Corporate Social Responsibility

In Focus 3 The International Environmental Award Blue Planet Prize The Asahi Glass Foundation contributes to global environment conservation through its Blue Planet Prize, which is awarded to individuals or organizations making major strides towards solving environmental problems.

The AGC Group’s ApproachesCommending the Achievements of Individuals and Organizations Contributing to Solving Environmental Problems

The prevention of climate change, acid rain, ozone depletion, tropical rainforest destruction, river and ocean pollution and protecting the global environment are major issues that humankind must address.

In 1992, the year of the Earth Summit, the Asahi Glass Foundation established the Blue Planet Prize, an international award presented to individuals or organizations for major contributions to the fields of social science, natural science, technology or the application thereof. Two recipients are chosen annually, and the prize is presented at an award ceremony in Tokyo, where the recipients give commemorative lectures. In FY2015 at the 24th edition of the event, the Blue Planet Prize was awarded to Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta FBA FRS (UK) and Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs (US).

Lecture content:

  • •Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta FBA FRS: “Sustainable Development and the Wealth of Nations”
  • •Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs: “Meeting the Challenge of the Sustainable Development Goals” (Note 1)

(Note 1) Sustainable Development Goals recognized by the United Nations

The Asahi Glass Foundation

One year after the 25th anniversary of AGC’s founding, the Asahi Glass Foundation was initially established as the Asahi Chemical Engineering Scholarship Foundation in 1933. Alongside expanding ventures related to financial assistance and establishing new honorary awards, the name was revised to the Asahi Glass Foundation in 1990. To this day, the foundation engages in the two main pillars of research support programs and bestowing honorary awards, developing a number of far-reaching initiatives within the Group.

Blue Planet Prize: Earth―the water planet―is home to a myriad of living things. Continuation of life on Earth requires that we strive to exist in harmony. The symbol of the Blue Plant Prize represents our responsibilities to our fragile home. It is a symbol of hope for our children, of coexistence and interrelation with our environment. This design depicts the dynamic connection and balance between all elements of our world: the pristine blue sky and sea; people, nature and the universe. We owe our existence to the Earth. We must protect our home to ensure our future. The Blue Planet Prize symbol mark illustrates a promising tomorrow.

Blue Planet Prize Story

Prize Recipients in 2015

Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta FBA FRS (UK)
Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge

PROFILE

Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 1942. Professor at Cambridge University since 1985. Taught at Stanford University and Cornell University, and held post of President of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE) (2010-2011) as well as Chairman of the Central Government Expert Group on Green National Accounting for India (2011 onwards). In 2002, named Knight Bachelor for services to economics and awarded the Volvo Environment Prize.

Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta FBA FRS (UK)

Selection RationaleUnifying Diverse Fields in Economics, Presenting
a New Economic Evaluation Theory

Professor Dasgupta’s pioneering work has showed that the concepts of intergenerational equity and sustainable development are in fact equivalent, and he has brought together previously disparate fields: welfare economics and environmental economics. In a wide ranging book on human well-being and the natural environment he showed that the coin by which economic progress should be judged is a comprehensive measure of a nation’s wealth, and not GDP or the many ad hoc indicators of well-being in common use today. He has used those findings to develop an ideal system of national economic accounts, which is being implemented in India and several other countries.

He also pioneered the study of rural poverty in developing countries in the context of a deteriorating environmental resource base. His lifelong aim of bringing nature seamlessly into economic reasoning has had a huge impact on contemporary thinking.

Message
Everyone must Play their Part in Solving Environmental Issues

Humanity's engagement with Nature is the most significant feature of our lives and in need of urgent repair. And yet, we mostly avoid addressing it. The institution that is the Blue Planet Prize signals that sad fact annually and brings environmental problems to the world's attention. It is understandable that global environmental problems, both in the large and in the small, are brought to the world's attention. It is understandable that global environmental problems attract public interest, but the “large” is made of the myriad of “smalls”. Ultimately, if Humanity is to make peace with Nature, the move will have to come from each one of us.

Understanding the way we at the individual level tread upon nature as we go about our lives is the necessary first step to any resolution of the problems we face. In my own work I have tried over the years to understand the ways in which poverty and wealth at the household level leave their distinctive marks on Nature. So, it is both a great honour and an enormous pleasure for me that the perspective I have tried to introduce into our collective thinking has been recognized by the award of the Blue Planet Prize.

Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs (US)
Director, The Earth Institute at Columbia University

PROFILE

Born in Detroit in 1954. From 1984 to 2002, served as Professor of International Trade at Harvard University. Also served as Director at the Harvard Institute for International Development and Director, Center for International Development, Harvard University. Since 2002, has served as the Director at the Earth Institute at Columbia University and Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General on the Millennium Development Goals. In 2012, appointed Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Named one of the "top three most influential economists of the decade" by The Economist magazine in 2011.

Director, The Earth Institute at Columbia University Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs (US)

Selection RationaleApplied Clinical Economics and Continued Sustainable Development in Developing Countries

Professor Sachs has an impressive record of assisting economic reconstruction in countries that have struggled to overcome economic crises and achieve sustainable development. More specifically, Prof. Sachs applied his interdisciplinary and innovative "clinical economics" to countries in the process of rebuilding, in which appropriate economic and environmental policies are established after evaluating economic issues present, and considering the geographic and historical context of the region in question. This has brought about a greater understanding of equality among the general public. Furthermore, in order to resolve issues of governance, poverty, public health, education and the environment, he has promoted economic development by helping smallholder agriculture and social services to take root and release individuals from extreme poverty.

In 2015, principles of sustainable development created in large part by Prof. Sachs were unanimously adopted as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As a scholar, practitioner and senior advisor to governments and the United Nations, he continues to have a profound impact on our world.

Message
Sustainable Development is Possible through Problem Solving Based on Economic Analysis

I am deeply honored to receive the Blue Planet Prize and especially gratified to receive it in 2015, the year that the UN member states adopt the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Blue Planet Prize represents the commitment of the Asahi Glass Foundation to the well-being of the planet, and the prize is recognized worldwide for helping to spur the public’s awareness of the critical and urgent challenges of sustainable development. I am profoundly thankful that the Blue Planet Prize Committee has recognized my work in furthering the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and in promoting the new SDGs through the application of science, technology, institutional innovation and moral purpose.

Rigorous economic analysis and demonstrated solutions around the world show that sustainable development is feasible. The Blue Planet Prize serves as a great spur to action on behalf of humanity and I am thrilled therefore to be its co-recipient this year.

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