Established in 2008 and formerly known as the Zayed Future Energy Prize, the award has recognised companies, schools, non-profits and inspiring leaders around the world, in honour of the sustainability legacy of the UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Earlier this year, and coinciding with the Year of Zayed, the Prize expanded its strategic focus beyond renewable energy to include health, food, and water, while retaining the Global High Schools category – to become the Zayed Sustainability Prize. In responding to the evolving challenges and opportunities of global sustainable development, the Prize is now even more closely aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the National Agenda of the UAE.
The Zayed Sustainability Prize employs a rigorous three-stage evaluation process. The first stage is conducted by an independent research and analysis company, which defines which entries have met the awards’ submission criteria. In the second stage, a Selection Committee of experts and specialists assess the impact, innovation and inspirational merits of the shortlisted candidates. In the last stage, the Jury deliberates on the finalists and selects the winners. The Jury is comprised of former world leaders, UAE ministers, as well as internationally renowned businesspersons and philanthropists.
Before yesterday’s Jury meeting, Chair of the Jury and former President of the Republic of Iceland, H.E. Ólafur Grímsson, said: “Having built a global reputation over the last decade for recognising solutions in the field of clean energy, it has been a pleasure to preside over the Prize Jury as it evolves to reward a broader spectrum of sustainability solutions.”
“As the previous winners of the Prize have proven, the direct and indirect impact of their solutions have, to date, benefitted over 307 million people, worldwide. With the Prize’s addition of sustainability categories, one can only imagine the increased reach and impact that will be delivered in the years to come.”
H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Director General of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, said: “By engaging with and inspiring the next generation of global pioneers, the Zayed Sustainability Prize continues to push the boundaries in support of innovation in sustainable development. The Prize’s evolution reflects a broader and more ambitious set of global priorities, while remaining true to the values inspired by Sheikh Zayed and his legacy.”
“This year, the Prize’s global reach has expanded into 130 countries with the number of submissions received higher than ever before. This amplifies the overall human impact the Prize delivers, on an unprecedented scale.”
This year, the Jury selected 10 winners from a pool of 31 finalists. Innovations vying for the Prize include solutions that reduce infant mortality; provide offline Artificial Intelligence systems; enhance sustainable agricultural models; improve smart building and energy management systems; promote female empowerment; expand access to safe drinking water; along with many other pioneering advances in the field of sustainable development.
The Zayed Sustainability Prize Jury Members are:
His Excellency Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, Chair of the Prize, Chair of Arctic Circle, and former President of the Republic of Iceland
His Excellency Dr. Han Seung-soo, Vice-Chair of the Prize, and former Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea (South Korea)
His Excellency Felipe Calderón, former President of Mexico
His Excellency Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Climate Change and Environment, United Arab Emirates
Her Excellency Shamma Al Mazrui, Minister of Youth Affairs, United Arab Emirates
His Excellency Ahmad Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Global Marketplace, (ADGM)
Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group
Adnan Amin, Director-General of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
Her Excellency Dr. Nawal Al Hosany, the United Arab Emirates’ Permanent Representative to IRENA
Andreas Jacobs, Chairman of INSEAD
Wang Chuanfu, CEO & Chairman of BYD Automobile Company Limited