Lowanna College in Victoria has been named a Global High School finalist in the prestigious global sustainability award, the Zayed Sustainability Prize.

Lowanna had proposed a broad student leadership program for sustainability through projects that are fun and engaging.  Projects included: wicking garden water reduction using recycled milk bottles as the reservoir, biodigester model, pellet mill, solar array, mushroom house, work farm shelter and a bicycle-powered smoothie maker. 

Originally established by the United Arab Emirates leadership as the Zayed Future Energy Prize in 2008, the Zayed Sustainability Prize is a global award inspired by the sustainability legacy of the UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The Prize awards US$600,000 for each of the categories:  Energy, Water, Health and Food.  It also rewards high schools proposing sustainability education projects in these four areas.  Winning high schools from different regions of the world are awarded US$100,000 each.

The Prize is a significant vehicle for generating support and advocacy for the global sustainability agenda, recognizing achievements in Health, Food, Energy, Water and Global High Schools. These five categories align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and reflect the most pressing sustainability challenges and offer the greatest socio-economic impact on the lives of people around the world.

The Prize was presented at the awarding ceremony on 14 January by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president, prime minister and ruler of Dubai.

"By identifying work across sectors that are the cornerstones to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the prize presents an unparalleled global platform for ideas that have the power to benefit humankind and our planet. Through the wider impact created in the areas of healthcare, food security, energy access, as well as water and sanitation, we are uniquely positioned to embolden and empower a new generation of pioneers to create exciting innovations that will change the lives of millions of underprivileged people around the world," says Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed.

Since awarding the prize for the first time in 2009, its winners have had a direct and indirect impact on the lives of more than 307 million people around the world and have been able to contribute significantly towards reducing carbon dioxide emissions to 1 billion tons. They have also saved 1.2 billion megawatts of clean energy, while expanding access to energy to 27.5 million people in some of the poorest communities in Africa and Asia.