Apply for European Sustainability Award! Rewarding the Efforts & Creativity of European Citizens

Deadline: 14 September 2018

In 2018, the European Commission has launched for the first time a European Sustainability Award to reward the efforts and creativity of European citizens, businesses and organizations.

The ambition of this Award scheme is clear to raise awareness of the SDGs in the EU by giving a human face to the efforts and creativity of European people, businesses and organizations, which are turning the global sustainable development goals into concrete solutions and opportunities.

The theme of the award is “Empowering citizens and ensuring inclusion and equality“.


The specific objectives of the European Sustainability Award are:

  • to recognize initiatives in the European Union with a transformative contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
  • to promote further development of initiatives in the European Union focusing on sustainable development, including an increasing awareness and involvement of citizens and stakeholders in the European Union;
  • to identify initiatives able to act as “sustainability ambassadors’ for the European Union, in order to encourage others to progress towards better sustainable development outcomes.


The competition is open to 4 categories of subjects:

Eligibility Criteria

  • For the purpose of the Award, the 4 stakeholder categories are defined as follows:
    • Public bodies are defined as (i) subnational legal public entities, i.e. public institutions with legal personality, below the level of central government (e.g. regions; cities; local authorities, public universities and research institutes) or (ii) associations of subnational legal public entities, i.e. umbrella organisations based on membership and representativeness of sub-national public legal entities. Given that applicants can be substantially different in nature and size, a distinction is being made between:
      • (associations of) subnational legal public entities reaching a population above 100.000 individuals; and
      • (associations of) subnational legal public entities reaching a population equal to/under 100.000 individuals.
    • Private bodies: Given that applicants can be substantially different in size, a distinction is being made between:
      • Micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) as defined in Recommendation No 2003/361/EC3 , i.e. enterprises which (1) engage in an economic activity (including, in particular, self-employed persons and family businesses engaged in craft or other activities, and partnerships or associations regularly engaged in an economic activity); (ii) employ fewer than 250 persons (expressed in ‘annual working units’) and (iii) have an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 50 million, and/or an annual balancesheet total not exceeding EUR 43 million.
      • Large Enterprises, all enterprises which do not qualify as a micro, small or medium-sized enterprise.
    • Civil Society/‘Non-profit organisations’, i.e.entities whose members serve the general interest through a democratic process. These entities are non-profit making or have a legal or statutory obligation not to distribute profits to their shareholders or members.
    • Youth organisations are defined as non-governmental, non-profit organisations (associations, clubs or movements) that have been set up to serve young people, including through the representation of their rights and interests.
  • Submitted projects/initiatives can only cover activities taking place (i) inside the European Union (at national level or at cross border level between Member States of the European Union) except for applications from the civil society, who can also submit projects/initiatives taking place outside the European Union (at local or global level).
  • All applicants must be based/registered in a Member State of the European Union.
  • Submitted projects/initiatives must be completed.
  • Submitted projects/initiatives must address all three dimensions of sustainable development (Environmental, Economic and Social).

How to Apply

Applications must be sent via email at the address given on the website.

For more information, please visit European Sustainability Award.

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