The Prize

The Paulson Prize for Sustainability (the “Paulson Prize”) was initiated in 2013 by the Paulson Institute, and has been developed in partnership with Tsinghua University. The prestigious award has become one of the most influential awards globally. The Paulson Prize is awarded annually to projects in China that provide innovative and scalable solutions, at the intersection of economics and environment, to tackle the most pressing twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. The Prize aims to lead the global sustainability transformation by inspiring new thinking and shining a light on projects that offer the best potential to meet these challenges, both in China and around the world.

Supporting Organizations

Why Apply?

  • Prestige: Winners will join an esteemed group of past Prize recipients who are taking best-in-class approaches to China’s sustainability challenges. The mayor of the city from where the winning project is based will be invited to participate in the award ceremony.
  • National and Global Exposure: Finalists will receive international and Chinese mainstream media attention, including recognition on the Paulson Institute website and publicity on other influential websites and social media.
  • Empowerment: Finalists will be invited to exclusive opportunities by the Paulson Institute and Tsinghua University, leading to additional intellectual, technical, and financial support to take the project to the next level.


The Paulson Prize will be awarded in two categories of Green Innovation and Nature Stewardship, which will recognize projects on built environment and nature conservation. (Click each icon for details)

Apply for the Prize

Entities registered in China, including businesses, institutions, social organizations, and NGOs are invited to submit projects that are completed or in operation. Applicants must provide evidence to demonstrate the project’s benefits and impact according to the criteria.

All applications must be submitted online on or before June 30, 2023. For inquiries, please contact

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The Jury Committee

The Prize-winning projects are determined by an independent jury committee composed of prominent international and Chinese leaders in the fields of city planning, economics, finance, energy, ecology, and environmental protection. The jury will evaluate submissions based on agreed criteria and will visit and inspect the short-listed finalists’ projects to decide the winner in each category. 

Green Innovation Award


Tracy R. Wolstencroft

Jury Committee Co-chair, Senior Advisor to TPG Rise Climate,Former President and CEO of the National Geographic Society, Former Partner of Goldman Sachs


Sonja Gibbs

Managing Director and Head of Sustainable Finance, Global Policy Initiatives, Institute of International Finance


Simon Zadek

Chair of Finance for Biodiversity, Former Principal of Project Catalyst, United Nations Development Program


Wang Shi

Founder of China Vanke, Chairman of Vanke Foundation


Zhuang Weimin

Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), President and Chief Architect of Architectural Design and Research Institute of Tsinghua University

Nature Stewardship Award


Ma Keping

Jury Committee Co-chair, IUCN Councilor and Chair for Asia Regional Members Committee, Deputy Director-General for Biodiversity Committee of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Professor


Ma Guangren

Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of China Wetland Conservation Association, Former Director of Wetland Conservation and Management Center of State Forestry Administration


Niu Gensheng

Founder and Honorary President of Lao Niu Foundation, Founder of Mengniu Dairy Group


Lynn Scarlett

Chief External Affairs Officer of The Nature Conservancy, Former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior


Yang Rui

Co-founder, Chair and Professor of the Department of Landscape Architecture, Tsinghua University; Founder and Dean of the National Park Research Institute of Tsinghua University

Previous Winners

Green Innovation: The “Paulson Prize – Green Innovation” awards solutions that respond to climate change, improve the built environment, accelerate the upgrading of the energy structure, and promote low carbon development to build a future of environmental sustainability and economic growth.

The Green Innovation category includes solutions for resource conservation, comprehensive utilization of resources, the circular economy, pollution prevention and control, energy-saving, and emission reduction. This category encourages the application of innovative models, and green and emerging technologies, including but not limited to green finance products and services, 5G, big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and more.

Nature Stewardship: The “Paulson Prize for Sustainability – Nature Stewardship” is designed to attract and encourage solutions that improve the natural environment, meet the urgent challenges of ecological degradation and biodiversity loss, and inspire people to live in harmony with nature.

This category recognizes innovative, sustainable, and scalable solutions and mechanisms in the protection and restoration of natural ecosystems, biodiversity conservation, and enhancement of ecosystem services in China.