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The Background of Nobel Sustainability® Trust


NST is a Swiss foundation, established in 2007 by four members of the Nobel family. Formerly known as the Nobel Charitable Trust, its name was changed to the Nobel Sustainability® Trust in 2011 so as to represent its role and activities more accurately. To promote the activities described above NST will encourage research, development, action and implementation of sustainable solutions. A key component will be the creation of an Award for Sustainability. This award, given annually, will be an accolade for those who make outstanding contributions to sustainability. The winners will be presented with the award at a gala dinner held in connection with a symposium, organised by NST, in major cities around the world. NST, via its secretariat in Switzerland and its representative offices in Sweden and Costa Rica, will assist in the selection of universities from various countries, which will collect the proposed projects and candidates. One of these will also be the Award Coordinating University (the “ACU”), this centre, in consultation with NST, will select and maintain the list of sourcing universities. The ACU will form a committee, the Sustainability Award Committee, which will have final say in the selection of the award winners. This comittee will have members from outside the ACU. NST will plan and manage the annual conferences and related events. It will liaise with the media and issue invitations for the award ceremonies. Stringent efforts will be made to ensure that the NST Awards will be recognised, by all concerned, as being independent of the traditional Nobel Prizes. NST’s financial support will come from sovereign entities, family offices and corporations who support its agenda. A clear understanding of the origin of these funds is essential, so NST will work with licensed and registered entities, which are regulated by the financial authorities in their respective jurisdictions. Funding has begun and success has already been achieved. In 2016, Innovator Capital (ICL) a specialist investment bank in London, facilitated the creation of the Nobel Sustainability Fund® (NSF). The fund, seeded by the Constitutional Reserve Fund of Monaco, with the support of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco and Stephen Lansdown, co-founder of Hargreaves Lansdown, is a multi-geography fund, managed by Earth Capital Partners (ECP), subsidiary of the SET3 organisation, which accelerates the development and growth of sustainable technology companies.[/one_half_last]

The Mission of the Nobel Sustainability® Trust

The Nobel family, founders of the Nobel Sustainability® Trust (“NST”) have, with great concern, been observing the devastation of the world’s vital, natural and non-renewable resources. This overconsumption has led to an increase in global temperatures and pollution of land, food, water and air. The founders believe that the economic and social health of civilisation will, to a large extent, depend on the availability of energy and a sustainable approach to agriculture, forestry, industrial manufacturing and water reclamation. This will require substantial intellectual and financial effort. It is the aim of NST to assist with this process. The objective of NST is to improve quality of life, which is, today, threatened by pollution, climate change and depletion of natural resources. Sufficient food, water, air and energy, in clean conditions, is essential to reaching this objective and NST aims to contribute in the following areas:

  • Climate change with emphasis on reduction of global warming;
  • Advances in clean and renewable technologies and policies;
  • A pollution-free, life-sustaining environment;
  • Inspiration for present and future generations.

The Awards

There are many prizes and medals for achievement in various fields but the founders of NST are not
aware of any prestigious, international award honouring individuals, organisations or companies who
have contributed significantly to improvements in the field of sustainability.
The founders believe that such an award will stimulate and encourage those who actively seek to
remedy this critical situation:

  • NST will recognize and reward those whose efforts have led – or are leading to – significant new innovations in environmentally friendly and sustainable technologies.
  • Programs will be designed and implemented to generate public awareness and acceptance of the necessary actions, which are at the heart of effecting change. Among these will be a yearly NST gathering of international scientists, legislators and executives whose purpose is to understand and better convey the challenges that humanity is facing and to lay the groundwork for innovative solutions and sustainable technology developments.
  • NST will establish additional educational scholarships, fellowships and grants to inform and inspire young people to contribute to such innovations. The strength of the Nobel brand coupled with funding from sovereign and respected sources, all reported well in the media, should increase global awareness of sustainability and the problems we all face.

The Sustainability Award

The Sustainability Award founders are descendants of Immanuel Nobel, the father of Ludvig, Robertand Alfred who were active pioneers of innovation. NST will honour and extend their legacy into the
modern age. The Award will be given to scientists or institutions who have made important discoveries
of potential importance to the wellbeing of mankind.
The Awards ceremony will include:

  • The Sustainability Award
  • Four Runners-Up who will receive diplomas and other forms of acknowledgement
  • Two Scholarships

Award Selection Procedures

World ranked universities, from various countries will select award candidates. NST has identifiedsuch institutions in over 40 countries, most of which have offered to form committees within their
scholastic structures. One of these universities will be offered the ACU role and it, in consultation with
NST, will select and manage the list of universities in the NST network. The Sustainability Award
Committee will have the final say in the selection of the award winners. All persons involved will take
particular care that the NST Awards are referred to and considered to be, independent of the Nobel
Prizes.

The NST Conference on Sustainability

The annual invitation-only conference will focus on technologies and processes, which combat
pollution and climate change. Participants will be selected from corporations, end users, scientists,
legislators and media representatives. The first of conference is planned for summer of 2019.

