Wednesday 28 October 2020

Zayed Sustainability Prize gets record entries

DUBAI, June 23, 2019

The Zayed Sustainability Prize (formerly Zayed Future Energy Prize) has received a record 2,373 completed submissions for the 2020 awards, up 13 per cent over the previous year, said its organisers.

Since its launch, in 2008, the $3-million annual prize has, directly and indirectly, positively impacted 318 million lives. Its global reach continues to grow and act as a catalyst for other sustainable development initiatives in many countries around the world.

Each category winner receives a prize fund of $600,000. The Global High Schools category winners split the amount among six high schools from six world regions, each receiving up to $100,000.

Following its 11th annual awards ceremony held in January, the Prize had entered a four-month submissions phase, which closed on May 30.

Of the entries received, the breakdown across the Prize’s five categories was: Health (514), Food (570), Energy (522), Water (377), and Global High Schools (390).

With an overall increase in submissions, last year’s decision to expand the Prize’s recognition of sustainability categories, alongside energy, continues to prove that the global trend for addressing an increasing number of sustainability priorities is growing.

From the 2,373 applications received, the top five countries by submissions were Nigeria, UAE, US, Colombia, and India. The top three world regions were Africa, Asia, and the Americas, said the organisers.

In the Prize’s home market of the UAE, submissions from organisations and high schools saw a significant increase of 86 per cent.

Dr Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and Director-General of the Prize, said: "Inspired by the legacy of the UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Prize continues to demonstrate the UAE’s commitment to promoting sustainability and humanitarianism."

"It is encouraging to note the immediate impact that has been made since the Prize aligned itself more closely with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with the introduction of the revised categories last year," stated the minister.

"For the 2020 awards, this upward trend in both entry numbers and global reach has continued. I look forward to learning more about this year’s most innovative, impactful and inspiring sustainability solutions during the evaluation stage," said Al Jaber.

A key trend, noted in the 2020 awards submissions data, is that emerging market organisations and high schools are making significant strides across multiple sustainability sectors.

This is reflected in the 74 per cent of this year’s entries coming from emerging economies that are increasingly investing in the development of both innovative technologies and their communities.

In addition to its global reach, equally impressive year-on-year growth was noted across the Prize’s Health, Food, and Water categories. This was also true in the Global High Schools category, which saw the highest growth rates, a 232 per cent increase, across the Middle East and North Africa region, and a 32 percent rise, worldwide.

For the 2020 awards, 390 completed submissions were received from high schools, up from 295 last year. Submission numbers for the six world regions were: The Americas (115), Sub-Saharan Africa (106), Middle East and North Africa (93), Europe & Central Asia (26), South Asia (14), and East Asia and Pacific (36).

Following the close of the submissions, the Prize is now entering the evaluation stage. An independent research and analysis consultancy will now shortlist all entries.

A Selection Committee comprising globally renowned industry experts will then assess the shortlisted entries and choose the finalists. The third and final tier of the evaluation process is the Jury, which will meet in Abu Dhabi in October, to select the winners in each category, it added.

The winners of the 2020 awards will be announced at the Prize’s 12th annual awards ceremony that will take place during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, on January 13, 2020.-TradeArabia News Service


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