Art and Writing Prizes 2020

The Sustainability First Art and Essay Prizes 2020 invited original, radical ideas and visions in response to the question:

“How do we build from the current corona crisis toward a more sustainable future?”

We had a fantastic response to these creative competitions with over 1,100 artworks and over 100 essays from students, researchers and artists. We hosted a live event on YouTube and released a virtual book to share insights and recommendations from entrants, judges, academics and business leaders.

Virtual Book

Our virtual book considers how to ensure a smart, fair and green recovery from the Covid-19 crisis, with ideas, insights and imagery from across the works submitted for the Sustainability First Art and Essay Prizes 2020.

virtual book


Essay writers in 2020 were asked to consider the question 'How do we build from the current corona crisis towards a more sustainable future?' from one or more of the following perspectives: cultural, behavioural and societal change; government policy, regulatory & institutional change; and/or business leadership, governance and practice.


Shortlisted artworks in 2020 explored people’s relationship with nature, air pollution, waste and the social impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic in paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture and virtual reality.



Live Event

The prizewinning and shortlisted works for the Sustainability First Art And Essay Prizes 2020 were showcased during a live event, including interviews with judges and entrants. This was streamed through the Sustainability First YouTube Channel.


“We want to see a fairer and more sustainable ‘new normal’ as we emerge from the corona crisis.”

— Phil Barton, Chair, Sustainability First