By Ron Chen, Correspondent ASEAN Region
The Zayed Sustainability Prize, the UAE’s pioneering global award for rewarding impact, innovation, and inspiration, has officially announced that the 2022 edition is now open for submissions.
Entries will be accepted from today until 6 May 2021, via the Prize’s online portal – across five sustainability categories: Heath, Food, Energy, Water and Global High Schools.
The opening for submissions follows a decision that was taken by the Prize’s management earlier in September to postpone the 2021 Awards Ceremony in efforts to safeguard all attendees’ health and wellbeing, in light of the prevailing global pandemic. Applicants that had submitted for the now postponed 2021 cycle will be automatically entered into the 2022 edition.
Commenting on the launch of the 2022 awards cycle, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Director-General of the Zayed Sustainability Prize H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said: “As a catalyst for change and positive transformation, the Zayed Sustainability Prize continues its drive to empower small and medium enterprises and non-profits, while encouraging youth to take on an active role in supporting their communities and becoming future sustainability leaders.”
H.E Al Jaber added, “The Prize reflects our founding father Sheikh Zayed’s lifelong commitment to sustainability and is backed by a track record of incentivising pioneers who are advancing UN
Sustainable Development Goals. I trust that the Prize will once again attract the world’s best sustainability innovators, whose work today, is even more imperative to support the transition to the post-COVID-19 world, for both people and nations alike.”
Inspired by the sustainable development and humanitarian legacy of the UAE’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Prize enters 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 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.