Zayed Sustainability Prize accepting submissions for 2022 edition

The Zayed Sustainability Prize, the UAE’s pioneering global award for rewarding impact, innovation and inspiration, continues to receive submissions for its 2022 edition.

The Zayed Sustainability Prize officially opened for global submissions on 18th November 2019, and entries will be accepted until 6 May 2021, via the Prize’s online portal – across five sustainability categories: Health, Food, Energy, Water, and Global High Schools.

The opening for submissions for the current 2022 edition follows the prudent decision taken by the Prize’s management in September last year, to postpone the 2021 Awards Ceremony in an effort to safeguard all attendees’ health and wellbeing, in light of the prevailing global pandemic. Applicants that had submitted for the now-postponed 2021 cycle have automatically entered the 2022 edition.

H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Director General of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, said, “As a catalyst for change and positive transformation, the Zayed Sustainability Prize continues its drive to dynamically empower small and medium enterprises and non-profits, while encouraging and empowering youth to take on an active role in supporting their communities and becoming future sustainability leaders.” 

H.E Al Jaber added, “The Prize’s support of sustainability pioneers reflects a globally shared vision and ethos that streamlines an integrated approach to meeting UN Sustainable Development Goals. Backed by a 12-year track record of awarding excellence in sustainability, we trust that the Prize will once again attract the world’s most innovative pioneers, whose work today is even more imperative as the world navigates the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, on nations and people’s livelihoods.”

Inspired by the sustainable development and humanitarian legacy of the UAE’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Prize is now in its 14th submissions cycle, having rewarded a total of 86 winners whose solutions or school projects have, directly and indirectly, positively transformed the lives of more than 352 million people, to date.

The Prize’s US$3 million annual fund rewards winners US$600,000 in each category; the Global High Schools category is split into six world region winners, with each school able to claim up to US$100,000 to start or further expand their project. The six world regions of the Global High Schools category are The Americas, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East & North Africa, Europe & Central Asia, South Asia, and East Asia & Pacific. 

While the submission forms vary per category, core elements of each entry lie in the innovative ways in which technology, applications and solutions are driving positive transformation of people’s lives. For the Health, Food, Energy, and Water categories, organisations should demonstrate that they are improving access to essential products or services and have a long-term vision for improved living and working conditions.

For the Global High Schools category, their projects should be student-led, with emphasis placed on the students being actively involved in the planning, implementation, and monitoring processes.

The Zayed Sustainability Prize has a three-stage evaluation process, beginning with the due diligence conducted by an independent research and analysis consultancy. This identifies the qualified entries and results in the selection of shortlisted candidates. Following this, evaluations are undertaken by a Selection Committee consisting of category-specific panels of independent international experts. From this shortlist of candidates, the finalists are chosen and then sent to the Prize Jury who will select the winners across all five categories. 

Winners will be announced in 2022 during an Awards Ceremony, as part of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW). More details will be shared in the coming months.