In a momentous recognition of its profound impact on global environmental sustainability, World Cleanup Day (WCD) has been honored with a United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) Award for Mobilization. The remarkable achievement was celebrated at the UN SDG Action Awards Ceremony, held in Rome on July 24, 2023.
Solid waste presents a pressing global challenge that demands immediate attention and direct action. As one of the world's largest civic action movements, WCD boldly confronts this challenge by coordinating global one-day cleanups that unite millions of individuals from over 190 countries.
What began in Estonia as a cleanup with 50,000 people in 2008 has evolved into a powerful global movement, touching the majority of nations worldwide. Over the past 5 years, an astonishing 70M people have rallied for the cause, mobilizing in a united front for the SDGs. On September 17 last year, 15M volunteers dedicated 30M hours to remove c60,000 tons of waste from nature in a monumental effort to help restore the environment – all in just one day!
WCD, run by the Estonian NGO 'Let's Do It, World!' (LDIW), is an unparalleled catalyst, uniting individuals, communities, organizations, and governments in a concerted effort towards a waste-free world. The initiative's audacious goal is to engage at least 5% of each country's population, the tipping point needed to create lasting societal change and speed up the transformation towards a sustainable future.
Winning in the mobilization category recognizes and underscores the organization's unwavering commitment to tackling the global waste crisis and empowering communities to take collective action for a waste-free world.
“This award demonstrates the human will and power of connecting globally for a collective effort. It's dedicated to all leaders and teams and supporters in our network of 164 countries. We're honored to receive this award for mobilization and for creating an impact in the world. This is only the start, as collective efforts also catalyze to boost further collaborations in seeking sustainable and impactful solutions for our planet.” – Heidi Solba, President and Head of the Global Network at LDIW.
By inspiring widespread participation and active engagement, WCD harnesses the immense potential of collective action to address pressing environmental challenges. It transcends mere awareness, empowering individuals to take tangible steps such as waste reduction and responsible consumption. Through its inclusive approach, the initiative instills hope and an unwavering belief that change is indeed possible when we act together.
The UN SDG Action Awards ceremony provided a captivating stage to spotlight the exceptional efforts of the finalists and winners, illuminating their endeavors as beacons of hope for sustainable development worldwide. The event radiated inspiration, reigniting the collective determination to forge a path towards a more sustainable future for all.