ECU Sustainability Awards: Essential Information & FAQs


Welcome to the comprehensive FAQ section for the ECU Sustainability Awards. This resource is specifically crafted for individuals who have already received the Guidelines and is based on additional questions from recipients. For those interested in participating and who have not yet received the Guidelines, we recommend requesting them through the green buttons on the home screen to ensure you have all the necessary information for a successful application.
To help you efficiently navigate the submission process and your participation in the awards, we've organized the information into specific categories. These categories are designed to provide clarity and support across all aspects of the awards, ensuring a smooth and informed experience for all applicants:

  • General Information
  • Participation and Submission Details
  • Project Eligibility and Categories
  • Application Process and Acknowledgment
  • Judging and Awards
  • Benefits and Follow-Up
  • Visibility and Promotion
  • Additional Resources


General Information


What definition of "sustainable development" has been adopted for the purposes of the competition?
For the ECU Sustainability Awards, "sustainable development" is defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This encompasses a balanced approach to economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental protection, which are the three pillars of sustainability. The awards aim to recognize initiatives that demonstrate innovative and effective ways of integrating these aspects into their operations, contributing to a more sustainable future.


Participation and Submission Details

Is there any cost associated with participating in the ECU Sustainability Awards process, including submission and attendance at the awards ceremony?

Participation in the ECU Sustainability Awards process is completely free of charge. This includes submitting your entry, attending the awards ceremony regardless of whether you win, and the rights to publicize your achievement. Please note, however, that attending the congress does require a registration fee.


In which language can submissions for the ECU Sustainability Awards be made?
Submissions for the ECU Sustainability Awards can be made in either Polish or English, based on the submitter's preference.

Is there a specific template for entries into the ECU Sustainability Awards, or are participants free to format their submissions as they choose?
There is no specific template for entries to the ECU Sustainability Awards to allow participants the flexibility to best represent their sustainability initiatives. Your submission should include three main components: Eligibility and Introduction (Part A), Summary of the Initiative (Part B), and Detailed Project Description (Part C). You are welcome to present these in a written format, such as Word or PDF, or as a video submission, selecting the method that most effectively communicates the impact and innovation of your project. This approach encourages a clear and engaging presentation of your sustainability efforts without the constraints of a standardized template, thus allowing for creativity and thoroughness in your submission.

Can a slide presentation be used in place of the 5000-word detailed project description for my submission to the ECU Sustainability Awards?
Yes, you may opt for a slide presentation as an alternative to the 5000-word detailed project description, which is Part C of the submission. This part is critical for conveying the depth and breadth of your sustainability initiative. Should you choose to use slides, ensure they are comprehensive, as the review committee may request further details for clarity.

Can I include a video and other additional materials with my application for the ECU Sustainability Awards, and how should these be submitted?
Yes, for the ECU Sustainability Awards, you can enhance your application with a video and other additional materials. The main application should be submitted in a Word document. For a video, you have the option to attach it as a separate file or include a link to the video hosted on YouTube. Other additional materials to support your submission, such as reports, presentations, or detailed project descriptions, can also be attached or linked. When using links, please consider hosting on accessible platforms like Google Drive or Dropbox. Ensure all additional materials are clearly referenced in your main application document to allow the evaluators to review them easily alongside your submission.


Project Eligibility and Categories


If we are interested in participating in two or three subcategories, do we need to submit separate applications for each?

Yes, if you plan to participate in multiple subcategories, you must prepare and submit a separate application for each subcategory. This ensures that each of your projects is judged independently, increasing your chances of success in the awards.

Is it possible to cover multiple aspects of sustainability in a single application for the Operational and Commercial categories?
Yes, it is possible to include multiple aspects of sustainability within a single application for both the Operational and Commercial categories, as long as they form part of one overarching project. This approach allows you to present a comprehensive view of your sustainability efforts, detailing how different initiatives interrelate and contribute to your project's overall sustainability goals. The application process accommodates this flexibility, offering participants the option to demonstrate a wide-ranging commitment to sustainability within a singular submission.

Does the project have to be implemented in Poland, or can it be carried out in other Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries?
Projects submitted to the ECU Sustainability Awards are not restricted to Poland alone; they can be implemented in any of the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. The awards are designed to highlight and honor sustainability initiatives across the CEE region, acknowledging the unique challenges and solutions that arise within these diverse markets and environments. This approach allows for a broader representation of sustainability efforts, encouraging a wide range of innovative projects from across the region.

Can a project that is divided into stages, with one of the stages completed in 2023, be submitted to the competition, focusing on that completed stage, even if the project is set to conclude in 2030?
Yes, you can submit a project to the competition that is divided into stages, focusing specifically on a stage that was completed in 2023. The submission should detail the outcomes, impacts, and achievements of the completed stage. It's important to note that the judging will be based solely on the achievements and results of this completed stage, rather than on future goals or anticipated outcomes of the project. This approach ensures that the evaluation is grounded in actual, measurable results achieved by the project up to the point of submission.


Application Process and Acknowledgment


What happens after I submit my application for the ECU Sustainability Awards? Will I receive an acknowledgment?

After you submit your application for the ECU Sustainability Awards, our team will review your application within the next two working days to ensure it aligns with our award criteria and is prepared for our jury's evaluation. You will receive an acknowledgment of your submission. If your application successfully passes this initial review, you will be notified that it is moving forward to the next stage. Should we need any additional information or clarifications to better understand your submission, we will reach out to you directly. This process ensures that every application is given careful consideration and meets the necessary standards for jury evaluation.

What if my application is submitted to an incorrect category or subcategory?
If an application is submitted to the incorrect category or subcategory for the ECU Sustainability Awards, it will not be automatically rejected. Our team will review each submission carefully. Should an application be better suited for a different category or subcategory based on its content and the criteria, we will contact the applicant. You may be offered the choice to move your application to a more fitting category or subcategory, ensuring your project is evaluated in the most appropriate context for its sustainability efforts.

