Caring For The Environment Could Earn You USD 600,000, Courtesy of The Zayed Sustainability Prize

The annual Zayed Sustainability Prize has recognised and rewarded sustainable innovations in Health, Food, Energy, Water and Global Education since 2009.

May 27, 2020 | By Julia Roxan

2020 – Global High Schools – South Asia – Bloom Nepal School

The UAE’s pioneering global award in sustainability is a tribute to the legacy of the nation’s late founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Recognizing and rewarding the achievements of those who drive impactful, innovative and inspiring sustainable solutions across five distinct categories such as, Health, Food, Energy, Water and Global Education, the Zayed Sustainability Prize is awarded annually, with a total of 86 recipients since its very first ceremony in 2009.

This year, due to unprecedented and challenging times brought forth by the ongoing global pandemic, the initiative has extended the participatory deadline for all categories to 11th June 2020, and announced a free webinar series on 3rd  June 2020, Wednesday at 3 PM (GMT+8), via  Zoom.

The series will feature the likes of Mr Sharad Somani, Partner & Head of Infrastructure Advisory, KPMG Singapore; Mr Rob Hulme, Co-founder and Director of Beanstalk Agtech; Mr Damian Tan, Managing Director, Vickers Venture Partners; past winners of the Prize and other leading voices in sustainability.

Caring For The Environment Could Earn You USD 600,000, Courtesy of The Zayed Sustainability Prize

2019 – Health – We Care Solar

Tell us more about the origins of this Prize and the vision behind?

The Zayed Sustainability Prize was established in 2018, when it was then known as the Zayed Future Energy Prize. It was launched by H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as a tribute to his father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Sheikh Zayed was the President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. His vision was driven by a passionate belief in leading by example and this was a key essence behind his progressive socio-economic, sustainable development and humanitarian vision.

The Prize acts as a custodian of his legacy and proudly carries forward and shares his vision with an ever-increasing number of individuals and organisations worldwide.

The Prize was renamed in 2018 to reflect a broadening scope in areas of sustainability.

2016 – Non-Profit Organisation – Kopernik

What are the key categories in which contestants can apply & compete?

The Prize awards five categories: Health, Food, Energy, Water, which are only open to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs); and Global High Schools, which is split into winners from six global geographical regions each: The Americas, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East & North Africa, Europe & Central Asia, South Asia, East Asia & Pacific.

2016 – Non-Profit Organisation – Kopernik

The application deadline has been extended to June 11 2020, when will the results be announced?

Winners of the 2021 edition of the Prize will be announced at the annual awards ceremony held during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January 2021.

Who are the judges and what are the criteria on which the winners are selected?

The evaluation of submissions is a three-tiered process. Each submission undergoes stringent checks and are scored against the criteria set out for the Prize which are innovation, impact and inspiration. A selection committee evaluates and scores the shortlisted candidates. The committee is made up of leaders and representatives from the Abu Dhabi government, global sustainability organisations, universities and media.

Finally, the Jury deliberates the entries and elects the winner of each category. The Jury members are typically comprised of former world leaders, UAE government ministers,leading international business honchos, and occasionally, high-profile international celebrities.

2016 – Global High Schools – Asia – KSA

The funds received by each category winner are substantial. Let us know more about how these funds provided are being used by the winners?

The Prize fund will go towards the sustainability programme or solution described in the submission to scale up the impact of the winner’s sustainability efforts. Dedicating the fund to new sustainability ideas is also possible.

For the Global High Schools category, the fund is to be used to implement the proposed project in the school which will sow the seed for the next generation of sustainability leaders.

2016 – Global High Schools – Asia – KSA

Will there be an official ceremony this year for the winners?

The awards ceremony takes place during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January every year.

2015 – Non-Profit Organisation – Liter of Light

Can you let us know of two to three prized projects which you feel have had a strong impact on humanity?

    • We Care Solar, for its Solar Suitcases that deliver around-the-clock medical lighting and mobile communication to assist midwives and medical professionals in childbirth in 3,325 medical facilities in 27 developing countries in Africa;
    • Liter of Light, a day and night solution that provides passive daylight as well as charged evening solar lights such as lanterns, house lights, and streetlights through local skills building and sourcing electronic parts for building, instead of merely retailing imported finished products;
    • ECOSOFTT, for its smart water systems that provides more than 500,000 people from over five countries with clean water and proper sanitation.

Awards Ceremony

How will the Prize evolve over the new five years? Do you envision new categories to be created ? More focus on health?

The Prize will continue to closely align itself with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which comprises of 17 goals related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice, to be achieved by 2030.

Back to top