Press Release

Building on a legacy: Introducing the Zayed Sustainability Prize

17 April 2018

Evolving from 10 years of success as the Zayed Future Energy Prize, the UAE’s preeminent sustainability Prize undergoes a strategic refocus

The Zayed Future Energy Prize will today become the Zayed Sustainability Prize as part of a strategic move to refocus its mandate. After ten years of successfully promoting renewable energy initiatives across the globe, the Prize will now broaden its focus to affect greater humanitarian impact by supporting a wider range of solutions to the challenges of sustainable development.

Commenting on the Prize’s transformation, His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Director General of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, said: “Inspired by the vision and legacy of our founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Zayed Future Energy Prize has, for the last decade, been able to positively impact 307 million lives through empowering access to energy, clean water, education, training, advocacy and more.

“In a move to align more closely with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the UAE’s developing national agenda, going forward the Prize will broaden its reach beyond renewable energy, and reward projects and innovative solutions from a wider spectrum of sustainability and human development initiatives. In addition the Prize will expand its support of young people through the Global High Schools category, which will now reward youth-driven projects from a greater number of world regions.”

Based on its renewed mission, the Prize now has five distinct categories for applicants to choose from: Health, Food, Energy, Water and Global High Schools. These pillars are interconnected and representative of basic needs essential to human survival where innovations will yield progress in sustainable development.

Dr. Lamya Fawwaz, Director of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, said: “The new categories were carefully selected to reflect the most pressing sustainability challenges and offer the greatest socio-economic impact on the lives of people around the world.”

“The Zayed Sustainability Prize will also look to inspire today’s youth to be forward-thinkers and cultivate within them a vested interest in becoming agents of change for sustainable development – after all, youth of today are leaders of tomorrow. Beyond that, we look to recognise existing innovations and amplify their reach so that they may benefit more people and bring us closer to helping solve some of humanity's biggest challenges,” Dr. Lamya added.

The Zayed Sustainability Prize will see a three-stage evaluation process, beginning with the due diligence that is conducted by a reputed international research and analysis consultancy. Following this, the shortlisted entries will undergo evaluations by a Selection Committee to determine the finalists. From these finalists, a Jury will select the winners in all five categories, including the winning schools from six world regions.

The deliberations on who wins the Zayed Sustainability Prize are set against three core criteria where entrants must demonstrate:

  • Impact: Significant and tangible outcomes on the quality of people’s lives
  • Innovation: Distinctive characteristics to change the “status quo” and potential to catalyse opportunities that will have a disruptive positive impact and transformative change
  • Inspiration: The potential to scale up project outcomes in the next decade and the ability to inspire others

Winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize will be announced at the awards ceremony during the opening of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, on 14th January 2019.

The Zayed Sustainability Prize is open for submissions from today, 17th April 2018, and will close on 9th August 2018. More information can be obtained at www.zayedsustainabilityprize.com.