The Sustainability Prize


The Sustainability Prize, established in 2009 by The Sustainability Laboratory in collaboration with faculty members from EARTH University in Costa Rica, is awarded to the student project that best exemplifies implementation of The Lab’s “Five Core Principles of Sustainability.” The $10,000 prize is awarded to the winning project in order to support project implementation, with $1,000 earmarked for the high school attended by the prizewinner.

Antony Castro accepts The Lab’s Sustainability Prize with Dean Edgar Alvarado
and professors Jane Yeomans and Irene Alvarado.
“In underdeveloped and developing countries, it is very difficult for young adults to start private businesses. Without family support and financing, it is improbable that any financial institution will lend the necessary capital. The Sustainability Prize is therefore not just monetary—it represents an opportunity for an EARTH University student to fulfill their dreams.”Professor Irene Alvarado, EARTH Faculty Member

Since 2009, over 500 students and 40 faculty members at EARTH University have participated in the Sustainability Prize Seminars, delivered by Dr. Michael Ben-Eli, where they learn about The Lab’s definition of sustainability and the derived Five Core Principles. You can explore this conceptual framework on The Lab’s Approach Page

“The Sustainability Prize at EARTH University defined my professional profile, allowing me to focus on working toward environmental conservation, waste management and environmental education in a corporate responsibility context.” Tania del Socorro Pérez Matute, Sustainability Prizewinner, 2010
Chief Environmental Operations Officer at HEMCO, Nicaragua

“To me this prize was more than a recognition of the substantial effort that my classmate and I did in our graduation project—it represented the beginning of my career in the field of scientific research and biodigestion. It also honed my professional skills in project design and coordination in rural communities in developing countries.” Johanny Perez Sierra, Sustainability Prizewinner, 2010
Research assistant studying solid waste management at the University of Stuttgart, Germany

“With the financial help of the Sustainability Prize, I applied for a Master’s Degree in Human Resources in the European School of Direction and Management in Madrid, Spain. I successfully finished my Master’s in April 2013, and returned to Honduras with more knowledge and a new way of looking at leadership.” Kenia Betancourth, Sustainability Prizewinner, 2011
Department of Apiculture, Grupo Empresarial Agrolibano, Honduras

“The students have unlocked the true potential of the sustainability principles and the prize, having become much more interested in, and capable of, improving the quality of life in their home communities. The monetary prize is becoming a tool for realization of the project, and not the end goal.” Professor Irene Alvarado, EARTH Faculty Member

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