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London – The 2015 Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge was launched today, calling for innovative proposals to ensure safe water and improved sanitation for at risk communities in developing countries. The winning projects will be announced in September 2015. The first prize winner will be awarded $50,000 and the second prize winner will receive $25,000 in addition to a feature in Water Research, an official journal of the International Water Association. All applicants are offered access to relevant material on Elsevier’s ScienceDirect database, which contains more than 250,000 articles on environmental science, as well as LexisNexis Risk Solution’s open source high performance computing (HPCC) resource, to allow the processing of large amounts of research data.

This is the fifth year of the Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge, and will be marked by a special prize of $20,000 for a collaboration project involving past winners.

The Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge was launched in 2011 to contribute to the Water for Life Decade, an initiative launched in 2005 by the UN General Assembly to halve the number of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015. According to the World Health Organisation and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme, over 700m people are without safe drinking water, while more than 2.5bn people do not have adequate sanitation facilities. Poor access to safe water and sanitation contributes to health crises in many developing countries, and increasingly leads to violent conflict.

Dr Márcia Balisciano, Reed Elsevier’s Director of Corporate Responsibility said, “Through the Environmental Challenge we help people working to address the fundamental need for clean water and sanitation by giving them access to cutting edge research in the field. We bring their important work to the attention of our expert judges and to a broad public.” In 2015, Reed Elsevier will be extending awareness of the Environmental Challenge through a media partnership with the Guardian Global Development Professionals Network, which gives those working and interested in the field access to related comment, analysis, news and events.

Applications that focus on improving access to safe water and/or sanitation where it is presently at risk should be submitted by 14 April 2015. Projects should be replicable, scalable and sustainable; set a benchmark for innovation; have practical applicability; address non-discrimination/equity of access; involve and impact a range of stakeholders; and have local/community-level engagement. Shortlisted candidates will be announced in June and invited to develop their proposals further. Shortlisted projects will be considered by a panel of international experts, including a member of the Dutch WASH Alliance, a consortium of six NGOs in the Netherlands promoting hygienic use of sustainable water and sanitation.

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Notes to Editors

To learn more about the Environmental Challenge, please visit and follow us on Twitter @RE_EnvChallenge

Read about past winners here.

About Reed Elsevier 
Reed Elsevier Group PLC ( is a world leading provider of professional information solutions. The group employs approximately 28,000 people of whom half are in North America. Reed Elsevier Group PLC is owned equally by two parent companies, Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV; the combined market capitalisation of the two parent companies is approximately £24bn/€31bn. Its shares are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RUK and ENL.

About the Guardian Global Development Professionals Network
The Guardian Global Development Professionals Network offers commentary and insight from development experts across the world. It is an invaluable source of knowledge and contacts for all professionals interested in global development. Become a member and gain access to exclusive Q&As with industry experts, weekly newsletters, development resources, training and more. Register now.

Media Contact
Emmy Stevens, Reed Elsevier
+44 207 166 5512