His Royal Highness, who was unable to attend due to a tour of Australia, had pre-recorded a message from St James Palace in acceptance of his award. In this he commented “If we are really going to meet the needs of 9 billion people by 2050 and keep nature’s capital intact we have to bring about a substantial transformation in the way we do things”.
The International Green Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award is a prestigious accolade, bestowed to individuals who have been committed to the sustainability cause and inspired others to positive action. Past winners of this award have included Sir David Attenborough CBE and Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Wangari Mathaai.
The Prince of Wales has been an environmental leader for over 40 years, working with businesses, charities, governments and other organisations to help promote sustainable ways of living and working. He has been at the forefront of a growing ecological movement promoting environmental awareness and his work has sought to meet a huge range of modern challenges.
The Prince of Wales’s involvement and commitment to the sustainability agenda is embedded not only in his work with external stakeholders but also in his own ethos. His personal interest in organic farming led to the establishment of the Duchy Originals brand in 1990, which still sources and supplies sustainably produced products.
The Prince of Wales has been involved in a wide range of projects across various sustainability areas – from rainforest conservation to social justice, ethical business to sustainable farming, in balance with one another and working with the same consistent idea that for solutions to work they need to be broad based and integrated with one another. His office at Clarence House is fitted with solar panels and he uses his own initiative, The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project, to report on the Household’s sustainability performance in published annual reviews. In 2010 His Royal Highness set up the International Sustainability Unit, to help resolve some of the key environmental challenges including food security, ecosystem resilience and natural capital depletion.
His role as an advocate of sustainable living and business is also demonstrated through his involvement with the Prince of Wales Business and Sustainability Programme at Cambridge University. In 2010, he also published a book of case studies “Practical Insights – A summary of case studies in embedding and reporting sustainability” which demonstrated how organisations have used accounting for sustainability tools and principles to embed sustainability into their “DNA”.
More recently, he co-authored the book and narrated the film ‘Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World’ which examines the root causes of current global problems we face and proposes solutions. His introduction to the film at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival best exemplifies his stance on the need for sustainability : “I tried to indicate here and there that there are other ways of operating. There are alternatives, there are holistic integrated ways, more balanced ways, more harmonious ways of devising the way we interact with the world for the future. It isn’t impossible, we made changes in the past when we need to. Now is the time I think, ladies and gentlemen to do so.”
According to International Green Awards Founder & CEO Iain Patton “The awards underlines how important sustainability and responsible business has become globally. Our international platform plays a crucial role in promoting the principles of environmental responsibility to a wider audience. Awards are often well placed to act as beacons of innovation and leadership, as experts recognise individuals and organisations who are paving the way for a more sustainable future. “
Battersea Power Station provided the ideal backdrop to this momentous recognition which coincided with the United Nations International year of Sustainable Energy for All.