The Zayed Sustainability Prize, an evolution of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, is the UAE’s pioneering global award in sustainability and a tribute to the legacy of the late founding father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Established in 2008, this annual award recognises and rewards the achievements of those who are driving impactful, innovative and inspiring sustainability solutions across five distinct categories: Health, Food, Energy, Water and Global High Schools.
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 augment their project in their local communities. The Global High Schools category was introduced to the Prize in 2012, in recognition that to empower and enhance communities of the future, the next generation of sustainability leaders need to be engaged at the school level – today.
While the scope of the submissions vary, 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. Many technological-based solutions often integrate with impactful long-term programmes and mechanisms like practical skills training, social entrepreneurialism, and gender empowerment.
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.