The Bright Award at Stanford University recognizes an individual who has made unheralded contributions to environmental sustainability.

2015 Bright Award Recipient

The 2015 Stanford Bright Award goes to Polly Courtice for her efforts in guiding thousands of business leaders to more sustainable business practices.

Photo: Polly Courtice

Pollly Courtice

As the founding director of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, Courtice has helped hundreds of corporations develop ways to address pressures to be more accountable for their environmental and social actions and impacts, ranging from human rights to climate change. The institute's latest effort, called Rewiring the Economy, provides a 10-point, 10-year plan for governments, financial institutions and businesses to work together to build a more sustainable economy.

About the Bright Award

The Bright Award at Stanford University was created by a gift from Raymond E. Bright, Jr., JD '59 in 2007 on behalf of his late wife, Marcelle, and himself. Mr. Bright died in 2011. Under the terms of his gift, the Bright Award is given annually to an "individual who has made significant contributions in the environmental preservation and sustainability area." Each year the recipient will be selected from one of 10 rotating regions.

Each year, Stanford Law School will give the Bright Award to an individual working in a specific region of the world. The award winner receives $100,000 and delivers a public lecture at Stanford University. The inaugural Bright Award, delivered in 2013, goes to an individual from South America.

The list of regions from which winners will be chosen over the next five years is shown below:

  • 2013 – South America
  • 2014 – North and Central America
  • 2015 – Europe
  • 2016 – Africa
  • 2017 – West Asia

A nomination committee comprised of Stanford Law School faculty members, law students and others on campus, with assistance from consultants focused on designated regions of the world, will recommend potential candidates each year. The Dean of Stanford Law School will select the final award recipient. An Advisory Committee, consisting of Michael Bright, George Bright, and Alan Markle, helps oversee the Bright Award and also provide guidance in the selection of the recipient.