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  1. Princess of Asturias Awards

Princess of Asturias Awards  

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Since its creation in 1980 and as part of its nature and aims, the Princess of Asturias Foundation recognizes exceptional achievements in various fields of human activity that contribute to progress and foster social and planetary well-being. Throughout its history, the Foundation has shown its commitment to the environment by granting some of its Awards to individuals and institutions that work to conserve and improve our environment.


1988    International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources and the World Wide Fund for Nature, Prince of Asturias Award for Concord.

1995    National Biodiversity Institute of Costa Rica, Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research.

1998    Sebastião Salgado, Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts.

2001    World Network of Biosphere Reserves, Prince of Asturias Award for Concord.

2002    Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation.

2003    Jane Goodall, Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research.

2006    National Geographic Society, Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities.

2007    Journals Science and Nature, Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities.

2007    Al Gore, Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation.

2008    Shuji Nakamura, Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research.

2009    David Attenborough, Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences.

2014    Avelino Corma Canós, Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research.

2016    United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation.

2018    Sylvia A. Earle, Princess of Asturias Award for Concord.

2019    Joanne Chory and Sandra Myrna Díaz, Princess of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research.

2022    Ellen MacArthur, Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation.

2022    Shigeru Ban, Princess of Asturias Award for Concord..

Furthermore, being aware of the importance of a balanced environment for the future of humanity, the Foundation declares its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), adopted by the UN, as essential elements of the 2030 Agenda.

Every year, we measure and assess the impact of our activities and foster initiatives that contribute positively to society and the care of the environment. This includes corporate actions aimed at reducing and offsetting our carbon footprint by developing sustainable practices, participating in conservation initiatives, and maintaining and reusing resources. Moreover, we work internally to promote ecological awareness among our team members. We are guided in this goal by the words spoken by the oceanographer Sylvia Earle on collecting the Princess of Asturias Award for Concord: “Thank you, for the wisdom to protect the Earth when there was still a chance to do so.”


1. Net zero emissions seal

In 2011, we assumed the commitment to reduce the environmental impact generated by our activities. This has meant that the Princess of Asturias Awards has boasted the net zero emissions event seal Evento CeroCO2 since 2012, a certificate awarded to Spanish businesses and organizations that offset the environmental impact of their activities.

Throughout this period, the CO2e global emissions from the activities organized to mark the Awards Ceremony have experienced an overall reduction of 1.54%, with a significant improvement in all the indicators being evaluated. 

During these years, we have managed to effectively reduce emissions per attendee by 28.65 kg CO2e, from 36.12 kg CO2e (2011) to 7.47 kg CO2e (2023); emissions per surface area by 41.7 kg CO2e, from 51.53 kg CO2e (2011) to 9.83 kg CO2e (2023); and emissions per event by 16.65 t CO2e , from 19.59t CO2e (2011) to 2.94 t CO2e (2023).

We currently offset our carbon footprint via the “Conservation of the Peruvian Amazon in Madre de Dios” project. This initiative aims to prevent the deforestation of 100 000 hectares of forest in the Vilcabamba-Amoro eco-corridor, an area in which endangered plant and animal species have their habitat. Its verification by CCBS-Gold also guarantees benefits to local communities and the sustainable development of local producers and indigenous communities.


2. Concrete actions

2.1. Reuse of materials

The reuse of materials and spaces used in the cultural programming of “Awards Week” forms part of our sustainable management policy, which seeks to maximize the use of resources and reduce the generation of waste.

Some examples of reuse include the sets, costumes and scenic elements used in different activities. There are also actions that contemplate the creation of artistic installations from recycled materials; as well as the use of sustainable promotional materials, such as digital programmes or programmes printed on recycled paper. Another of the strategies we have developed consists in the use of spaces in a versatile way that enable the hosting of events of diverse kinds while making only minimal changes.


2.2. FSC paper

For our publications and internal consumption, we use paper with the FSC seal (Forest Certification System), which guarantees the biological diversity of ecosystems via socially and ecologically sustainable production methods for future generations.


