2019 Environmental Journalism Award Winners Announced

2019 Environmental Journalism Award Winners Announced

February 13, 2020 – With our environmental crisis an existential societal issue, twelve journalists have been awarded a 2019 SEAL Environmental Journalism Award, celebrating their work in documenting climate change impacts and solutions.

Honorees include six repeat winners: Dave Roberts of Vox, Stephen Leahy of National Geographic, Jonathan Watts of The Guardian, Hiroko Tabuchi of The New York Times, Adele Peters of Fast Company, and Robinson Meyer of The Atlantic.

First-time SEAL Environmental Journalism Award recipients include Emily Atkin of HEATED, Justin Worland of TIME, Fiona Harvey of The Guardian, Umair Irfan of Vox, Lisa Friedman of The New York Times, and Yessenia Funes of Earther / Gizmodo. 

 “We owe a debt of gratitude to environmental journalists, who investigate matters the powerful would prefer to keep hidden, translate complex scientific information into tangible stories the public can relate to, and dedicate their careers to an underappreciated, underfunded, and often dangerous field,” commented awards chairperson Dr. Jonathan Foley, Execute Director of Project Drawdown. “The journalists celebrated by SEAL Awards know what so many of us have been slow to grasp: that climate change, pollution, and mass extinctions pose an unprecedented threat to human civilization. Thanks in large part to their talent and effort, we have reached a cultural tipping point where climate change and the environment are no longer a concern solely among scientists and activists, but have grown to become a mainstream topic of discussion and lens through which we evaluate our lifestyle, consumer habits, and even our political leaders.”

 Winners were selected based on a panel review of each journalist’s work, data-driven analysis of the impact and reach of their articles, and consideration for writers who are bringing fresh perspectives and social relevance to environmental issues. 

The 2019 SEAL Environmental Journalism Awards were chaired by Dr. Jonathan Foley, Executive Director of Project Drawdown and an internationally recognized sustainability thought leader.



The SEAL (Sustainability, Environmental Achievement & Leadership) Awards is an awards-driven environmental advocacy organization. 

Our core beliefs maintain that our environmental progress requires true leadership, leadership deserves recognition, and recognition is a form of accountability.

The SEAL Awards organizational pillars are:

  • Sustainability Awards – honors the most sustainable companies in the world. 2019 SEAL winners included adidas, AMD, Cisco, and Unilever. To enter our 2020 SEAL Business Sustainability Awards, please apply here
  • Environmental Journalism Awards – representative past winners include journalists from Guardian, New Yorker, New York Times, and Washington Post 
  • Environmental Research Grants – grant program has provided funding for nineteen researchers at leading institutions like Duke, Marine Conservation Institute, MIT, and UCLA