Comments from Judges on Earlier Entries

Our judges evaluate submissions on these five criteria: Novelty, Feasibility,
Scalability/Replicability, Connection to the SDGs and Compelling Communication.
In addition we invite our judges to provide comments on the submissions they evaluate.
Some sample comments made by our judges in previous years are below. (These are
slightly edited with anonymity ensured.) These comments are intended to provide an idea
of what the judges are likely to look for as they evaluate your submission. We hope you
find them useful!

This is an excellent idea. You have put forward a proposal that is ready to move to
an implementation, planning and collaboration phase. Well Done.
It is unclear whether there is a market for this idea – have there been any proofs of
concept? Execution? Where are researchers in terms of launching this idea outside
of the lab? Figures are excellent – great use of visuals to promote understanding.
Excellent connection between SDGs and proposed solutions.

The idea here is an old one. So why hasn’t the market already provided this
solution? Why does there need to be an external intervention? The recycling
market seems to have really suffered in recent years. Is it actually possible for the
proposed company to be financially self-sustaining?

You cover so many items that sometimes the connections aren’t articulated and the
reader has to make mental leaps to connect the items.
Not a totally novel idea and one that would require aid/grant funding but the case is
very well researched and set out. The submission conveys much information and
indicates very active consideration of sustainability solutions. I like also the
contextual elements of the entry in terms of the particular location selected for the

I would like to see more arguments regarding benefits to convince homeowners and
businesses to adopt this approach.
This is great! I really like it! I like that the team addressed potential obstacles.
Good visual presentation; easy to follow; low barriers and costs to entry; a
compelling case; implementation language could be made more clearly –
incentivizing usually isn’t classified as a negative action (which is how the
paragraph reads) but rather as a positive action; simplify the language and make the
connections more direct; correct the typos; overall a feasible idea that also creates
jobs; any sanitation issues to be thought through?

The concept is well developed, and many details provided. I do think the project
could easily make the case that the concept also addresses the SDGs 8 and 15, if
widely adopted.

This project proposes a novel solution to a serious pollution and water resource
problem. Despite the sophisticated engineering, the project is clearly defined and
communicated, with minimal technical and confusing language. The method has
already been tested in a lab environment, improving the project feasibility. I also
appreciated how well the project was linked with the SDGs, and the plentiful
photos and graphics on the pages. Just a few suggestions for improvement: there
was very little discussion of either scalability or evaluation. The authors mention
the project requires significant funding, but it’s hard to understand how scalable the
solution is, or how its success would be evaluated.
This is a great effort–and as you addressed, the issue is how to scale this up–please
keep working on this!

The project is ambitious and well thought out, especially the emphasis on local
community. But there isn’t a clear development from the idea to a realistic
implementation. What infrastructure needs to be in place?
This is an excellent proposal and addresses a very important issue that is often

An excellent proposal that focuses on a serious issue in food system sustainability.
The team defines the problem very well and proposes a novel extension of the idea
of “food literacy” to include food waste. The project is feasible and expandable,
although there is a question of how the project objectives would be adjusted for
different socioeconomic conditions… for example, what does food waste mean to
students and families who may be food insecure? Only a few suggestions for
improvement: the introduction and description on the first page use some technical
language that may be challenging to understand outside the field of sustainability.
Also, the project evaluation section is a bit vague, and the proposed longitudinal
study may be challenging to implement and isolate the actual effects of the project
on neighborhood- or community-scale food waste.