Sustainability Pioneers to Shine at Zayed Prize Awards Ceremony
The Zayed Sustainability Prize, renowned for its commitment to recognising global sustainability and humanitarian efforts, has unveiled this year’s finalists after a rigorous evaluation by its esteemed Jury. The winners will be unveiled during the Zayed Sustainability Prize Awards Ceremony on December 1st, coinciding with COP28 UAE [the 28th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change], scheduling from November 30th to December 12th.
The 33 finalists from an astounding 5,213 submissions were selected across six categories: health, food, energy, water, climate action, and global high schools. This year saw a 15 percent surge in submissions compared to the previous year, highlighting the growing global commitment to sustainability. The newly introduced Climate Action category attracted a remarkable 3,178 nominations.
Originating from countries such as Brazil, Indonesia, Rwanda, and 27 others, these finalists represent a diverse range of small and medium-sized businesses, nonprofit organisations, and high schools. They exemplify the Prize's expanding mission to reward innovative solutions that transcend geographical boundaries while addressing pressing global challenges.
H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Director General of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, and COP28 President-Designate, expressed his admiration for the finalists' ingenuity and unwavering commitment to creating a more sustainable and resilient future for our planet. He emphasised the enduring legacy of the UAE's visionary leader, Sheikh Zayed, whose dedication to sustainability and humanitarianism continues to inspire the nation.
Over the past 15 years, the Prize has been a catalyst for positive change, impacting the lives of over 378 million people across 151 countries. It has incentivised solutions that drive progress in climate and economic spheres in some of the world's most vulnerable regions.
The finalists' innovations directly align with the four pillars of the COP28 UAE agenda: fast-tracking an equitable energy transition, addressing climate finance, prioritising people's well-being and livelihoods, and emphasising inclusivity.
Through the Prize's 106 previous winners, 11 million people have gained access to safe drinking water, 54 million homes have gained access to reliable energy, 3.5 million people have gained access to more nutritious food, and over 728,000 people have gained access to affordable healthcare.
H.E. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, Chair of the Prize Jury, commended this year's finalists for their extraordinary efforts in addressing global challenges with purpose and innovation. He highlighted how these innovators are instilling hope for a brighter future by tackling issues such as ocean conservation, sustainable agriculture, and accessible healthcare.
The winners in each of the Health, Food, Energy, Water, and Climate Action categories will receive US$600,000, while each of the six winning Global High Schools will be granted up to US$100,000.
These awards symbolise the global commitment to addressing sustainability and climate challenges, with the Zayed Sustainability Prize serving as a beacon of hope and recognition for innovators worldwide.