Vivekananda sustainability awards

about the awards

The event is to recognize, felicitate and honor the work done in India to achieve the 17 SDGs and thus will highlight the core of the work that is to be initiated in the future by means of the conference.

According to the UN World Commission on Environment and Development: “sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

In the charter for the UCLA Sustainability Committee, sustainability is defined as: “the integration of environmental health, social equity and economic vitality in order to create thriving, healthy, diverse and resilient communities for this generation and generations to come. The practice of sustainability recognizes how these issues are interconnected and requires a systems approach and an acknowledgement of complexity.”

Vivekananda Sustainability Awards shall be given to different individuals or organizations who have played stellar role in contributing towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs ). These Global Goals are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”. They were set up in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and are intended to be achieved by the year 2030. These are in line with Vedanta philosophy of Swami Vivekananda whose central thought has been unity of self and surroundings and environment as ultimate oneness.

These awards shall be selected by an eminent jury through a structured process and designed to give balance to various areas of environmental agenda and consciousness. These shall be provided to individual and organizations who have been working towards these sustainability goals within the Indian geography or have contributed towards sustainability of Indian economy and society.


Awards shall be conferred in following 14 categories-

A. Lifetime Achivement Award

Lifetime achievement Award for Commitment to environment for exemplary work done over decades with improvement to environment, climate change mitigation strategies and notable improvement to sizeable community or impact on social consciousness.

B. Woman in Sustainability Award

Woman Leader for Sustainability Development who would have worked over a long period of minimum 10 years in areas of sustainability, environmental improvement and climate change mitigation strategies. Her works should have led to sustained outcomes with notable impact on environment, communities with demonstrated leadership in area of environmental sustainability.

C. Awards in following Categories:

  1. Clean water and sanitation improvement in communities
  2. Sustainable agriculture practices with sustained improvement in yields, farmer income and improved environmental profile
  3. Development of new Materials contributing to sustainability thru scientific innovation to improvement environment
  4. Clean energy projects leading to reduced environment degradation and greenhouse impact
  5. Replenishment of and sustainable practices in harnessing marine ecosystems
  6. Improving biodiversity in land life eco-systems including forests
  7. Innovative uses of technology for environmental improvement and climate impact mitigation
  8. Drive and inspire collaboration within communities leading to sustained social change and practices
  9. Highly innovative municipality and local government creating environmental impact in its geography inspiring other such bodies
  10. Sustained improvement in community livelihoods with positive climate impact
  11. Urban landscape and quality of living improvement with positive environment change
  12. Innovative Corporate Environmental Champion with visible and large scale environment improvement initiatives in its operational establishments and surrounding communities

UN’s 17 Goals of sustainable development

No Poverty – End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Eradicating poverty in all its forms remains one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. While the number of people living in extreme poverty dropped by more than half between 1990 and 2015, too many are still struggling for the most basic human needs. According to the UN, the slowdown in progress on poverty reduction since 2015 has been further set back by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the global rate of extreme poverty rising in 2020 for the first time in over 20 years.

Zero Hunger – End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

The number of undernourished people has dropped by almost half in the past two decades because of rapid economic growth and increased agricultural productivity. According to UN, many developing countries that used to suffer from famine and hunger can now meet their needs. The UN’s SDGs aim to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030, making sure all people, especially children, have sufficient food all year.

Good Health and well – being – Ensure healthy lives and promote well – being for all at all ages

Good health is essential to sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda reflects the complexities and interconnectedness of the two. It takes into account widening economic and social inequalities, rapid urbanization, threats to the climate and the environment, the continuing burden of HIV, and other infectious diseases and emerging challenges, such as non-communicable diseases. According to the UN, life expectancy has increased dramatically; infant and material mortality rates have declined.

Quality Education – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Achieving inclusive and quality education for all reaffirms the belief that education is one of the most powerful and proven vehicles for sustainable development. The goal ensures that all girls and boys complete free primary and secondary schooling by 2030.

Gender Equality – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

According to the UN, ending all discrimination against women and girls is not only a basic human right, but it’s crucial for sustainable future. It’s proven that empowering women and girls helps economic growth and development. Today there are more women in public office than ever before, but encouraging more women leaders will help achieve greater gender equality.

Clean water and sanitation – Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Water scarcity affects more than 40 percent of people, an alarming figure that is projected to rise as temperatures do. For safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030, it is required to invest in adequate infrastructure, provide sanitation facilities and encourage hygiene.

Affordable and Clean Energy – Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

The UN believes that investing in solar, wind and thermal power, improving energy productivity, and ensuring energy for all is vital to achieve SDG 7 by 2030. Expanding infrastructure and upgrading technology to provide clean more efficient energy in all countries will encourage growth and help the environment.

Decent work and economic growth – Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

The SDGs promote sustained economic growth, higher levels of productivity and technological innovation. Encouraging entrepreneurship and job creation are key to this, as are effective measures to eradicate forced labour, slavery and human trafficking.

Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure – Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

According to the UN, investment in infrastructure and innovation are crucial drivers of economic growth and development. With over half the world population now living in cities, mass transport and renewable energy are becoming ever more important, as are the growth of new industries and information and communication technologies.

Reduced inequalities – Reduce inequality within and among countries

Income inequalities require global solutions. This involves improving the regulation and monitoring of financial markets and institutions, encouraging developments assistance and foreign direct investment to regions where the need is greatest.

Sustainable cities and communities– Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Making cities sustainable refers to creating career and business opportunities, safe and affordable housing, and building resilient societies and economies. It involves investment in public transport, creating green public spaces, and improving urban planning and management in participatory and inclusive ways.

Responsible consumption and production – Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

A large share of the world population is still consuming far too little to meet even their basic needs. Halving the per capita of global food waste at the retailer and consumer levels is also important for creating more efficient production and supply chains.

Climate Action – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact

Supporting vulnerable regions will directly contribute to other SDGs. These actions must also go hand in hand with efforts to integrate disaster risk measures, sustainable natural resource management, and human security into national development strategies. It is still possible,to limit the increase in global mean temperature to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, aiming at 1.5°C, but this requires urgent and ambitious collective action.

Life below water – Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

The SDGs aim to sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems from pollution, as well as address the impacts of ocean acidification. According to the UN, enhancing conservation and the sustainable use of ocean-based resources through international law will also help mitigate some of the challenges facing our oceans.

Life on Land – Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Urgent action must be taken to reduce the loss of natural habitats and biodiversity which are part of our common heritage and support global food and water security, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and peace and security.

Peace, justice and strong institutions – Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

According to the UN, the SDGs aim to significantly reduce all forms of violence, and work with governments and communities to end conflict and insecurity. Promoting the rule of law and human rights are key to this process, as is reducing the flow of illicit arms and strengthening the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance.

Partnerships for the goals – Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

The UN believes promoting international trade, and helping developing countries increase their exports is all part of achieving a universal rules-based and equitable trading system that is fair and open and benefits all.

Vivekananda Sustainability AwardEEs 2022