CAPE TOWN (8 November 2023) - World Resources Institute (WRI) has been selected to receive the 2023 GEO SDG Awards from the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and the Earth Observations for Sustainable Development Goals Initiative (EO4SDG). WRI’s Energy Access Explorer (EAE) platform received the Civil Society Award, which recognizes the productivity, innovation and exemplary efforts in the use of Earth observations to support sustainable development.

Launched in 2019, this annual award is presented to organizations making an impact on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The EO4SDG awarding body is led by representatives from NASA, ESA, as well as numerous United Nations departments and national governments.

“To be just, the energy transition must ensure that the opportunity for clean energy is available to people everywhere,” said Jennifer Layke, Global Director, Energy at World Resources Institute. “Energy Access Explorer is a critical tool to help government, utility, and business planners identify communities where health clinics, schools and households are currently being left behind. This award by Earth Observations for SDGs is wonderful recognition that the Energy Access Explorer platform is producing real impacts on real people by helping energy solutions reach farther.”

Energy services are highly interconnected with socio-economic development and human well-being. Yet, life without reliable energy is a reality for more than 675 million people globally. Effectively expanding energy access requires proper energy planning and access to transparent analytical tools and data. To help address this challenge, WRI, in collaboration with partners, developed the Energy Access Explorer, a data-driven, integrated and inclusive approach to achieving universal access to energy for equitable, socio-economic development.

EAE is the first, open-source, online and interactive geospatial platform that enables energy planners, clean energy entrepreneurs, donors, and development institutions to identify high-priority areas for energy access interventions. This platform has already seen success in Kenya, Zambia, Uganda, Nigeria, Ethiopia, India and Nepal.

“The Energy Access Explorer  is supporting developers, investors and energy planners to bridge the gap between the supply and demand of energy in communities that still lack reliable access,” said Jolanda van Ginkel, Programme Manager Renewable Energy, Ikea Foundation. “The IKEA Foundation is proud to support EAE and congratulates the World Resources Institute on this prestigious award.”

“3M recognizes the importance of energy equity, and we applaud WRI for developing the uniquely accessible and inclusive Energy Access Explorer,” said Gayle Schueller, 3M Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer. “By lowering the barriers to entry, increasing opportunities for collaboration and enabling affordable data management, EAE will empower communities and broaden participation in the global energy transition.”

About GEO: the Group on Earth Observations is a unique global network of international experts designed to build connections, identify gaps, share best practices and reduce duplication of effort in sustainable development and sound environmental management.

About EO4SDG: EO4SDG serves a fundamental role to advance global knowledge about effective ways that Earth observations and geospatial information can support the SDGs.
Website: - Twitter: @EO4SDG

About WRI: World Resources Institute (WRI) is a global research organization with offices in Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States, and regional offices for Africa and Europe. Our over 1,700 staff work with partners to develop practical solutions that improve people’s lives and ensure nature can thrive. WRI participates as a lead partner in the Energy Access Explorer. Learn more: and Energy Access Explorer.