By George Spiteri, Rotary GBI Board

ESRAG nominates five projects for Earthshot Prize

British Rotarian George Spiteri succeeded in getting ESRAG approved as an official nominator for the Earthshot Prize.

The Earthshot Prize was launched by Prince William and The Royal Foundation in October 2020 to discover and help grow innovative solutions to repair and regenerate the planet.  Fifteen finalists receive a year’s fellowship and support to accelerate their ideas and find new funding and partnerships so they can scale their innovations to reach their full potential. The winners in five categories each receive a £1million Earthshot Prize. 

The Royal Foundation and Earthshot wanted to work with Rotary on Earthshot; they are aware of the values and ethics of Rotary, believing that this matched their own and provided a sound foundation for partnership working. 

Earthshot has many partners in different fields and expertise in a wide number of roles across the globe.  One might argue that Rotary International too, has many members in different fields and expertise in a wide number of roles across the globe.

This is the story of how ESRAG’s Board appreciated what a great opportunity Earthshot  offers for environmental solutions, and agreed to serve as an official Earthshot nominator on behalf of the Rotary family.  In just a matter of weeks, we were able to announce this opportunity, review many applications, and nominate five which have been accepted into Earthshot’s 2024 competition.

Following extensive discussion in late 2021 on what a partnership might look like, Rotary were invited to become nominating partners of Earthshot.  I was passionate that this would be a great opportunity for Rotary.  We could use the partnership as a springboard for increasing our exposure and attract more members.

Throughout 2022 I sent proposals through to senior RI and RGB&I officers, in the hope that I might have the opportunity of discussing it further.  I got knocked back by RI so I then approached Rotary Foundation and got knocked back again. In both cases the decisions were made in isolation with no dialogue with me.  I was most disappointed as I felt that those who had decided had clearly not understood and were dismissing a wonderful opportunity for Rotary; but I am a tenacious individual.  It was suggested that I should look to ESRAG. 

As the Rotary District 1040 Environment Lead, I was already linking with ESRAG members and attending the virtual meetings. 

I joined ESRAG and approached the GB&I Chapter with a proposal to apply to be a Nominator for Earthshot.  This was agreed; it was suggested that we put the proposal to the wider ESRAG Board to give us worldwide opportunities.  The Board agreed on the basis that I ran the initiative and took the lead role.  

So, in September 2023, almost 2 years after starting this journey, I applied on behalf of ESRAG to be an Official Nominating Partner of Earthshot.  In November 2023 ESRAG were granted Official Earthshot Nominator status and could submit projects and initiatives for the 2024 prize.

I went back to the board and suggested that we try to get some projects nominated for the 2024 prizes.  The timescales were tight as the closing date for completing the nomination process was 15th December 2023. 

I designed a form for potential nominators to complete; I put together a panel of ESRAG members across the world to act as a scrutiny panel.  We publicised this through our networks.  We received over 40 expressions of interest.  

After reviewing the applications, we put six projects through to the second stage of the Earthshot process.  We met the deadline and have nominated five projects to go through to the selection phase for the Earthshot 2024 prize. 

Earthshot want to get as many nominations as possible put forward even if they are not ready to scale.  They want to do this so that they can get a perspective of the sort of projects being run across the globe and the level of work being done to save our planet.  They look to their Official Nominators from across the globe to put these projects forward for consideration.  Those that don’t make the top 15 can reapply in subsequent years.

Nominations are from across the globe and as a nominator you can nominate projects from your own organisations.  We have projects in the pipeline, and we will be looking to develop some of these to be nominated in 2025 as ESRAG projects. 

The projects we have nominated for The 2024 Earthshot Prizes are at various stages of development.  See the table below. Three already have relationships with ESRAG.  The Cape Cod Watershed Institute project includes ESRAG members and Rotary Districts from Cape Cod on the coast of Massachusetts to the Great Lakes.  Bliss Natural and Carbosutra are both working with the Technoserve Foundation incubator which has a collaboration with ESRAG.  The other nominees connected with ESRAG through either my LinkedIn post or the network of ESRAG Director Dr. Mina Venkataraman in India.

Solution Title

Organisation Name

Operating Countries


NetZero Machine

Pi Green Innovations Pvt. Ltd.


A CCUS technology which converts CO2 from stationary sources of fossil fuel combustion like industrial boilers into a reusable product permanently sequestered in building materials.

Cape Cod Watershed Institute

Lewis Bay Research Center, Inc.


Net-Zero Water-Energy-Food-Housing Community Evolution, Experiential Learning, Workforce training, Net-Zero Template for global replication, circular economics.

Bliss Natural

Greendelight Innovations Private Limited

India, Canada, USA, Mauritius, Malaysia

Bliss Natural is working on reducing plastic waste and carbon emissions created by sanitary pads, and also to end period poverty. 


The hyperproductive soil bioremediator

XEN Farms


Our product bioremediates soil and increases soil organic carbon by 80-90% in 30-60 days, while affordably boosting crop yield up to 100% and keeping them residue-free

Harvest Wild

Harvest Wild


Agricultural and forestry waste are burnt by rural families causing unprecedented air pollution. Our technology converts waste into surfactants and palm oil substitute using microbes

Should one of our nominated projects reach the final of the 2024 Earthshot Prize, in the final 15, they will be given support to scale up even if they don’t win one of the five £1million prizes.  I would be looking for ESRAG and Rotary to use its members expertise and networks to support them too. 

George Spiteri is a member of ESRAG and the Rotary Club of Scunthorpe Pentagon in Linconshire, England and serves on the RGBI Board.