Earthshot's next wave of planet-saving visionaries

Meet the five trailblazers from around the globe named as victors of this year’s Earthshot Prize at a glittering gathering in Singapore.

Earthshot's next wave of planet-saving visionaries
source: grab from Earthshot Prize ceremony | Youtube

Five trailblazers from around the globe have been named as victors of this year’s Earthshot Prize at a glittering gathering in Singapore brimming with change-makers and celebrities.

The city-state was selected to host the high-profile awards ceremony in a nod to its status as a hub for the cutting-edge innovation and entrepreneurship that is so necessary to the climate action movement.

For the first time, the event packaged in leadership forums, community events and a programme designed for young leaders across Southeast Asia.

The mission of the Earthshot Prize, which was founded by Prince William in 2021, is to raise the profile and impact of technological and environmental solutions created to address the planet’s most pressing challenges. 

The Earthshot Prize spans five categories, and the winner of each (see below) was awarded £1 million to help scale their solutions, growth and impact.

“The Earth is at a tipping point. We face a stark choice: either we continue as we are and irreparably damage our planet, or we remember our unique power as humans and our continual ability to lead, innovate and problem-solve.”

Earthshot Prize Founder and President

GRST: rethinking lithium battery recycling

GRST claimed Earthshot’s ‘Clean our air’ category with a solution that offers a cleaner, safer and cheaper way to make and recycle lithium-ion batteries.

source: GRST | Earthshot Prize

The electric vehicle market is considered essential to the transition away from vehicles running on fossil fuels, and as demand for batteries increases exponentially, so will the need for metals like lithium.

GRST has come up with a cleaner process for building a battery using a water-soluble binding composite so that at the end of the battery’s life, the lithium, cobalt and nickel can be more economically recovered and reused again in another battery.

According to Earthshot, GRST’s method reduces greenhouse gas emissions from production by 40%, and also produces a battery that lasts up to 10% longer than average. The batteries are already being sold in multiple countries with GRST ready to scale its technology.

S4S Technologies: helping to build a waste-free world

S4S won Earthshot’s ‘Build a waste-free world’ category with its solar drying and processing technology to slash food waste and help smallholder farming in India.

source: S4S | Earthshot Prize

According to Earthshot, about 30% of agricultural produce is wasted before it leaves the farms owing to issues of oversupply and price fluctuations that force farmers to leave crops rotting in the fields, deepening rural poverty and wasting valuable resources.

Founded in 2013 by seven university friends, S4S supports female farmers with cheaper solar-powered conduction dryers and food processing equipment to prepare crops on-site, rather than using cold storage or other more expensive methods of food preservation. It also helps to connect them with commercial buyers, returning most of the profits back to them.

Boomitra: helping to fix the climate

Boomitra won Earthshot’s ‘Helping to fix the climate’ category with its soil carbon marketplace that rewards farmers for sustainable land management practices.

source: Boomitra | Earthshot Prize

Degraded land severely limits the soil’s ability to store carbon, and as more carbon enters the atmosphere, heat and drought will follow.

Boomitra works with more than 150,000 farmers from smallholder farms to larger ranches, managing millions of acres of land in some of the poorest parts of Africa, South America and Asia. It deploys satellites and AI technology to monitor the improvements farmers make to their soil, tracking its ability to store carbon over time.

In exchange, companies and governments looking to offset their emissions can purchase independently verified carbon credits from Boomitra’s marketplace, with most of the revenue from each credit going directly to the farmers and ranchers.

Meanwhile, these sustainable farming techniques restore soil health, helping to store carbon and increase crop yields.

WildAid: reviving the oceans

WildAid’s marine program claimed the ‘Reviving our oceans’ Earthshot category which aims to end illegal fishing and promote ocean conservation.

source: WildAid | Earthshot Prize

Enforcing protected marine ecosystems has proven problematic in many regions, mainly owing to unsustainable and illegal fishing practices.

WildAid is leading an initiative to ensure these zones and the sustainable fisheries within them deliver on conservation promises by uniting partners from governments to non-profits and academics — to exchange knowledge and tailor actions for each region, building law enforcement by providing the tools, technology and resources needed to deter illegal fishing. 

Acción Andina: helping to protect and restore nature

Acción Andina claimed Earthshot’s ‘Helping to protect and restore nature’ category for its work helping local and indigenous communities to protect and restore the native forests and ecosystems.

source: Acción Andina | Earthshot Prize

These efforts are considered critical to the region’s climate resilience, water security, biodiversity, community livelihoods and indigenous culture where deforestation, animal grazing and mining have depleted high Andean forests, leaving behind less than 10% of the region’s native forests.

Acción Andina provides essential resources including salary support, project and financial management, and technical training for local conservation leaders, organisations and communities to grow long-term land protection and restoration activities.

Check out last year's Earthshot Prize winners here.