2022 Paulson Prize for Sustainability Now Open for Applications

For nearly a decade, the annual award has pioneered the transition to sustainability
by highlighting solutions for green finance and conservation

April 15, 2022 (Beijing)—The Paulson Institute, in partnership with Tsinghua University, announces the 2022 Paulson Prizes for Sustainability is accepting applications until June 30. In 2013, the Paulson Institute launched the Prize to annually award projects in China that present innovative, scalable, and sustainable solutions to address the twin emergencies of climate change and biodiversity loss. The main objective of the Prize is to lead the global sustainability transformation by inspiring new thinking and shining a light on projects that offer the most potential to meet these challenges, both in China and around the world.

“The climate and biodiversity crises are two of the biggest challenges of our generation. The Paulson Prize for Sustainability is all about discovering the ideas and innovations that will make a difference in mitigating their impact,” said Henry M. Paulson, Jr., Founder, and Chairman of the Paulson Institute. “By shining a light on the most innovative and transformative green projects coming out of China, The Paulson Prize seeks to inspire the spread of sustainable solutions that can make our world more resilient and environmentally sustainable.”

“Addressing climate change depends on human beings reducing carbon emissions and achieving carbon neutrality through green innovation while protecting and restoring biodiversity depends on human beings building a community of life for man and nature by respecting, responding to, and protecting nature. We hope that more governments, companies, and organizations will apply for the Prize in the future and provide more innovative market solutions to give new impetus to global sustainable development,” said Yang Bin, Vice President & Provost of Tsinghua University.

In its ninth year, the Paulson Prize awards one project in each of two categories: Green Innovation and Nature Stewardship. The Nature Stewardship award is given to projects centered around conservation and biodiversity protection. This category recognizes innovative and scalable projects that preserve and protect the natural environment, including restoring natural ecosystems in China, such as wetlands, forests, oceans, rivers, grasslands, and deserts. The Green Innovation category, as in years past, focuses on the built environment, including energy conservation, comprehensive utilization of resources, the circular economy, pollution prevention and control, and climate resilience.

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. This 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, etc.

The “Paulson Prize—Nature Stewardship” is designed to attract and encourage solutions that improve the natural environment to meet the urgent challenges of ecological degradation and biodiversity loss and to inspire people to live in harmony with nature. This category recognizes innovative, sustainable, and scalable solutions and mechanisms in protecting and restoring natural ecosystems, biodiversity conservation, and enhancement of ecosystem services.

An independent jury committee composed of prominent international and Chinese leaders in city planning, economics, finance, energy, ecology, and environmental protection determines the Prize-winning project. 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.

“We are at a pivotal time in the transition to a low carbon economy, where capital, technology, and policy all must align to enable growth in green initiatives and industries at a significant pace and scale,” said Tracy R. Wolstencroft, Jury Co-chair in Green Innovation, Senior Advisor to TPG Rise Climate, Former President and CEO of the National Geographic Society, Former Partner of Goldman Sachs, “The Paulson Prize represents a unique opportunity for both public and private sector leaders in green innovation to receive international recognition, but also raise their profile with potential new partners, new investors, customers, and policymakers.”

“Biodiversity is the foundation for the development of human society, and it is also the shared responsibility of all mankind to protect it. China has innovative models and practices in the field of ecosystem restoration and protection. Through the Paulson Prize, we hope to bring these innovations to the rest of the world, especially some developing countries,” said Professor MA Keping, Paulson Prize Jury Committee Co-chair, Chairman of IUCN Asia Regional Members Committee, Deputy Director-General for Biodiversity Committee of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The Paulson Prize also appreciates the support of the China Association of Circular Economy, the Center for China and Globalization, the C-Team, the American Chamber of Commerce in China, and The Nature Conservancy.

For more information, please visit: PaulsonInstitute.org/prize.


About the Paulson Institute
Founded in 2011 by former Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr., the non-partisan Paulson Institute is based in Chicago, with offices in Washington and Beijing. The Paulson Institute is a non-partisan, independent, privately funded “think and do tank” dedicated to fostering a US-China relationship that serves to maintain global order in a rapidly evolving world. The focus on US-China is dictated by the reality that it is the most consequential bilateral relationship in the world. We operate at the intersection of economics, financial markets, and environmental protection by promoting market-based solutions to ensure green economic growth.

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 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.

Media Contact:
Tina Ren, Communications Director