Future Energy for Schools

Students are most likely to learn most about sustainability and environmental impact at school. This was certainly a finding from one of the OECD PISA studies a few years ago. The Zayed Future Energy Prize, in its Global High School category, provides an opportunity for schools around the world to continue to address this.

The primary aim of the Global High Schools category of the Zayed Future Energy Prize is to inspire future generations across the world to be responsible, sustainable citizens. It hopes to encourage young people to learn about sustainability and clean energy from an early age.

Since 2012, the Global High Schools category– as part of the Zayed Future Energy Prize – has been awarding up to USD 100 000 to a high school selected in each of the following regions: the Americas, Europe Africa, Asia and Oceania. High schools from around the world are invited to submit a business plan that describes how they would to utilise the prize in order to raise awareness of sustainability and reduce the school’s environmental footprint. So, if you work in or with a high school, or know one that may be interested, it may be worth a try. The submissions deadline for the 2018 prize is 6 July 2017.

For further information, please contact Dalal Yassin (dyassin@masdar.ae) or visit the website: www.ZayedFutureEnergyPrize.com

That a school has such an influence on forming the behaviour and attitudes of young people, attitudes we hope they take into the future is no surprise. Indeed this was a finding in the OECD report “Green at Fifteen”. The link here is to a section of the report looking at the influence of the physical learning environment on this.

It seems to me that a useful spin-off, whether or not intended by the Zayed Energy Prize is that criteria for entry which include impact, innovation leadership and student engagement and long-term vision including developing global awareness, provide a useful agenda for all schools to develop an effective and workable environmental strategy.

The criteria for the prize are:


  • Clean energy or sustainability content: Decide the initiative.
  • Measurable progress: How would you measure progress.
  • Educational benefit: define how it benefits students.
  • Realistic financial and technical plan: How would you make your project feasible?


  • Innovative idea: Be inventive and resourceful, and should make use of the school’s particular strengths.
  • Creative solution: What creative ways can you think of for getting the most out of the project?


  • Student participation: Involve students and staff, with students planning and putting the project into action if possible.
  • Student leadership: Encourage students to take or at least be part of key decisions.
  • Community engagement: Engage parents and the wider community.

Long-Term Vision

  • Long-term impact: Aim for an initiative that will benefit over the long-term.
  • Long-term management plan.
  • Global awareness: Educate students and promote an on-going commitment to sustainability and global environmental stewardship.

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