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The 2023 Sustainability Awards and Medals presents on 9th November 2023

The 2023 Sustainability Awards and Medals supported by Nobel Sustainability Trust presents on 9th November in Münich

The Nobel Sustainability Trust (NST), with the selection support of TUM IAS, presented the Sustainability Awards and Medals for 2023 on November 9th, 2023, in Munich, Germany. This marks the second year of Outstanding Contributions in Sustainability medals, and they were awarded to Mr. John Kerry, the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, and Dr. Robin Yuqun Zeng, Chairman of CATL, the world-leading battery company. NST and TUM IAS also presented the inaugural awards for Outstanding Research and Development in the field of Energy and Leadership in Implementation this year. These awards were bestowed upon Prof. Dr. Elena Bou from the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) and Lord Nicholas Stern from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

The recipients of the Sustainability Awards were selected by an independent committee managed by the Technical University of Munich (TUM). This committee includes professors appointed by various institutes and universities from around the world. The Sustainability Awards will be presented annually to individuals or institutions that have facilitated significant developments or made outstanding contributions to the implementation of sustainable solutions for communities.

Nobel Sustainability Trust (NST) Chairman Peter Nobel remarks:

"It is with great joy and pride that we announce, here in Munich, the awardees for the first Sustainability Award in Energy and Leadership. And the second time for the Outstanding Contribution in Sustainability Medals. The future of humanity and its survival largely hinge on our abilities to use the Earth’s resources and leverage technological innovations in a sustainable manner. We believe the Sustainability Awards and Medals will play a pivotal role and become a powerful symbol within the sustainable field. Our objective is to inspire and mobilize individuals and organizations worldwide to develop sustainable technologies in key resource areas such as energy, water, and agriculture. Such efforts will require substantial intellectual engagement and financial support."

President of TUM Thomas Hofmann says:

TUM’s core strategy is to promote the concept of sustainability and its implementation via promising and marketable technologies. I am pleased that we at TUM are helping to push sustainability even further with the Sustainability Awards and to demonstrate that science and technology are the keys to sustainability.

About the Sustainability Medal Recipients:

Mr. John Kerry, the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, former Secretary of State

Mr. John Kerry, U.S. politician who served in the Senate (1985–2013) and later was Secretary of State (2013–2017) in the administration of President Barack Obama. Mr. Kerry is one of the world’s most effective climate champions. As Secretary of State in 2015, he helped negotiate the Paris Agreement on climate change. In 2019 Kerry was a key figure in the creation of World War Zero, an organization dedicated to fighting climate change. In 2020 he was announced as the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate in the administration of President Biden. Mr. Kerry has been crisscrossing the globe rallying foreign allies and adversaries to make bolder commitments to fight climate change, urging governments and industries to bring concrete plans to boost renewable energy and cut greenhouse emissions by 2030.

Dr. Robin Zeng, Chairman of CATL

Dr. Robin Zeng established ATL in 1999 and built it the world’s leading company in the field of lithium-ion batteries for consumer electronics. In a new endeavor in 2011 he established the CATL, a world leading power battery provider and a global leader of new energy innovative technologies. The company has made continuous breakthroughs in key technologies of EV and energy storage batteries, providing premier solutions and services for new energy applications worldwide. CATL’s global market share of power battery ranks first in the world for six consecutive years. It also ranks first in the global market share of energy storage battery production.

About the Sustainability Awardees:

Category “Outstanding Research and Development in the Field of Energy”:

Dr (PhD). Elena Bou (EIT InnoEnergy)

Elena Bou co-founded EIT InnoEnergy in 2010 and has been, since 2011, the Innovation Director and member of its executive board. In her position, she leads the development of major InnoEnergy efforts in creating and accelerating startups and scaleups in the energy field, including the investment process in such ventures. EIT InnoEnergy is a Knowledge and Innovation Community supported by the European Institute of Technology, which has supported since its foundation around 450 companies in the sustainable energy field, focusing on energy storage, sustainable buildings and cities, renewable energies, smart electric grid, energy efficiency, energy for circular economy, and energy for transport and mobility.

As an Associate Professor in the Department of Operations, Innovation, and Data Sciences at the Spanish business school ESADE (Escuela Superior de Administración y Dirección de Empresas), Elena Bou is active in researching and teaching in the field of Knowledge and Innovation Management. She holds a PhD in Management Sciences from ESADE and is the author of several publications in the fields of knowledge management, collaborative innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Category “Leadership in Implementation”:

Professor Lord Nicholas Stern (London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE))

Nicholas Stern is an expert in the economics of climate change. He has been Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science since its foundation in 2008.

Over the past twenty years, he has made an outstanding contribution to international climate policy, and to promoting the transition to sustainable, inclusive, and resilient economic development and growth. His report “The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review,” published in 2006 and commissioned by the British Government, had a broad impact nationally and worldwide on decision-makers and business leaders.

Through his advisory role in several instances - United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the World Economic Forum, he improved the understanding of the costs of inaction on global climate change. In his research activities, Nicholas Stern focuses on the topics of economic development and growth, economic theory, tax reform, public policy, and the role of the state and economies in transition. His many honorary degrees, prizes, citations, and publications in the most renowned journals testify to the high-level of recognition from his peers.


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