Can a project application be submitted by an external agency on behalf of the company implementing the project?
Yes, a project application for the ECU Sustainability Awards can be submitted by an external agency or a representative on behalf of the company implementing the project. This is common practice, especially for companies that collaborate with agencies for marketing, communications, or sustainability consulting. The agency should ensure that the submission accurately reflects the project's achievements and is prepared with comprehensive details as required by the awards criteria. It is crucial that the agency has authorization from the implementing company to submit the application and can provide all necessary information and documentation regarding the project.

If a project is implemented jointly by a retailer or FMCG company and a solutions provider, who can submit the application, and how will the awards be allocated?
Both the retailer or FMCG company and the solutions provider can submit the application for the same project, and it is possible for them to win in two different categories. The retailer of FMCG company's submission will be evaluated based on the entire scope of the project, including all aspects and outcomes. Conversely, the solutions provider's submission will be judged specifically on the portion of the project for which they were responsible. This approach allows for nuanced recognition of the contributions made by each entity to the project's overall success, highlighting the collaborative effort and individual excellences within the shared initiative.


Judging and Awards


What criteria are used to judge the submissions for the ECU Sustainability Awards?

The judging criteria for the ECU Sustainability Awards focus on several key aspects of sustainability initiatives. These include the innovation and originality of the project, its measurable impact on environmental, social, and economic sustainability, the scalability and replicability of the initiative, and the commitment to sustainability principles in both strategy and execution. The jury evaluates how effectively each project addresses these criteria, looking for evidence of significant and positive contributions to sustainable development within the participant's sector.

How are the winners promoted after the competition?
Winners of the competition receive substantial promotion, aiming for widespread visibility and recognition. Their achievements are publicized through email campaigns to an audience of over 45,000 industry professionals from the Retail, FMCG, and Solution Providers sectors, with additional promotion on LinkedIn. The organization is also committed to working with winners on tailored communication strategies, which includes publishing detailed case studies to showcase their successful sustainability initiatives.
How is the neutrality and expertise of the jury panel ensured, especially with respect to the various categories in the competition?
The final composition of the jury panel for the ECU Sustainability Awards is determined once all project submissions have been received. This ensures that the jury can be tailored to avoid any potential conflicts of interest, maintaining a neutral stance. There will be three distinct juries: one for the Retail category, one for FMCG/CPG, and one for Solutions Providers, each comprising high-level managers and experts from their respective fields. This separation into specific categories further guarantees impartiality and that the expertise of the jury aligns with the nuances of each sector for a fair and specialized evaluation process.

What role do partners such as Henkel, LPR/Europool, and the European Circular Retail Foundation play in the ECU Sustainability Awards, and do they influence the decision on who wins?
Partners of the ECU Sustainability Awards, including Henkel, LPR/Europool, and the European Circular Retail Foundation, support the competition by endorsing its goals and promoting sustainability practices. Their involvement highlights a shared commitment to advancing sustainability across various sectors. However, these partners do not participate in the judging process or influence the decision on who wins the awards. The selection of winners is conducted independently by a panel of judges, ensuring that the evaluation is impartial and based solely on the established criteria. This guarantees that the awards process is fair and that the achievements in sustainability are recognized on their own merits.

Can organizations submit projects that were part of a collaboration with other entities, and how are such partnerships recognized in the award process?
Yes, organizations are encouraged to submit projects that were developed in collaboration with other entities, including partnerships with NGOs, government agencies, other businesses, or academic institutions. The ECU Sustainability Awards recognize the value of collaborative efforts in advancing sustainability goals and welcome submissions that showcase the power of partnership.
When submitting a collaborative project, applicants should clearly indicate all parties involved in the project and describe the role each entity played in its development and execution. This information allows the judging panel to understand the nature and extent of the collaboration, ensuring that all contributing partners receive appropriate recognition.
In the event that a collaborative project wins an award, all entities involved in the project are acknowledged. This recognition underscores the importance of collaborative approaches to sustainability and celebrates the collective impact of the partnership's efforts.


Benefits and Follow-Up


How does participating in the ECU Sustainability Awards benefit my company or organization?

Participating in the ECU Sustainability Awards offers several benefits to your company or organization. Firstly, it provides a platform to showcase your commitment to sustainability, highlighting your innovative projects and initiatives to a broad audience. Winning or even being shortlisted can enhance your brand's reputation, demonstrating your leadership in sustainability within your industry. Additionally, the awards offer networking opportunities with other sustainability leaders, potential for media exposure, and the chance to learn from the best practices of peers. It also serves as an internal motivator, boosting morale among your team by recognizing their efforts in sustainable development. Participation signals to customers, investors, and partners that your company is dedicated to making a positive impact on the environment and society.


Visibility and Promotion


What visibility opportunities are provided to participants during the gala event of the ECU Sustainability Awards?

During the gala event of the ECU Sustainability Awards, winners gain significant visibility through various opportunities. They will be spotlighted as the awards are announced, celebrating their achievements in front of an audience of industry leaders and peers. Each winner will also receive a trophy or certificate during the ceremony, officially acknowledging their commitment to sustainability. In addition to the awards announcement and recognition ceremony, winners from each category/subcategory are invited to join a dedicated panel on the second day of the event. This panel discussion allows winners to share insights into their successful sustainability projects, discuss challenges and solutions, and engage with the audience. This setup not only highlights the winners' contributions to sustainability but also fosters knowledge sharing and collaboration among winners and attendees.


Additional Resources


Where can I find information about previous award winners?You can visit to learn more about the previous winners.