St Andrews Prize for the Environment 2021 now open for entries

Monday 30 November 2020

The University of St Andrews today (St Andrews Day, 30 November 2020) announces the call for entries for the St Andrews Prize for the Environment 2021, a major international initiative that recognises and supports innovative and inspirational responses to environmental challenges, including the climate crisis.

Now in its 23rd year, the St Andrews Prize was established by the University to reward and promote the most significant global contributions to environmental conservation and sustainable development.

Since 1998, the Prize has awarded more than $2 million in prize money across the world to individuals and organisations whose imaginative solutions are protecting the environment and encouraging a more sustainable society.

Applications are now invited from individuals, multi-disciplinary teams or community groups for the 2021 Prize, which is worth $100,000 for the winner and $25,000 for each of two runners up.

Since its inception, the Prize has attracted almost 6000 entries from across the world. It has provided crucial support to a diverse range of projects which have reduced human-animal conflict, promoted environmental justice, developed new solutions to reduce and eliminate waste, and championed urban regeneration.

Anyone wishing to enter the 2021 Prize should complete the online entry form on the St Andrews Prize for the Environment website. The closing date for entries is Friday 26 February 2021.

The chosen finalists will be invited to attend the St Andrews Prize for the Environment seminar, which will take place at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, from 3 to 6 October 2021. Finalists must attend the seminar to present in person.

The submissions for the Prize will be assessed by a panel of experienced Trustees from science, industry and government.

Dr Hayaatun Sillem, Chair of the St Andrews Prize for the Environment Trustees, said: “The St Andrews Prize provides a unique opportunity to recognise people who are driving innovative and impactful responses to our global environmental emergency. In this most challenging of years, I’m looking forward to being inspired by projects and ideas that showcase creativity and leadership in global sustainability.”

St Andrews Principal Professor Sally Mapstone said: “For over two decades this Prize has been a beacon for individuals and communities tackling environmental challenges in every corner of the world.

“For an institution which places sustainability and social responsibility at the heart of its mission, the Prize is a wonderful opportunity to bring together the strengths and interests of our University with the people leading imaginative environmental change in their communities and countries.

“Those who compete for this Prize have consistently inspired us, and it has never been more important for us to play our part in supporting creative solutions to the greatest challenge of our age.”

Full details about the Prize, the entry process and the eligibility criteria are available on the website or by emailing the St Andrews Prize for the  Environment office at [email protected].

History of the Prize

The St Andrews Prize for the Environment was established in 1998 by the University of St Andrews and the oil exploration company ConocoPhillips to recognise significant contributions to environmental conservation and sustainable development.

ConocoPhillips generously supported the Prize for more than two decades until 2020 when the company came under new management.

Since its launch, the Prize has received almost 6000 entries from across the globe and more than US$2 million has been awarded to 22 winners for projects including biodiversity, sustainable development, urban re-generation, recycling, health, water and waste, renewable energy and community development.


The University of St Andrews is Scotland’s first and oldest university. It stands for research and teaching of the highest quality, and the pursuit of knowledge for the common good. The University aims to be a beacon for diversity, social inclusion and social responsibility. These values are articulated in the University Strategy, which expresses ambitions across four distinct but equally important themes: World-leading St Andrews, Diverse St Andrews, Global St Andrews, and Entrepreneurial St Andrews.

From 2020 we have had an unprecedented opportunity to look afresh at the Prize and seek a consortium of new partners to work with in the years ahead. This commitment from the University’s supporters will support the next phase of the Prize’s story, providing vital funding for pioneering projects, extending their impact to a wider audience, and leading to long-term change.

The University is grateful to everyone who is supporting the 2021 St Andrews Prize for the Environment, and particularly our lead donors:

  • Simon and Bridget Fraser
  • The Gabrione Family
  • Mark Talbot
  • The Vickery Family

The University invites others to join the growing consortium of donors who have committed to the Prize’s future and who are helping to open up opportunities for projects and communities alike.

For further information please contact Robert Fleming, Director of Development at the University of St Andrews on [email protected].

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

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