The Zayed Sustainability Prize, the UAE’s pioneering global sustainability and humanitarian award, has announced that the 2025 cycle is now open for submissions. 

Submissions will be accepted until 23 June 2024 through the prize’s online portal. Small to medium enterprises (SMEs), non-profit organisations (NPOs) and high schools with sustainable solutions are invited to submit an entry for consideration in one of the six categories of heath, food, energy, water, climate action and global high schools.

His Excellency Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Director General of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, said: "Since 2008, the Zayed Sustainability Prize has honoured the legacy of Sheikh Zayed by fostering inclusive sustainable and humanitarian development around the world. In this decisive decade for climate change, these values are more important than ever. I am optimistic that the prize will contribute to global climate action in line with the UAE Consensus, which will pave the way toward an effective response to the Global Stocktake decision."

In response to the pressing climate crisis, and to further support the UAE’s efforts to accelerate practical solutions needed to drive climate action and uplift vulnerable communities around the world, the prize has increased its funds from more than AED13 million (USD$3.6 million) to more than AED21 million (USD$5.9 million). The prize will reward more than AED3.6 million (USD$1 million) to each winner in the organisational categories of health, food, energy, water and climate action. Within the Global High Schools category, which is split into six world regions, each school can claim up to more than AED550,000 (USD$150,000) to start or further expand their project. The six world regions of the Global High Schools category are The Americas, Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia and Pacific. The most recent Zayed Sustainability Prize winners were recognised at an awards ceremony held during COP28 UAE.

To encourage a broader range of organisations and high schools to participate, the prize will be accepting submissions in multiple languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese. This will ensure that innovative solutions from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds can be recognised.

For the health, food, energy, water and climate action categories, organisations should prove that they are improving access to essential products or services in their targeted communities and are able to implement a long-term vision for better living and working conditions. For the Global High Schools category, projects should be led by students, and must demonstrate innovative approaches to address sustainability challenges.

The evaluation of each submission to the prize consists of a rigorous, three-stage process. First, due diligence is conducted on all submissions to ensure that they meet the prize’s evaluation criteria of impact, innovation and inspiration. This identifies the qualified entries and results in the selection of eligible 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 elect the winners across all six categories.

Winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize will be announced at an awards ceremony during the 2025 Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW).