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Princess of Asturias Awards 10/20/2022

The Princess of Asturias Foundation will calculate and offset the carbon footprint generated during its activities

ECODES has awarded its net zero emissions eco-label to the 2022 Princess of Asturias Awards, the tenth year in which they will boast this certificate

Awards Week includes several environmental awareness-raising events featuring Laureates Ellen MacArthur and Shigeru Ban

The EDP Foundation will provide two electric, four plug-in hybrid and two hybrid vehicles for staff to move around during Awards Week  


The Princess of Asturias Foundation reaffirms the commitment it made in 2011 to reduce the environmental impact resulting from its activities. To this end, the Foundation has worked with the Ecology and Development Foundation (ECODES) to offset the carbon footprint resulting from the activities carried out during the 2022 Princess of Asturias Awards Week. This commitment has resulted in the Princess of Asturias Awards once again earning the net zero emissions event eco-label (CeroCO2), a certificate ECODES awards to businesses and organizations that offset their environmental impact, which the Foundation has boasted since 2012.

The global CO2e emissions from the activities organized by the Foundation on the occasion of the Awards experienced an overall reduction of 174.83 metric tons between 2011 and 2021, with a significant improvement in the indicators being evaluated. The Foundation has managed to effectively reduce emissions per attendee by 69%, from 36.12 kg CO2e (2011) to 11.31 kg CO2e (2021). It has also achieved an 84% reduction in emissions per surface area, from 51.53 kg CO2e to 8.18 kg CO2e, and an 89% reduction in emissions per event, from 19.59 t CO2e to 2.15 t CO2e. Also worthy of note is the 69.6% saving in the amount of paper used as a result of the digitization of its information formats, from 957.67 kg in 2020 to 289.44 kg in 2021.

The Foundation will offset its carbon footprint via the “Small and Micro Hydroelectric Power Plants” project, which allows rural and mountainous areas in China to produce emission-free energy. The plants use natural waterfalls –which do not require a containment dam– in order to generate sustainable energy.

Via its net zero emissions eco-label and programme, ECODES works to enable Spanish companies and organizations to calculate, offset and reduce their carbon footprint. The offsetting consists of a voluntary monetary contribution for each metric ton of CO2e generated to a project that avoids or captures the same amount of CO2 in a developing country.

Besides the aforementioned offsetting, the Princess of Asturias Foundation’s environmental commitment includes reducing its carbon footprint. As a result, this year it will once again have at its disposal two fully electric, four plug-in hybrid and two hybrid vehicles on loan from the EDP Foundation, which will be used by Princess of Asturias Foundation staff to move around during Awards Week.

Activities focussing on sustainability

Sustainability, resource management and care for the environment will play a special role in the programming of Awards Week. The La Vega Arms Factory will host the “Circular Economy FabLab”, a space focussing on progress towards a circular economy promoted by Ellen MacArthur (2022 Princess of Asturias Laureate for International Cooperation) and the foundation that bears her name. It will contain information and examples of the creation of new biodegradable materials from waste, the development of bioplastics and the use of Nature as a source of wisdom and inspiration. In terms of practical applications, it will host two activities: “Biomaterials Workshop” and “This is How I Make Packaging Disappear”.

The installation entitled “Architecture for Emergency Situations” will house the structure of paper tubes characteristic of the work of Shigeru Ban (2022 Princess of Asturias Award for Concord), with which he has provided shelters and temporary housing as a rapid, effective response to extreme and devastating situations caused mostly by natural disasters. The Factory will also host a concert by the Ecoembes Recycling Music Orchestra, a project that brings together musical instruments with others made from recycled elements to promote the training of young people at risk of social exclusion.

On the other hand, the seventh edition of “Taking the Floor” will also include in its programme two environmental awareness-raising activities for participating schools. The “Make it Circular” meeting will allow students to show Ellen MacArthur the alternative solutions to plastic packaging that they have come up with, as well as their proposals for the distribution of products and their transformation into circular economy goods. Furthermore, Shigeru Ban will analyse the projects of the students who have participated in the “Paper Fortresses” activity, the aim of which was to conceive a sustainable space in terms of waste generation, energy consumption or recycling. All these projects had to be based on the use that the Laureate makes of cardboard tubes and sheets in his constructions.

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