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Kazadi Enterprises receives 2022 Nicor Gas Multicultural Innovator Award

Evergreen Climate Innovations, Nicor Gas partner to support entrepreneurs who are making a positive environmental impact in Illinois

NAPERVILLE, Ill. – Aug. 18, 2022 – Kazadi Enterprises is the recipient of the 2022 Nicor Gas Multicultural Innovator Award. This is the second annual award presented by Nicor Gas and Evergreen Climate Innovations, formerly Clean Energy Trust, to support clean energy technology startups with a minority founder or CEO.

“Kazadi Enterprises is at the intersection of innovation and diversity, and we are proud to work with Evergreen Climate Innovations to support this Illinois startup,” said Wendell Dallas, president and CEO of Nicor Gas. “This is another way we are fueling innovation and investing in our communities and businesses while reducing our environmental footprint and helping our customers do the same.”

Kazadi is the second recipient of the Nicor Gas Multicultural Innovator Award and will receive a $25,000 equity and inclusion grant to support further development of its patented technology that converts ambient heat to energy. In addition to the grant, Kazadi leadership will receive 12 months of business mentorship and heightened exposure to investors and customers.

“Evergreen Climate Innovations is proud to continue its work with Nicor Gas and Illinois entrepreneurs to bring environmental innovations to a scalable reality,” said Erik Birkerts, CEO of Evergreen Climate Innovations. “Kazadi Enteprises is tackling a sector whose negative environmental impacts often go unrecognized by offering a decarbonized alternative to traditional refrigeration and cooling systems.”

It is estimated that commercial refrigeration systems produce the same amount of CO2 emissions as 100 million cars and leak, on average, 25% of their hazardous refrigerants into the atmosphere every year. Kazadi’s patented technology leverages thermal energy in air, converting environmental heat into work and plugging into the natural hydrologic cycle, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of refrigeration.

“We are excited to work with Nicor Gas and Evergreen Climate Innovations as we continue to refine our technology that harnesses a free and nearly universal energy sources – environmental thermal energy,” said Sanza Kazadi, CEO and founder of Kazadi Enterprises. “By harnessing the energy in the air and replacing conventional refrigerants with just plain water, we can help customers reduce their refrigeration energy usage by 80% while also reducing negative environmental attributes often associated with traditional refrigerants.”

To learn more about Kazadi Enterprises, visit

About Nicor Gas 
Nicor Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Nicor Gas serves more than 2.2 million customers in a service territory that encompasses most of the northern third of Illinois, excluding the city of Chicago. For more information, visit 

About Southern Company Gas  
Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company. Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.3 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states with approximately 600,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit

About Evergreen Climate Innovations
Evergreen Climate Innovations, formerly Clean Energy Trust, provides catalytic capital and support to entrepreneurs and startups that bring impactful climate technologies to market. The nonprofit pioneered its 501vc® Investment Fund to align philanthropic and corporate contributions to deliver environmental, economic, and social impact. Evergreen advances and expands access to innovation across the Greater Midwest and cultivates an ecosystem of investors, donors, and collaborators. For over a decade, Evergreen Climate Innovations has invested in startups that have raised $41 for every $1 invested. Learn more at

Media Contact:
Jennifer Golz
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