The second annual Earthshot Prize, an international awards ceremony seeking to honor and support innovation in sustainability, announced its five winners for 2022 on Friday night. The winners, picked from a group of 15 finalists from 10 countries, were announced by Prince William at a ceremony at Boston’s MGM Music Hall.
Founded in 2020 by Prince William and the Royal Foundation, the Earthshot Prize was inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s “Moonshot” challenge, which encouraged innovation in science and technology to send people to the moon. The Earthshot Prize aims to recognize and scale startups, entrepreneurs, or businesses with sustainable solutions in hopes of stabilizing the world’s climate by 2030. The winners are awarded with a prize of one million pounds, or about 1.2 million dollars.
The five categories, known as ‘Earthshots,’ for the award were as follows: Protect and Restore Nature; Clean our Air; Revive our Oceans; Build a Waste-free World; and Fix our Climate. One finalist was chosen from each category.
Clean our Air: Mukuru Clean Stoves, Kenya
Mukuru Clean Stoves is a female-founded startup that designs and provides cheaper and cleaner-burning stoves for women in Kenya. The stoves use processed biomass made from charcoal, wood, and sugarcane, rather than solid fuels which create more air pollution and endanger millions of people each year.
Protect and Restore Nature: Kheyti, India
Kheyti designs and provides low-cost farming solutions that help small farmers in India increase the yield and predictability of produce. The company designed a ‘Greenhouse-in-a-Box,’ designed to shield crops from pests and bad weather while conserving water and drastically improving crop yields. The organization hopes to get 50,000 small farmers in India a Greenhouse-in-a-Box by 2027.
Revive our Oceans: Indigenous Women of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Started in 2018, The Queensland Indigenous Women Rangers Network has trained over 60 women to serve as the next generation of women rangers protecting the Great Barrier Reef. The responsibilities of the women rangers includes collecting data insights on the reef’s ecosystems, and protecting sites of great cultural and spiritual significance.
Build a Waste-free World: Notpla, United Kingdom
Notpla, based in London, has developed a natural and bio-degradable plastic alternative made from seaweed and plants. The alternative has been used to make over one million takeout food boxes, and according to the Earthshot Prize, the company has the potential to replace over 100 million plastic coated containers in Europe in the future.
Fix our Climate: 44.01, Oman
Oman-based 44.01, named after the molecular weight of carbon dioxide, reduces carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere through mineralization, or turning air-based pollutants into solids and storing them underground. Unlike other forms of carbon dioxide storage, this method does not require long-term monitoring or insurance, making it more cost-effective, scalable, and safer, the company says.