Nobel Prize for Sustainability?

By: Andrew Carty, Greek Life Sustainability Intern


Is there a Nobel Prize for Sustainable Development? As of yet, one does not exist.

Or does it? Katerva, a UK-based nonprofit, promotes global sustainability by identifying, evaluating, and accelerating innovations across the world through its annual Katerva Awards.

“If the Nobel Society had an award for sustainability, it would resemble the Katerva Awards, a new international prize for the most promising ideas and efforts to advance the planet toward sustainability.” 

Reuters 2011

Katerva boasts a global network of over 1200 experts in the field of sustainability. These “Katerva Spotters” identify nominees for the annual Katerva Awards based upon “…products, services, policy initiatives, very category targeted non-profit initiatives, unique structural solutions (joint ventures, etc).” Nominations may fall into the following 10 categories: Behavioral Change, Economy, Ecosystem Conservation, Energy and Power, Food Security, Gender Equality, Human Development, Materials & Resources, Transportation and Urban Design.

Once nominations have been decided upon for the year, Katerva moves into the evaluation phase of its award process. Katerva evaluates nominees through a series of phases as follows: Validation, Scalability, Policy, Impact, and Awards. See this year’s evaluation schedule below.

  • Validation Panels will deliberate from Oct 14th – Nov 1st
  • Scalability Panels will deliberate from Nov 4th – Nov 26th
  • Policy Panels will deliberate from Nov 18th – Dec 6th
  • Impact Panels will deliberate from Dec 2nd – Jan 10th
  • Awards Council will deliberate from Jan 20th – Feb 14th


Each year, Katerva selects 50 finalists with 10 winners. Katerva finalists and winners change norms and form new paradigms. Katerva supports them in becoming change agents through a mixture of global press and media and entrepreneurial support. This includes eligibility for all finalists for pro bono legal services from almost 300 Trustlaw-affiliated firms, free Ecodeo custom marketing and outreach videos for all 10 winners, and also for all 10 winners, eligibility for 12 weeks of free business consulting from our very own Kelly School of Business here at Indiana University Bloomington. 

Visit to view 2011 and 2012 winners in all ten categories, and please follow this year’s evaluation and awards processes which are just now moving into the Scalability Panels!


One thought on “Nobel Prize for Sustainability?

  1. It’s great to see that so many people from around the world are making progress toward a sustainable future. It’s even better to see that they are being recognized for their hard work. Thanks for sharing! Passionate, intelligent people like those contending for the Katerva Awards inspire me to keep up with my work in sustainability as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s