Role of the NST Representative

The function of a country representative is to act, within the country’s jurisdiction, as an ambassador
for NST.
NST Representatives will seek financial support for the creation of its Sustainability Award and
funding for conference and events management infrastructure associated with the award. This will be
achieved through, donations and licensing of the NST name and services.
Country representatives, professionally managed and in accordance with financial regulations, will
assist with:

  • Contacting potential sources such as sovereign funds, corporations, family offices and professional associations, to assess whether they would accept to sponsor NST’s activities. All interested parties will be subject to a strict due diligence and evaluation procedure.
  • Obtaining and maintaining a collaborative agreement with the foremost technological universities in the representative’s region or country and to ascertain that these academic institutions form and maintain a local committee to propose to the lead university or its committee, the invention, discovery or technical development which potentially could be of demonstrable benefit to the general population in sustainable technology.
  • Assessing the interest in the representative’s home country or its major cities in hosting a sustainability conference followed by a Gala Dinner including the Award Ceremony.

Advantages for Sponsors

Four sponsorship levels are offered. The required annual amounts for each category will be
preliminarily set at €100.000, €50.000, €25.000 and €12.500.
Sponsor benefits for these categories would include:

  • Use of the NSF name and logo in advertising and public relations;
  • Mentioning of the organisation in NST communications and similar activities;
  • Participation in NST conferences and symposia;
  • Visibility of the sponsoring organisation during the NST conference

The Role of the Universities in the NST Network

The local academic institutions will be selected from an internationally recognised ranking list by the
ACU in consultation with NST. The Sustainability Award Committee will consist of members of the
various faculties it is this committee which will select the suitable candidates for the awards on an
annual basis. Many universities have created sustainability units already, these would be prime
candidates for membership of the network.

The members of the committees should meet regularly during a scholastic year to identify and
evaluate discoveries and developments of sustainable technologies. The candidate selections by the
local university must be submitted to the ACU before the end of each scholastic year. NST is working
with developers of IBM’s Watson AI program to use its algoritms and vett a list of candidates using
the Earth Dividend™ Sustainability Index‑1 criteria.

Information about the inventions, discoveries and proposals should be collected primarily from the
same region as each respective university. Improvements on information availability, through social
and other media, will enable and facilitate collection and transmission of information on new
developments and technologies, globally.

NST intends to reimburse local universities a predetermined amount each year, for their
administrative costs. The amount would be negotiated on a case by case basis and agreed annually in
advance.

Each of the university committees will propose a maximum of five candidates and the nominations
must follow objective and consistent criteria. The implementation of the discovery must offer a clear
benefit to a majority of its potential users, it must be reasonable in development and commercial
manufacturing costs and offer the possibility to be produced and distributed on an unrestricted scale.
The candidates’ work could be patented or copyrighted at the time of submission and could also be in
the process of being manufactured on a limited scale.

The Award Committee

It is to be expected that most of these institutions already possesses a department or centre of
sustainability or in any case an informal structure devoted to this subject whose members could form
the nucleus of such a committee.
The Award Coordinating University’s Role
One of the great challenges for the ACU will be the process of managing the number of candidates
put forward by the university network. Multiple names are likely to be submitted.
It will be the ACU’s job to analyse all the presentations and create a short-list of 5 candidates, from
which the Awards Selection Committee will select the Award winner. IBM’s preliminary selection
process will be hugely helpful in developing the short-list but the ACU will be required to possess the
evaluative capacity and network of experts to ensure its competence and ability of selecting
appropriate award winners. The aims and objectives of NST, as well as anticipating media reaction,
must all be taken into consideration.

The Awards Selection Committee will always have final say and a strict procees will be observed to
ensure that the NST Awards will be recognised as being entirely independent of the Nobel Prizes.
Location of the Award Coordinating University

The general public and scientific community are not generally aware of existing awards and there is
no globally recognized award in the field of sustainability.

The foremost academic institutions on the 2018 Times Higher Education Ranking, showed that 21 of
the top universities are UK or US based, all of these institutions have demonstrated an interest in
sustainability. It is logical, therefore, that the ACU should also be based in one of these two countries.
There is a preference, currently for a university in the UK, given it proximity to NST and the
uncertainty surrounding the United States commitment to the Paris Climate Accord. The Award can
in this way, retain a European flavor.

The ACU will be allowed to nominate its own candidates. It is, however, the principal purpose of the
Award Selection Committee, to select the winner and the four runners up, from the shortlist which
IBM’s artificial intelligence program will have compiled from the bulk of the candidates submitted by
the universities in the network.

ACU Advantages

The selected institution responsible for producing the short-list, will benefit from substantial academic
prestige as the final arbiter of sustainable technology development around the world. The project’s
administrative costs will be relatively modest once it is established so long as the project evaluation
process is adhered to. NST will, if necessary support the ACU financially but it expects all ACU
candidates to submit proposals, which include a financial model, which sets out estimated costs in
sufficient detail for NST to ascertain if financial support is required.

Budget
The annual budget for administration, legal work and salaries for the main office in Zürich and the
representative offices in Stockholm and Costa Rica has been calculated at around €900,000. This
amount includes some compensation for the Award Selection Committee as well as a contribution to
some direct administrative costs of the nominating universities.
Determining a precise budget for the various projects involved in the annual award events will depend
on the availability of existing facilities and resources. Such a project will require substantial funding
but the budget for each activity will be related to its ambition level. The costs and arrangements of a
conference in time and complexity will be substantial but dependent on the number of participants as
well as the budget for the following prize events. The total operating budget for all annual activities
including the Conference and the Award Event has been estimated at €2,000,000.

Alternative Sources of Revenues

Apart from the revenues mentioned above other potential sources include:
• Sponsorship from governments, sovereign funds and national professional organisations;
• Financial support of the conference and events by major companies;
• Tickets to the conference paid by participants;
• Participation fees from exhibitors;
• Tickets for Gala Dinner;
• Grants from other foundations, and ultra high networth individuals