The Czech Republic knows the best sustainable projects of 2020. Projects were awarded in the SDGs Awards 2020.
On Thursday, September 17, the ceremonial announcement of the 4th SDGs Awards took place in the gardens of the Czernin Palace of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, in which the Association of Social Responsibility awarded the best projects for fulfilling the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the Czech Republic. The victory went to projects with a unique impact on various areas of life. This year's novelty was a special category and a campaign related to climate change. On the occasion of the announcement of the SDGs Awards 2020, it was possible to see a unique model of the planet Earth and an exhibition of photographs by Jan Saudek, which were created to support the campaign.
Sustainable projects were registered to the SDGs Awards 2020 during May and June. Out of the total number of 266 registrations, the winner was selected during the summer by an expert jury consisting of representatives of partners, the public sphere, business, trade unions, as well as experts on sustainability and climate change. The general public also took part, they decided on the winner of the special category Climate Change by voting. The announcement ceremony could be watched via the online stream of DVTV internet television.
“The announcement of the SDGs Awards reminded us that each of us has the opportunity to change the world. Save our planet. Why? Because what can be more enriching than being an inspiration and role model for our children and grandchildren. Leave a positive legacy and conditions for them on our planet to live life as good as we did. And it is our generation that will decide the fate of future generations for the next millennium,” said Lucie Mádlová, Executive director of the Association of Social Responsibility and Goodwill Ambassador appointed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček.
Six inspiring projects won SDGs Awards 2020
SDGs Awards were announced in six categories this year. The project called Česko.Digital took first place in the Public Sector Category. The project brings together more than 2,850 expert volunteers who help non-profit organizations and state for free in their free time, thus changing Czechia for the better. The winner of the Business Category was project DOT Glasses, which uses unique glasses to solve poor eyesight – one of the biggest global health problems for more than one billion people in the world.
Radek Hušek (27) and Daniel Vach (29) won the Young Leader Category. The category is guaranteed by Forbes Czechia. Both guys are behind the SENS Foods brand, which produces products with cricket protein. It is as good as the best beef protein, but its production consumes 2 000 times less water. The award for Reporting according to SDGs went to Lidl Czech Republic, which clearly demonstrates a comprehensive approach to all topics of sustainability, responsibility and ethics in the field of retail sales in its non-financial reporting. The award in the International Development Aid Category was received by the Czech Development Agency. The winner was DEKONTA company with the project of artificial wetlands, improving living conditions in rural areas of developing countries. They have thus built 349 m2 of new wetland ecosystems in the developing areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Cambodia.
In the new Climate Change Category, which was organized in cooperation with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the non-profit organization Česká krajina won first place with its Wild Horse Reservation project. Česká krajina won in the general public vote. Milovice reservation is the first reservation in the world where the common grazing of wild horses, bisons and praturs helps the landscape to adapt to climate change. This year, the SDGs Awards also included a special Award for Responsible Use of Technology in Fulfilling SDGs, guaranteed by Google with the Grow with Google program, which offers free training courses and projects for individuals and companies to succeed in the Czech market. The winner of this award was Scuk.cz, an organization which supports local farmers and sustainable shopping without waste. The project is based on the concept of neighborhood communities that create large-scale orders. All winners received design trophies from Bomma company, which proudly continues the centuries-old tradition of Czech glassmaking. More information about winners and other finalists can be found in the SDGs Awards Brochure.
The announcement of the SDGs Awards also marks the start of the European Week of Sustainable Development, which is taking place this year, on an extraordinary date due to coronavirus, from 20 to 26 September. “A coronavirus pandemic is one of the biggest challenges facing not only our society and economy, but also the environment. At the same time, however, sustainable development is the best way to overcome this crisis. I very much appreciate the fact that many of the finalists in the SDGs Awards are projects which were created during the pandemic to help those most in need,” says Richard Brabec, Minister of the Environment.
“We consider awareness-raising activities, not only through non-governmental and non-profit organizations and platforms, to be very important. Therefore, we welcome activities such as SDGs Awards. It is a great opportunity for large companies, but also for small and medium-sized enterprises, including public administration, to show how it is possible to meet the principles of sustainable development through business,“ says Silvana Jirotková, President of the Quality Council of the Czech Republic.
Decorations for the SDGs Awards Ceremony were created by Haenke, based on the ethos of sustainability and were completely zero-waste. The tropical plants that adorned the Czernin Palace were borrowed from greenhouses around Prague. Waste from the installation was recycled by the authors and returned to circulation.
Czechs are not indifferent to SDGs: the dominant goal is Good health and Well-being.
Current research by Ipsos for the Association of Social Responsibility shows that the Czechs consider Good health and Well-being to be the most important goal of the Sustainable Development Goals, followed by Decent work and Economic growth and Clean water and Sanitation. These goals have also been considered for a long time to be priorities to which the Czech government should give priority. “In recent years, the importance of the goal 6 – Clean water and Sanitation has grown significantly. In 2019, described as the second warmest year, the Czechs even perceived this goal as the main priority for the Czech government. This year, again, probably due to the situation around COVID-19, the goal that deals with Good health and Wel-being comes to the fore,” says Tomáš Macků, External Affairs Director of Ipsos.
Clean water and Sanitation are also the areas where the public has seen the biggest improvement in the past year – 30% of respondents said. More than half of the population has heard of the concept of sustainability or sustainable development. The themes of sustainability and climate action resonate especially among young people aged 18-26 and also with people with a university degree. As many as 80% of university students know the concept of sustainability. The main ecological problems of the Czechs include the amount of waste, deforestation and the amount of packaging in which goods are packed.
The announcement is followed by the Accelerator for the SDGs Awards, which was created in cooperation with the Association of Social Responsibility and the Impact Hub. It is attended by 25 organizations in order to increase their social impact. It continues until the spring of 2021. The best organizations will advance to individual acceleration and will discuss possible investments for further development in cooperation with Tilia Impact Ventures.
The SDGs Awards are announced by the Association of Social Responsibility in cooperation with the Czech Development Agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Environment. This year’s business partners are Google with the Grow with Google program and Unilever. The SDGs Awards were financially supported by the Quality Council of the Czech Republic. The model of the planet Earth from VISUALOVE was borrowed with the kind permission of the Brno Observatory and Planetarium, thanks to the financial support of Hello Bank!