Morocco, Egypt and Lithuania won the gold awards of
the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in the fields of climate resilience,
environmental and social best practice, and environmental and social innovation.
The awards were organized annually by the EBRD’s Environment and Sustainability Department. After receiving a record 55 nominations, 14 projects were selected in 2018 for gold, silver and bronze awards.
The Climate Resilience Gold Award went to Morocco's Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Waters and Forests for the country’s Saïss Water Conservation Project. The project pioneers the shift from the use of unsustainable groundwater through the transfer of an average of 100 million square meters of surface water from the M’Dez dam to the Saïss plain, bringing clean, safe and sustainable water to some 350,000 people and agricultural producers in the area and enhancing their capacity to cope with climate change more effectively.
For Environmental and Social Best Practice, the Gold Award went to Egypt's National Railways for its pioneering work to address gender issues . This includes an awareness-raising campaign to improve safety for women and prevent harassment.
The Gold Award winner of the Environmental and Social Innovation category is the Lithuanian Public Investment Development Agency (VIPA) for supporting apartment building management associations in refurbishing existing buildings and implementing energy efficiency improvements and renovations. The agency was set up by the Lithuanian government to promote financial instruments in energy efficiency and public infrastructure sectors. Residential energy efficiency investments are essential to reduce heat energy consumption in Lithuania, where households’ average energy consumption is two times higher than that of neighboring Sweden.
Ten further companies won silver and bronze prizes.