Finalists named for “Nobel of Sustainability”

October 28, 2011



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.

Minus the money.

Katerva, the new UK-based charity, today announced winners for 10 individual categories, who are now shortlisted for a single grand prize to be awarded in New York on Dec. 7.

Awards are for “game-changers and industry breakers; ideas that leap efficiency, lifestyle, consumption and action bounds ahead of current thinking,” their website says.

It’s the result of a year of vigorous review involving a network of “spotters” and organizations around the world that nominated more than 150 programs and ideas for the honor. Nominees were required to be ongoing, active and capable of scaling up.

The 2011 winners in their individual categories are:

Behavioral Change

Activist organization founded by Bill McKibben to mitigate the climate crisis through online campaigns, grassroots organizing and mass public actions by volunteers in 188 countries.



The world’s largest multi-seller marketplace for socially and environmentally responsible shopping.

Energy and Power

Barefoot Power

Providers of alternative light sources such as LED lights and polycrystalline solar panels for homes in 15 developing countries.

Food Security

The China Study

Written by Dr. T. Colin Campbell and his son Thomas M. Campbell III, The China Study is the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted and findings conclusively demonstrate the link between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Human Development

Solar Autoclave

Low-cost, solar powered device used to safely and reliably sterilize surgical instruments in developing countries.

Materials and Resources


Provides low-cost sustainable franchised sanitation centers throughout Kenya.


Nissan Leaf

Zero-emission, all-electric, mainstream vehicle from a major global automobile manufacturer.

Urban Design

Freshkills Park

The New York City Parks and Recreation department is transforming Freshkills Park into a 2,200 acre park that restores the natural environment.

Protected Areas – no recipient

Gender Equality – no recipient


Each of the winners now enter competition for the grand prize of intellectual support “to aid winners in intelligently growing and accelerating their impact on the world.” This includes introduction to a number of partner organizations and business thought leaders Ken Blanchard and Marshall Goldsmith.

Grand prize jury members include:

Jeremy Rifkin, author author and president of the Foundation on Economic Trends Jeremy Rifkin

Marina Silva, Brazilian environmentalist and politician Marina Silva

Gunter Pauli, director of the Zero Emissions Research Initiative

Jean-Michel Cousteau, Explorer, Environmentalist, and Educator

Mary Robinson, former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights

Lord St. John of Bletso, member of the UK House of Lords and cleantech advocate

Dr. J. Craig Venter, U.S. biologist known for sequencing the human genome

John Elkington, executive chairman of Volans and founder of SustainAbility



(Photo above shows 2000 Students from Massey High School in Waitakere City, Aotearoa New Zealand, assemble on their field to show their support for International Day of Climate Action, Oct 24, 2009. REUTERS/Handout/Steve Campbell/

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