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.

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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.

By recognising pioneering solutions and technologies that can change the world, the Zayed Sustainability Prize, has rewarded innovators and visionaries whose achievements have furthered the global proliferation of innovative, impactful and inspirational sustainability solutions. Over 318 million people have been directly or indirectly impacted by the sustainability solutions and school projects of the 76 recipients of the Prize winners since the first awards ceremony in 2009.

Opportunity Focus Areas:

  • Health.
  • Food.
  • Energy.
  • Water.
  • Global High Schools.

Required Languages


Eligible Countries


Program Period

All submissions go through our three-tiered evaluation process:
First stage: A reputed international Research & Analysis firm conducts due diligence on all submissions to ensure that they meet the criteria of the Zayed Sustainability Prize: Innovation, Impact, and Inspiration.
Second stage: The Selection Committee reviews every entry and the final entries are sent to the Jury for final evaluation.
Third stage: The Jury meets in person to deliberate on the finalists and select the winner in each category.
Final decisions are unanimous. The winners will be announced at the Zayed Sustainability Prize Awards Ceremony, which takes place in Abu Dhabi during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

Eligibility Requirements (Criteria)

For Health, Food, Energy and Water categories, the criteria are:


The innovation criterion requires organisations to:

  1. Demonstrate that their solution has unique and distinctive characteristics compared to their competitors.
  2. Have a level of maturity by being demonstrated on the ground.
  3. Have already shown characteristics to change the ‘status quo’ and have the potential to catalyse opportunities not previously considered through disruptive or transformative change.


The impact criterion is designed to test if the organisation has demonstrated significant and tangible results.

  1. Organisations will be expected to show that their solution has had a positive impact on the quality of peoples’ lives. Direct and indirect impacts are considered;
  2. Organisations will also need to demonstrate that they have good governance, employ skilled people, are operationally and financially stable, as well being resilient to potential or real challenges.

The inspiration criterion is designed to test if:

  1. Organisation has a long-term vision and credible plan to deploy the prize money and scale up outcomes and impact over the next 10-15 years.
  2. Organisation can outline the scale of their ambition and how they can multiply the positive impact of their core issues and continue to improve people’s lives.
  3. Organisation can also demonstrate that they are able to inspire others to multiply, sustain and catalyse further benefits.

For the Global High Schools category, the criteria are:

  • The high schools should demonstrate impact, innovation and inspiration to enable inclusive and equitable access to quality education.
  • Schools must propose projects to be implemented within 12-24 months of receiving the Prize, with tangible outcomes in the areas of sustainable health, food, energy, and water.
  • These projects need to be designed to deliver positive educational impact including access to quality education and ensure that students are given key skills and enhanced abilities to achieve their goals. Ideally, projects should demonstrate new and innovative approaches and be inspirational for others.
  • The category is open to all high schools with students between 11-19 years old. The application must be submitted by the school and supported by its management.
  • The award in this category is not given for past achievements but will enable winning schools to develop sustainability projects for implementation in their own schools. The proposed project should result in clear, measurable educational benefits, in relation to:• Improving access to quality secondary education
    • Eliminating gender disparity and advocating for equal access to education
    • Helping youth and adults achieve literacy and numeracy and acquire knowledge, technical and vocational skills for decent jobs and entrepreneurship for sustainable development

Opportunity Cost


The total prize fund is $3 million, distributed as follows:

  • Health – $600,000
  • Food – $600,000
  • Energy – $600,000
  • Water – $600,000
  • Global High Schools – $600,000

Note: The global high school award will be divided between 6 Global High Schools in 6 different regions, awarding each up to $100,000, as the following:

  • The Americas
  • Europe & Central Asia
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • East Asia & Pacific
  • South Asia
  • MENA

How to Apply

First Step: 

In order to start your entry, You will need first to register an account with the Prize from here.

Second Step: 

After that, You will receive an email to be able to verify your email address, then you can start your entry by logging into the system and fill your online application.

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Know more about this opportunity:

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