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Deloitte's Earthshot Prize Partnership: this years’ Winners revealed - five environmental innovators you don’t want to miss!

Mia Read

The Earth is at a tipping point. Business as usual is no longer a viable option, and we must act now to avoid irreparable damage to our planet. We face crucial choice: continue as we are or collaborate to lead, innovate and problem-solve to regenerate the place we call home.

Over the last three years, Deloitte has supported Prince William’s Earthshot Prize, which has succeeded in cementing a reputation as a global leader in finding, selecting and scaling environmental innovations. This week, five more game-changing innovators have been awarded the Prize for their unparalleled contribution in solving the greatest environmental challenges of our time - and you don’t want to miss them.

“We have got to hang on to optimism and hope, because it is the biggest driver of change, it is the biggest driver of innovation” 1 – Prince William

2023 winners

The awards ceremony celebrated the global Finalists based across 11 countries and operating at a global scale, and awarded the five 2023 winners of The Earthshot Prize. These top five solutions will have the greatest impact on the biggest environmental challenges facing our planet and the winners each received £1 million to scale their solutions. The 2023 winners are:

  • Clean our air – GRST stands for Green, Reusable, Sustainable Technology. With the development of a new way to build and recycle vital lithium-ion batteries, GRST‘s solution offers a pathway to make the electric cars of the future even cleaner focusing on circularity of materials used. GRST batteries are associated with 40% less greenhouse gas emissions from battery production, and last 10% longer than the average battery.
  • Build a waste-free world – S4S TECHNOLOGIES: S4S technologies provide female farmers with solar-powered, cost-effective conduction dryers and processing equipment to combat food waste while also contributing to reducing rural poverty and gender inequality. By processing damaged crops that would otherwise go to waste into food ingredients, S4S technologies turn produce into valuable products.
  • Fix our climate – BOOMITRA: Boomitra means “friends of the Earth” in Sanskrit and is a soil carbon marketplace that boosts farmer profits by incentivising soil restoration and the adoption of regenerative agriculture. Using satellite and AI technologies, Boomitra removes emissions through a verified carbon-credit marketplace, and deploys revenue associated to boost profits of more than 150,000 farmers across poor rural areas across Africa, South America, and Asia.
  • Revive our oceans – WILDAID MARINE PROGRAM: Global conservation non-profit organisation WildAid developed the Marine Programme to scale marine enforcement to end illegal fishing and strengthen ocean conservation. By fostering partnership among stakeholders including but not limited to not-for-profits, academia, charities, and governments, WildAid focuses on expanding and scaling at a global level to contribute to the ’30 by 30’ commitment of effectively safeguarding 30% of the global oceans surface by 2030.
  • Protect and restore nature: ACCIÓN ANDINA: Acción Andina is a grassroots community-based initiative working across South America to protect native high Andean forest ecosystems for their invaluable benefits to nature and millions of people in the region. Acción Andina was founded by the two not-for-profit organisations Global Forest Generation and Asociación Ecosistemas Andinos and works with local communities across the high Andes to restore ecosystems and promote sustainable land and resource management through conservation activities and strong partnerships.

Check out the Earthshot announcement for more detail.

The 2023 winners of The Earthshot Prize

These winning innovations have been selected for their potential to unleash the urgent optimism required to accelerate the repair and regeneration of our planet.

As well as the £1m prize. All finalists will receive support from the Earthshot Prize in their scaling and expansion journey, growing from small-scale innovators to commercially viable players in the market.

Deloitte’s role

Earlier this year, we supported the review of over 1000 nominations for both their impact and scalability in our capacity as Implementation Partner for the Prize. We are thrilled to now be on the ground for the Awards in Singapore and hear from some of the finalists first hand.

