His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales will today receive the Global Environmental Citizen Award from Harvard Medical School's Center for Health and the Global Environment. This year's award celebrates the Center's tenth anniversary.
"We cannot think of a person more worthy to receive this year's Award. For decades, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has been a leading international voice in protecting the natural world," says Eric Chivian, MD, director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment and co-recipient of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize. "We are delighted to honor Prince Charles, whose life's work has so effectively carried out the Center's mission: helping people understand that their health depends on the health of the environment and motivating them to do everything in their power to protect it."
"It will be a tremendous honor to recognize His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales for his environmental achievements," says Center board member Meryl Streep, who will present His Royal Highness with the award. "Prince Charles is a champion of environmental causes and has helped clear a path towards a sustainable future."
"Prince Charles has been a forward thinker on environmental issues since the 1970s, on issues ranging from sustainable agriculture to climate change," said former Vice President Al Gore, who was the recipient of the Global Environmental Citizen Award in 2005. "As we have worked together over the years, I have always been impressed by his ability to understand complex global issues and his deep commitment to solve the pressing issues facing our world."
His Royal Highness has publicly voiced his concerns about the natural environment for decades -- in holding seminars and discussions, in advocating and encouraging corporate action, and in setting up various organizations and practical initiatives, such as converting the farm at Highgrove, his country home, to organic methods.
"The Prince's Charities" is a group of not-for-profit organizations of which The Prince of Wales is President; 15 of the 17 Charities were founded personally by The Prince.
Five of these organisations work actively to encourage corporate environmental responsibility: The Prince of Wales's Business and the Environment Programme (BEP), Business in the Community (BITC), Scottish Business in the Community (SBC), The Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) and In Kind Direct.
More than 10 years ago, His Royal Highness established The Prince of Wales's Business and the Environment Programme (BEP) with the objective of helping companies integrate concepts of sustainability into their thinking and practices. Each year, he hosts a meeting for the alumni of BEP, and one of its major achievements has been the creation of the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, which has had a significant influence on UK government policies on energy and global warming.
The Prince is President of Business in the Community (BITC), the largest and one of the oldest organizations promoting corporate responsibility in the UK. Its 750-plus member companies are committed to working together to improve their impact on society, whether on the environment, or in the market place, the workplace and the community. The Prince is also President of Scottish Business in the Community (SBC).
The Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) was formed in 1990 by His Royal Highness as an international, business-led, not-for-profit membership organization focused on responsible business and development. IBLF has led to a number of new projects, such as the International Hotels Environment Initiative, which seeks to implement environmental standards in global hotel chains.
Developed from earlier initiatives of The Prince of Wales, In Kind Direct was founded in 1996 to distribute companies' surplus goods to charities, helping to avoid unnecessary waste. It is the only organization coordinating in kind giving on a UK-wide scale.
In 1990, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales launched his own food company, Duchy Originals, to help small farmers find a new market for their goods, while at the same time offering consumers high-quality natural food and promoting more sustainable production methods that improved soil health and protected the environment. The first Duchy Original product was a biscuit made from wheat and oats grown organically at Highgrove. Since then, the company has grown to become one of the UK's best known and most successful organic and natural brands, with more than 200 different products. Duchy Originals generates more than $1 million in profit for charity each year.
Using Highgrove as a successful example of sustainable farming, His Royal Highness has led the way for a transition toward sustainable practices in the UK, warning about the risks of genetically-modified food, calling for research into the health effects of chemical farming, and establishing a number of rural development projects.
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is the Royal Patron of the Soil Association, the UK's leading charity campaigning for sustainable organic farming and responsible forestry. He is also the Patron of The Wildfowl and Wetland Trust, The Royal Society for Nature Conservation, Marine Conservation Society, International Tree Foundation, and Garden Organic. In addition, he has been at the forefront of the "Save the Albatross" campaign, run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and BirdLife International and, along with sailor Dame Ellen MacArthur, he launched Operation Ocean Task Force to train fishermen in bird-conserving fishing practices.
His Royal Highness's desire to protect and sustain the natural environment is matched by his interest in the built environment. The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment, housed in a converted warehouse, is an educational charity established to improve the quality of people's lives by teaching and practicing ecological and timeless ways of planning, design and building. It has been involved in more than 60 urban design, architectural, regeneration, healthcare and heritage projects throughout Britain, ranging from urban extensions to brownfield developments. One of these is Poundbury, a high-density urban development where people are given priority over cars; where commercial buildings are mixed with residential areas, shops, and leisure facilities; and where high quality social and private housing sit side by side. The Prince's 1987 book, A Vision of Britain, has inspired others to use such sustainable, community-oriented principles.
The Global Environmental Citizen Award is presented annually by the Center for Health and the Global Environment to the citizen who does outstanding work towards protecting the global environment. The ceremony will be held Jan. 28, 2007, in New York City. The event will also recognize the environmental achievements of five international corporation that make up the Center's Corporate Council: 3M, BP, Johnson&Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, and Swiss Re. In addition, the event will feature eco-friendly fashion donated by Stewart+Brown and cuisine. Award-winning master chefs Dan Barber of Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture; Andre Soltner and Marc Bauer of the French Culinary Institute; Mary Cleaver of The Cleaver Co.; Michel Nischan of The Dressing Room; and Ana Sortun of Oleana will be serving local and environmentally sustainable food.
Past Global Environmental Award winners include Professor Edward O. Wilson, 2001; Harrison Ford, 2002; Jane Goodall, 2003; Bill Moyers, 2004; and the Honorable Al Gore, 2005.