The Paulson Institute and Tsinghua University launched the fifth Paulson Prize for Sustainable Cities today. The Prize solicits projects that demonstrate best practices in sustainable urbanization and advance China’s transition to a more sustainable economy. This year, the Prize will focus on projects related to the built environment, circular economy, and natural capital. NGOs, businesses, local governments and other institutions are encouraged to apply.
Urbanization has been a critical driver of China’s rapid economic growth in the past 30 years. However, China’s historic urban development patterns have had a negative impact on the environment and the ecosystem. China must shift away from its conventional urbanization model of excessive investment, high consumption, and burdensome emissions. To this end, the Paulson Institute set up the Prize in 2013, aiming to inspire the spread of environmental and economic solutions to the challenges in China’s economic transformation.
This year, the Prize will be organized jointly by the Paulson Institute and Tsinghua University. Ms. Chen Xu, the Chairperson of Tsinghua University Council, observed that the Paulson Institute and Tsinghua University have long been working together on sustainable development and environmental protection issues, and this partnership will help deepen future bilateral cooperation.
“I’m delighted to launch the fifth Paulson Prize for Sustainable Cities,” said Paulson Institute Chairman Henry M. Paulson, Jr. “The Prize is intended to highlight cutting-edge solutions to sustainability challenges, which can be scaled in China and beyond. In turn, we hope that the Prize will inspire others to develop even more innovative approaches to address sustainability challenges.”
Submissions will be evaluated by an independent jury committee composed of seven prominent Chinese and American leaders in economics, finance, energy, and ecology. The criteria for winning projects include: energy conservation/emission reduction, creativity, engagement of the private sector, scalability, and social co-benefits. The jury will visit and inspect a select number of finalist projects before deciding on the winner.
The winner of the 4th Prize was Beijing Goldenway Bio-tech (BGB) Company’s organic waste recycling and farmland quality improvement project. The project, a public-private partnership between BGB and the local government, aims to solve two problems simultaneously: food waste and soil health. The company collects urban food waste, and uses its patented technology and equipment to process it into a soil conditioner product. Once applied, the soil conditioner reduces the need for chemical fertilizer – helping reduce pollution from excessive fertilizer use. The project provides a viable business model for sustainable urban-rural interconnectivity that can be scaled across China.
For more information, please visit us at paulsoninstitute.org/prize.
About the Paulson Institute
The Paulson Institute is a non-partisan, non-profit “think and do” tank grounded in the principle that today’s most pressing economic and environmental challenges can be solved only if the United States and China—the world’s largest economies, energy consumers, and emitters of carbon—work in complementary ways. Founded in 2011 by Henry M. Paulson, Jr., the 74th Secretary of the Treasury and former Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs, the Institute is based in Chicago and has offices in Washington, San Francisco, and Beijing.
About Tsinghua University
Tsinghua University was established in 1911. With the motto of “Self-Discipline and Social Commitment” and the spirit of “Actions Speak Louder than Words”, Tsinghua University is dedicated to the well-being of Chinese society and to world development. At present, the university has 14 schools and 56 departments with faculties in science, engineering, humanities, law, medicine, history, philosophy, economics, management, education and art. The University has now over 25,900 students, including 13,100 undergraduates and 12,800 graduate students. As one of China’s most renowned universities, Tsinghua has become an important institution for fostering talent and scientific research.