A Q&A with Official Earthshot Prize Nominator: BVrio

The challenges facing our planet are, by their nature, global. So the efforts to tackle them need to be global too.

That’s why we work closely with a diverse network of partners around the world to discover the potential solutions that could become Finalists and Winners of The Earthshot Prize.

One such organisation, BVrio, has been an official nominator since 2020, so we asked Co-Founder, Mauricio Moura Costa, about how their process and priorities when looking for potential innovators.

Q1. So, Mauricio, who are BVrio?

BVRio was founded in 2011 as a non-profit organisation working at the intersection of economic, environmental and social sustainability. Our mission is to design and promote innovative market-based solutions for the benefit of the economy, the environment and people.

BVRio was originally created with the objective of developing market mechanisms to facilitate compliance with Brazilian environmental laws. The models and approaches developed there have now been adapted to support environmental initiatives and markets in different countries and regions worldwide.

Although we were originally incorporated in Brazil, BVRio today has a presence in the UK, China, Ghana, Indonesia and the Netherlands and has supported projects and initiatives in more than 50 countries worldwide.

Q2. Can you tell us about your work within climate, conservation and sustainability?

For over a decade, BVRio has developed market mechanisms in support of environmental legislation, which rewards responsible land management. Many of our initiatives also include an element of social impact, involving and benefiting those most acutely impacted by the changing climate, deforestation and uncollected waste.

BVRio’s work has no geographical boundaries. The problems we seek to address are commonplace in the global south, but their impact is felt worldwide and so our solutions are designed to be transferable and adaptable so that they can be applied wherever in the world they are needed.

Over the last decade 100 million cubic metres of timber has been offered through our Responsible Timber Exchange, and 5 million hectares of land have been registered on our Legal Reserve Credits platform in Brazil with the potential of 2 gigatonnes of CO2 and Greenhouse Gas emissions reductions.

Our work in support of the circular economy has resulted in the creation of a global directory of grassroots projects in 40+ countries with the potential to recover half a million tonnes of waste from the environment and benefit over 5,000 informal waste pickers.

Q3. Where do you look for potential solutions to nominate for The Earthshot Prize?

BVRio has been creating climate-friendly solutions since its inception in 2011 and our focus has always been on a south-south transfer of our initiatives. So it is here, where we have the most experience, that we look for solutions to nominate.

Over the last three years we have taken a combined approach to search first within our immediate networks, where we have the greatest understanding of the solutions, and then searching out previously unknown solutions from within the sectors where we operate.

Q4. What was important to you when assessing the suitability of promising solutions for nomination this year?

During the nomination period, it’s hugely encouraging to discover the vast number of initiatives focused on climate solutions, from the very local to those clearly capable of having a global impact.

Aligned with our own values and activities, we are naturally drawn to solutions focused on forest protection and waste management in developing countries, particularly where there is an element of direct social impact.

We also look for solutions that demonstrate the involvement of partners, particularly where the partners are from different backgrounds, as we believe this offers the best possible opportunity for growth and success in the long term.

Lastly, we look for impact scalability, nominating solutions where we see a clear plan and route to grow.

Q5. How would innovators with ideas present them to BVrio?

Our website, newsletters and social media channels are regularly updated with news from our initiatives and are a good place to start for anyone who thinks we might be well placed to help develop their idea.

If there’s synergy between our work, we’re happy to receive information at any time.

Nominations for 2023 have closed

Nominations for The Earthshot Prize 2023 closed on January 31st – stay tuned for exciting updates on the process.

Learn more about how we search for the most innovative planet-repairing solutions.

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