2.3. Transport

The use of public transport has increased in practically all the transfers of guests and members of the Foundation to events.

This is the case with respect to the transfer of guests to the Princess of Asturias Awards Ceremony held at the Campoamor Theatre; our Boards of Trustees to the concert held on the eve of the Awards Ceremony and the subsequent dinner with Their Majesties The King and Queen; members of the Juries and the media for the bestowal of the Exemplary Town of Asturias Award; and attendees at the Annual Meeting of Exemplary Towns of Asturias, among others.

Furthermore, our environmental commitment includes the use of hybrid or electric cars for staff to move around on the occasion of the Awards Ceremony, thus contributing not only to reducing the emission of polluting gases, but also to mitigating dependence on fossil fuels.Se ha incrementado el uso de transporte colectivo en prácticamente la totalidad de los desplazamientos de los invitados y miembros de la Fundación a los actos.


2.4. Environmental certificates for computers

We encourage the adoption of technologies with a lower environmental impact. To this end, our computer equipment boasts monitors with Energy Star, 80 PLUS and EPEAT certificates, corresponding to products that comply with energy efficiency standards and sustainable practices.

Virtualization systems (a single physical computer that simulates several virtually) have been implemented to reduce the number of computers needed to operate our infrastructure. We have accordingly gone from twenty-five computers to two. We also use low-consumption storage systems (NAS), which, by functioning twenty-four hours a day, reduce our energy expenditure.


2.5. Offices without single-use plastics

In our offices, we foster the elimination of disposable items, such as single-use plastics, opting for reusable materials (metal, glass or ceramic).

Over the last two years, the elements for storing and transporting computer equipment have been made with biodegradable plastics, mostly plant-based polylactic acid plastic.


2.6. Digitization of processes

We are working on the digitization of our processes as a way to reduce paper consumption, optimize resources and reduce our waste rate. In addition to the environmental benefits it entails, digitization results in improved operational efficiency.

In this transformation process, we have undertaken the following actions so far:

  • We have almost entirely replaced the sending of paper and postal mail invitations for our events by sending them via email with confirmation via a web form. We have incorporated digital invitations (which can be stored on mobile devices) for our “Awards Week” activities.
  • The members of the Juries for the Princess of Asturias Awards have tablets provided by the Foundation for their meetings with the documentation of the candidatures in digital format.
  • The internal dossiers that are prepared during Jury meetings and the Awards Ceremony, as well as other kinds of dossiers intended for the media, are mainly distributed in PDF format.
  • We have incorporated a digital expense approval system that allows invoices to be validated without having to print them.
  • Our accounting program (ERP) incorporates a digital storage system that avoids the need to save invoice history on paper.
  • We have a governance intranet that allows our Board of Trustees to access all information from meetings without having to send or print it.

2.7. Energy efficient offices

Our workspace has been designed to optimize energy use through efficient air conditioning systems, such as thermal insulation. The lighting in all rooms consists of low-consumption lighting equipment equipped with fluorescent lamps and tubes of different intensities. Those located near the windows incorporate flow regulation to adapt consumption to the solar contribution at all times. Automatic shut-off contactors and clocks have been installed to control lighting.


2.8. Local produce and food surplus management

2.8.1. Local produce

Whenever possible, we use organic and local produce in the lunches we organize. The consumption of local produce requires less transportation, which reduces gas emissions associated with long-distance transit of goods and promotes the development of sustainable agricultural practices.

2.8.2. Food surplus management

We manage the food surpluses that are generated at the lunches and snacks organized on the occasion of both the Princess of Asturias Awards Ceremony and the bestowal of the Exemplary Town of Asturias Award. This food is delivered to the Food Bank, an entity distinguished with the Princess of Asturias Award for Concord.

The management of food surpluses contributes to a twofold goal: firstly, supporting people and communities in vulnerable situations, while at the same time reducing the environmental impact associated with the production and disposal of food waste.

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