Deloitte has also supported previous winners with their growth journey, alongside other Global Alliance members. An example is Notpla, the 2022 winner for the “Build a Waste-Free World” Earthshot. Notpla tackles plastics pollution by developing entirely natural and biodegradable packaging from seaweed. In an interview with Deloitte, Notpla flagged the necessity for increased endeavours in research and use of seaweed to disrupt the plastic value chain. The company has currently received demand mostly for food packaging yet sees opportunities to use seaweed across other industries such as cosmetics and fashion. Notpla advocates for the need of major investments to support the technological innovation for making seaweed processing scalable and applicable to a higher range of products and appreciated the role of The Earthshot Prize in enabling and catalysing this.

The Earthshot Prize is a global platform for connecting leaders, businesses, and investors in supporting innovators to achieve real change and impact at scale. We are inspired by the work we do with The Earthshot Prize and look forward to following and supporting the future achievements of this year’s winners and finalists.

The Prize takes Singapore

Building on the success of its Boston 2022 awards ceremony, this year The Earthshot Prize will deliver a full ‘Earthshot Week’ surrounding the 2023 awards ceremony in Singapore.

The TEP+ Thought Leadership Day is a keystone event of the week, bringing together over 100 businesses, innovators and policy makers. For the first time the Prize will bring senior leaders from core members of its Global Alliance alongside a wider group of leading sustainable corporates, and investors together for a set of activities to spark collaboration for sustainability in Singapore.

TEP+ will bring together this unique combination of change makers to spark action on some of the world’s most intractable challenges; identifying what is required to unlock tipping points across key value chains that when scaled, will transform industries and create new “total addressable impact markets.”

Keep your eyes peeled for more information on our involvement in Singapore.

What led to you founding Simply Asset Finance?

I have worked in finance for almost 20 years across Europe and Asia Pacific, and moved to London 12 years ago. After a restructure, I found myself without a job. I was five months pregnant and didn’t know what to do.

Myself and my former CEO started seeking investment to start our own business and do it right, and we launched Simply about two months after my baby was born.

Having worked in large organisations, different settings, different geographies, different channels, different lines of finance, I had seen things that I thought worked and things that I thought didn't work, so it was really a dream come true to be given a blank sheet of paper and a good amount of money to spend to do it the way you want it to be done. We were able to attract some incredible talent and with that, we just took off. We’re now six years old and we’ve grown significantly.

Since you became a Fast 50 Women in Leadership winner in 2022, what have been some of Simply’s highlights?

It has been another year of significant growth. We’ve surpassed the milestone of £1 billion lent to SMEs. We’ve also recently surpassed the milestone of 150 employees. We’ve opened a new office. Our hub is in London, but we now have sales offices in Liverpool, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In the past 12 months, we’ve entered into some exciting partnerships where we’re working as an embedded finance element, which also provides new growth. The sustained growth becomes much more challenging but more interesting as you get bigger.

The Earthshot Prize Awards at the Theatre at Mediacorp in Singapore

More information on the Earthshot Prize

The Earthshot Prize was founded in 2020 by Prince William. It is chaired by Christiana Figueres and supported by The Earthshot Prize Council members including Sir David Attenborough.

The Earthshot Prize has an overarching vision and mission based on urgency and optimism to solve looming environmental crises. The 2020s are a critical decade for action, and there is an opportunity for the best minds and solutions across the world to tackle environmental challenges and prevent the planet from reaching a tipping point. The Earthshot Prize acts to galvanise and bring together these innovators and their solutions, acting as a platform for collaboration and action.

Nominees to The Earthshot Prize present their innovations in response to one of five categories or ‘Earthshots’, outlined below:

  • Clean our air to tackle the issue of air pollution,
  • Build a waste-free world including circular solutions that allow for reduced pollution in industries such as fashion,
  • Fix our climate to explore how we can change our current socio-economic behaviours to reduce GHG emissions,
  • Revive our oceans for understanding of how anthropogenic damages to the marine environment can be addressed,
  • Protect and restore nature to safeguard natural resources, habitats, and ecosystems.
The Deloitte team on the Green Carpet at The Earthshot Prize Awards