10 June 2016
Global organisation, Bridges to Prosperity, has beaten off strong competition from sustainable travel initiatives across the world to win the 2016 Eurostar Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel.
Chosen for its innovative sustainable travel project, this year’s winner will be rewarded £20,000 in prize money to invest in their scheme and expand in other networks.
Bridges to Prosperity is a global initiative that provides access to healthcare, education and markets by teaching communities how to build footbridges over impassable rivers, in partnership with organisations and professionals.
The team have built 180 bridges in the developing world over the past 14 years in remote rural areas where the shortage of river crossings forces people to walk much further than they need to. Bridges to Prosperity not only builds bridges in countries like Rwanda, Peru and Timor-Leste but also teaches communities how to build and maintain them. To date, their work has helped more than 800,000 people get easier access to healthcare, education and employment.
Now in their fifth year, the Eurostar Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel celebrate the achievements of pioneering travel initiatives across the globe, which encourage people to adopt more sustainable ways of travelling, helping improve quality of life whilst reducing congestion, pollution, and CO₂ emissions.
In addition to the prize money, winners are offered a package of benefits including a platform to promote their work; a short film showcasing their sustainable travel scheme, introductions to policymakers, potential funders and investors, and access to the prestigious Ashden Alumni network.
Luke Ervine, Environment and Energy General Manager of Eurostar, said:
“We’ve been impressed by the exceptionally high calibre of award entries this year and are delighted to announce Bridges To Prosperity as the winner. By helping isolated communities build bridges to improve access to schools, healthcare, trade and so much more, it is easy to see how this project is helping change the lives of all those communities involved.
We hope that by celebrating the most innovative sustainable travel initiatives, we encourage more people to adopt environmentally friendly modes of transport, and put sustainable travel in the spotlight.”
The Ashden judging panel said; “Bridges to Prosperity gets to the heart of sustainable travel. It is amazing the difference that footbridges are making to so many people in rural communities. The transformational impact of their work makes for truly wonderful and heart-warming stories. Imagine a community which is ordinarily divided during the rainy season and the difference that something as simple as a footbridge can make in bringing people together.”
The Eurostar Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel is part of Eurostar’s Community and Environment programme to reduce the business’ impact on the environment and encourage people to switch to more sustainable modes of transport. Since 2007, Eurostar has made substantial progress towards a ‘ten point plan’ to reduce consumption, source responsibly and recycle, and has successfully reduced CO₂ emissions per traveller journey by 15%.
For high-resolution imagery from the ceremony, a short video and more information about the winner, please visit https://www.ashden.org/winners/bridges16
To discover more about Eurostar’s Tread Lightly programme, visit http://www.eurostar-csr.com/en