This year 73 projects from around the world have been shortlisted for the £225,000 LUSH Spring Prize for environmental and social regeneration. Read on to find out more about inspiring work across the globe aiming to improve biodiversity, rebalance ecosystems, and care for people.

What is the LUSH Spring Prize?

The LUSH Spring Prize is a joint venture between LUSH Cosmetics and Ethical Consumer. It was set up in 2017 to support regenerative projects that take holistic approaches building the health of ecology, economy and social systems. It aims to support those who aren’t just sustaining things as they are, but actively restoring the systems in their local area and, at the end of the 2023 prize cycle, the Spring Prize will have distributed more than £1 million to regenerative projects worldwide.

By supporting regenerative projects the Spring Prize hopes to raise the profile of the movement as a whole to inspire more individuals, groups, communities, funders, media platforms and businesses to start engaging with regeneration.

The 2023 LUSH Spring Prize received over 350 applications. Over 40 countries are represented in the final shortlist with applications from every continent except Antarctica. The shortlist is diverse, covering multiple bioregions and demonstrating many different regenerative approaches.

Common themes

Many shortlisted projects are led and shaped by local communities. Many work on a relatively small, grassroots scale, but as a whole they respond to major global issues and their effects, such as the impacts of climate breakdown and COVID-19 on Europe and the Global South.

From frontline groups, one can see incredible work from Indigenous groups living across the Amazon bioregion who are on the frontlines of defending rainforests from extractivism, while projects in both Palestine and Ukraine are both directly impacted by and responding to occupation and conflict. Alongside this, many groups across the world are using regenerative approaches to build health and resilience.

While the pandemic delayed important work and put many communities at significant risk, many of the shortlisted projects have woven responses to this into their work on environmental regeneration. From setting up community health centres based on alternative currencies, barter, or solidarity economies, to supporting people struggling with mental health. They understand and demonstrate the interconnection between caring for people and caring for the planet; as one inherently can’t be separated from the other.

Ultimately, every project on the shortlist demonstrates alternatives to climate doomism, ecological breakdown, conflict and systemic inequality.  Instead, they weave a story of hope, community, resilience and holistic practical action.

They are generating renewable resources, restoring ecosystems, nurturing solidarity and building health, wholeness and resilience. 

The 2023 Prizes

The 2023 Spring Prize welcomed applications in four core categories, whilst also hosting two additional collaborative prizes in partnership with Permaculture Magazine and Be The Earth Foundation

Category 1: Intentional Award 

This category is for great new ideas and projects up to 1 year old, helping individuals, communities, aspiring businesses or newly formed groups and organisations to establish a strong foundation from which to grow.  

An example of a shortlisted organisation is: 

Voedselpark Amsterdam

‘Lutkemeer’ (meaning little lake) is 43 hectares of farmland on the western edge of Amsterdam and constitutes the last piece of fertile soil in the city. Unfortunately this unique historical and organic soil is in danger, as there are plans to turn it into a business park for massive distribution warehouses. Voedselpark Amsterdam was created in response.

This citizens’ initiative aims to protect the last fertile soil and create “Voedselpark Amsterdam” (Amsterdam Foodpark). It has become symbolic of people’s desire for a nature-inclusive city and opposes the globalised fossil fuel consumer economy.  It will provide affordable healthy food while inspiring and demonstrating the importance of an urban regenerative food transition. It seeks to activate citizens to convert places in the city and the countryside into local ‘commons’ where regenerative forms of agriculture can take place. At the same time, it creates a place for people to recreate and learn about agriculture, sustainability and biodiversity, and work towards a green, inclusive, regenerative economy.

Category 2: Young Award

This prize is for young (1-5 years old) community groups, organisations, networks and businesses that have a proven track record and which are seeking more funding to expand or develop their work in improving ecological and social systems.

An example of a shortlisted organisation is: 

Perfect Village Communities (PVC)

Perfect Village Communities is a social enterprise based in Burundi, working especially in rural communities. It was founded in 2020 by a nurse who noticed the direct impact of environmental degradation on the community’s health, as people struggled to meet the cost of healthcare. PVC’s vision is a healthy planet for a healthy community.

Category 3: Established Award

This category is for established community groups, organisations, networks and businesses that have worked successfully for more than 5 years. It aims to spread awareness of their work and inspire more people to start their regenerative journeys.

