrepreneur Of The Year winner, said the national finalists this year were “outstanding” and “included many ground breaking business people and pioneers.” He noted that the finalists all had, “a passion for their businesses and an unwavering focus on their vision. The national winners have shown that entrepreneurs will still look for opportunities and growth potential regardless of a tougher market environment.”
On Cleantech category winner, Andrew Grant, Paul Cave said:“Andrew is fuelled by a passion for nature and is making ‘green’ commercially viable, profitable and credible.”
Greg Roebuck, founder and Chief Executive Officer of online classifieds business, Carsales.com, was named the overall 2009 Australian Entrepreneur Of The Year. By winning the title, Greg Roebuck, who also won in the Technology and Emerging Industries category, will go on to represent Australia in Monte Carlo next year at the 2010 Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year award.
In announcing Andrew’s Award, Ernst & Young, provided the following overview of his contribution:
In the mid-1990s, Andrew Grant recognised the looming issue of carbon emissions and the potential for a company that could offer the market carbon offsets. In the face of market scepticism, he pioneered Australia’s carbon credits market, proving that carbon offsetting can be commercialised.
Starting with no staff, no clients and just an idea, Andrew Grant has proved that carbon offsetting can be commercialised. In the mid-1990s, Andrew recognised the looming issue of carbon emissions and the potential for a company that could offer the market carbon offsets. In the face of deep scepticism, he pioneered Australia’s carbon credits market, resulting in a highly successful business, the CO2 Group.
Early on, Andrew identified the important technological solution that long-term plantings of Mallee Eucalypts could offer the carbon credits market, and started to educate big business about the viability of biosequestration.
In the early years, Andrew worked closely with the state and federal authorities, including driving the amendment of the Federal Tax Act to provide deductibility for carbon sinks. The CO2 Group was Australia’s first company to be accredited under the carbon sequestration rule of the NSW Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme and the first under the Federal Government Greenhouse Friendly Scheme (Carbon Sequestration).
In 2007, CO2 became the first Australian company registered on Chicago’s climate exchange, North America’s only cap and trade system for all six greenhouse gases.
Today, CO2 is the largest provider of dedicated carbon sink plantings in Australia, moving from a loss position in 2006, to a million dollar profit this year. The company is a regular finalist in local and global environmental awards and has earned the respect of regulators, competitors and the market. It is firmly committed to innovation, with plans to invest $1 million in research and development in 2009.
Andrew’s vision for CO2 is to increase both its customer base and the size of the projects. He is also looking to continue with his vision of protecting the environment by adding further services to the business, including solar/renewable energy, water projects and biodiesel from algae.
About the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award program:
Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential, and recognises the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 135 cities in 50 countries. Since Ernst & Young’s global program began in Australia in 2001, more than 800 leading Australian entrepreneurs have been recognised for their entrepreneurial spirit. Entrants are assessed by a leading panel of independent judges on their innovation, integrity, influence, strategic direction and national/global impact. Their relationships with their local communities are also taken into account.
Andrew Grant: CEO, CO2 Group Limited
For more information contact:
Elise Margaritis: Marketing and Communications Manager, CO2 Australia Limited
T: (03) 9928 5111