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Rio, Brazil (June 20, 2012): Richard Branson's non profit organisation Virgin Unite celebrated businesses making a difference at global event Rio+Social, awarding five business leaders with a Screw Business as Usual (SBAU) Award. Rio+Social is a global event at the nexus of social media, technological innovation and sustainable development held on the eve of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development by the United Nations Foundation.

The SBAU Awards recognise business leaders who put the planet and people at the heart of what they do. Virgin Unite asked a respected group of partners to each identify a leader and company they felt were demonstrating that business can and must play a role in protecting and valuing our wonderful natural assets.

The winners are:
Jochen Zeitz of PUMA and PPR Group:
PUMA is breaking boundaries on a path to transforming the way we value natural resources with its new Environmental, Profit and Loss statement. www.puma.com

Eben Bayer of Ecovative:
The 2008 winner of Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, Eben Bayer followed Mother Nature’s wisdom and created Mushroom® packaging as a sustainable alternative to Styrofoam™, disrupting the packing industry and turning agricultural waste into a useful and sustainable product. www.ecovativedesign.com

Dennis Hunter of Ygrene:
Ygrene is demonstrating that doing what’s right for the plant makes good business sense. They lead efforts to finance the environmental retrofitting of buildings with their Green Energy Loan system. www.ygrene.com

Sagun Saxena of CleanStar Mozambique:
CleanStar’s commercial sales of ethanol-based stoves and ethanol production frees people of charcoal dependence and breaks a vicious cycle of deforestation, agricultural degradation, declining food security and damage to public health. www.cleanstarmozambique.com

The late Ray Anderson of Interface:
Ray became a visionary leader of transforming business to support principles of sustainability starting in 1994 when he challenged Interface put sustainability at the heart of the business. www.interfaceglobal.com

Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group and Virgin Unite participated in Rio+Social along with José María Figueres, President of the Carbon War Room. Branson and Virgin Unite invited their networks to join the Rio+Social conversation to discuss innovative business solutions to advance sustainable development. At Rio+Social, Branson and Figueres had a conversation with the SBAU award winners and celebrated at a Virgin Unite “Screw Business as Usual” reception.

Virgin Unite thanks all partners and winners for their continued leadership in screwing business as usual, by valuing and protecting our natural resources.

Later this year, the United Postcode Lotteries will award €500,000 (about $630,000 USD) to the best innovative idea to reduce CO2 emissions, with entries due by July 31, 2012, through their international green competition the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge.

For more information on the award winners, please see www.virginunite.com.

FOR INTERVIEWS, IMAGES OR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT GEMMA HARRIS AT Lineup Media ON 01202 798989 / 07870 603736 / gemma@lineupmedia.co.uk.

About Virgin Unite
Virgin Unite connects people and entrepreneurial ideas to make change happen, helping to revolutionize the way government, business and the social sector work together to make business a true force for good. This is based on the belief that this is the only way we can tackle the scale and urgency of the challenges facing the world today. With the publication of Richard Branson’s book, Screw Business as Usual, Virgin Unite and its partners launched a global effort among business leaders to promote a philosophy of putting people and planet at the centre of business. Virgin Unite’s overheads are covered by Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin Group, meaning that 100% of additional donations received go direct to the frontline where they are needed most. For more information, please visit www.virginunite.com, follow us on Twitter @virginunite or find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/VirginUnite.

About the United Postcode Lotteries
The mission of the United Postcode Lotteries (Nationale Postcode Loterij in The Netherlands, Svenksa PostkodLotteriet in Sweden and People’s Postcode Lottery in the UK) is to raise funds for people and the planet. These charity lotteries have raised over 5 billion euros (about 6.5 billion USD) for charities. The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is the annual international sustainability competition of the United Postcode Lotteries. It encourages and aids the invention of great new green products and services by inviting entrepreneurs from around the world to send in their business plans from May 1 - July 31, 2012. The winning idea will receive 500,000 euros (about 630,000 USD) plus expert advice bringing their entrepreneurial vision to reality. Another 200,000 euros (about 250,000 USD) is available to be divided among one or two of the other finalists.

About Carbon War Room
The Carbon War Room, an independent global non-profit, works to accelerate the scaled deployment of clean technologies. Over 50% of the climate change challenge can be addressed today — and profitably — under existing policy with existing technologies. We seek to facilitate a better flow of capital to entrepreneurial solutions that make economic sense right now.

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