Following a successful four-month submissions phase, the Zayed Sustainability Prize, the UAE’s pioneering global award for recognizing excellence in sustainability, has officially closed entries for its 2023 awards cycle. More than 4,500 applications were received across the five prize categories of health, food, energy, water and global high schools, from a record 152 countries, demonstrating the prize’s growing global reach and impact.
The Zayed Sustainability Prize winners will be announced at the 2023 Zayed Sustainability Prize Awards Ceremony, which will be held on Jan. 16, 2023 as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
The prize witnessed a 13 percent increase in submissions compared to last year from small- and medium-sized enterprises, nonprofit organizations and high schools. Total submissions from SMEs increased across all categories, underscoring a rising trend that SMEs are putting sustainability at the top of their agenda.
Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber, UAE minister of industry and advanced technology and director general of the prize, said: “For the last 14 years, the Zayed Sustainability Prize has incentivized practical solutions to global challenges that deliver tangible impact at a community level around the world. Inspired by the commitment to sustainable development and humanitarian legacy of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, the prize has improved the lives of 370 million people in 151 countries to date. This year, we have seen applications from a record number of countries across every category from health, food, energy, water and global high schools. I’m excited to see what creative solutions this year’s applicants will bring to the table, particularly as the UAE prepares to host COP 28 next year.”
“Given that we want to leverage COP 28 as a platform for inclusivity and practical outcomes, I am confident that the prize can help to deliver social and economic progress from across the private sector, small business community and an increasingly active and engaged younger generation,” he added.
This year’s submissions were more diverse than ever before, revealing climate change’s impact on every country across every continent. More submissions received this year came from developing nations in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, East Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and North Africa, which is an important indication of the growing participation of developing countries in the fight against climate change.
The top submitting countries included Kenya, India, China, Egypt, Brazil and the US.
Following the close of submissions, the prize now enters the evaluation stage. All entries will now be shortlisted by an independent research and analysis consultancy. A selection committee comprising globally renowned industry experts will then assess the qualified entries and shortlist the candidates. The third and final tier of the evaluation process is the jury, which will convene in October, to unanimously elect the winners in each category.