An example of a shortlisted organisation is: 

School of the Earth

School of the Earth (SoE) was founded in 2009 in Greece with the aim to inform, educate, inspire and support people to redefine their needs and redesign their lives, for the transition to a regenerative future. They have designed and established regenerative land-based projects and off-grid renewable energy systems for farms, businesses, refugee settlements and remote communities – across Greece and abroad.

Category 4: Influence Award

This category seeks to support those that are changing the context in which we are all working; who are helping to build and strengthen the regenerative movement. It is for local, national or international organisations and networks that have a core focus on campaigning or lobbying to influence policy, regulation or public opinion in support of regeneration.

An example of a shortlisted organisation is: 

FEASTA: The Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability

FEASTA is a foundation based at the Cloughjordan Ecovillage in Ireland. It has active members in 11 countries, and its work often has an international focus. FEASTA recognises the enormous power of narrative and of the arts in bringing about change. The name ‘Feasta’, meaning ‘henceforth’ in Irish, is closely associated with an 18th-century poem that expresses profound grief over the deforestation, biodiversity loss and mistreatment of the vulnerable that marked the colonial period, but also ends with an affirmation that when the situation improves again there will be “dances in long circles and bonfires and violin music”. 

FEASTA’s mission is to identify the characteristics (economic, cultural and environmental) of a truly sustainable society, articulate how the necessary transition can be effected, and promote the implementation of the measures required for this purpose. It does this through conferences, workshops, by publishing relevant content and discussion papers.

2023 Collaborative Awards

Be The Earth Foundation and Permaculture Magazine have partnered with the 2023 LUSH Spring Prize to add two collaborative prizes: The Ancient and Indigenous Wisdom Award (for the second year running) and the Permaculture Magazine Award. Both are separately funded and have their own judging panel.

Ancient and Indigenous Wisdom Award

This award seeks to recognise and celebrate ancient knowledge and wisdom. In a world shaped by (historic and current) oppressive colonial and patriarchal structures, this award honours the necessity and relevance of traditional and ecological knowledge, as well as ancestral and Indigenous nature-based practices.

An example of a shortlisted organisation is: 


Ashiniawka – Asociación de Mujeres Sapara (Sapara Women’s Association)  is an association of Indigenous Sapara women in Ecuador. It has been working to defend the Amazon, and the rights of Indigenous peoples and women, for more than ten years.

Ashiniawka and its founding partners are an international example of what it means to be guardians of the Amazon forest, stopping the advance of oil companies and promoting alternative initiatives to extractivism.

Permaculture Magazine Award

This award is for individuals, communities, businesses, groups and organisations that can demonstrate inspirational permaculture work over three years or more.

It focuses on permaculture projects that are regenerating damaged land; enhancing habitat and biodiversity; helping people to gain practical and community skills; adding value to produce and developing local economies; building community, creating social glue and greater economic resilience; modelling new ways of cooperating and new cultural paradigms.

An example of a shortlisted organisation is: 

NILE Journeys

Communities across the Nile Basin experience inequalities and limitations in their natural, human, or technological well-being, which renders them vulnerable to climate change and its effects. The word NILE refers not only to the Nile’s energetic field of the majestic river but also serves as an acronym for what the platform aims to do “Nurturing Impulses for Living Ecosystems”.

The NILE Journeys vision is to nurture life-affirming actions in the Nile bio-region through participatory and experiential learning spaces rooted in Indigenous knowledge and regenerative practices.

The prize celebration

A celebration and several skill-sharing events will be held in May 2023. These events seek to celebrate the work of prize recipients and shortlisted projects, whilst creating spaces for skill sharing, peer learning, and global connections of solidarity in a safe and supportive space. 

Alongside the peer-to-peer learning event and prize ceremony, shortlisted groups often continue their relationship with LUSH, Ethical Consumer, media partners and fellow regenerative projects in other ways. For example, regenerative farming communities have sold surplus produce to LUSH to use in their products; a regional event was held in East Africa to support further networking and skill sharing amongst projects, and some projects have written articles for Ethical Consumer Magazine.

Some new collaborative projects have also emerged over the years: Regenerosity, which welcomes all shortlisted Spring Prize applicants, with their consent, into a network that aims to source further funding and resourcing for them, and Re-Alliance, which acts as a network for grassroots practitioners doing humanitarian work, and hosts Permaculture and Regeneration capacity building programmes.

Beyond this, however, each year’s shortlist is proof of the hope that can be found in local community and grassroots organising. This year’s list represents a wealth of knowledge, solidarity and strength that will prove invaluable to building a better world.

You can learn more, follow along until May, and find ways to support shortlisted candidates here