Dec 11 2023

A large mangrove forest among water with a large walking path through the trees

Launched in February 2022, the Etihad Mangrove Forest is focused on biodiversity, wildlife and environmental protection.

Every year, the world’s population hungers for protein, in fact, more than 200 million tons of it. That’s more than 33 Great Pyramids of Giza’s worth of protein. Unfortunately, meeting that demand puts incredible stress on our planet including our water systems, fragile ecosystems, and the welfare of the animals we raise to create that protein, such as chickens, fish, and cows raised for chicken breast, steak, and other meat products.

XPRIZE has partnered with Etihad Airways to encourage the world to rethink how we source protein, especially as the global population booms and this demand increases. XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion competition is a multi-year, $15M competition that incentivizes teams to produce cell or plant-based chicken breast or fish filet alternatives that replicate or outperform conventional chicken and fish in: access, environmental sustainability, animal welfare, nutrition, and taste and texture. 

Succeeding in this pursuit of alternative protein sources, such as plant-based meat and other high-protein food, could help combat global warming by slashing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with conventional protein production, preserve sensitive land and limited water resources that can be mismanaged in meat production, and combat the deforestation that is likely to grow with rising demand for protein. These changes to the way the world produces food could allow us to both equitably meet increasing demand and effectively protect our delicate planet.

Through our robust and unique collaboration with Etihad Airways, the official partner airline of XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion, we can better encourage innovation in this essential field while extending and promoting the aligned values of both environmental sustainability and animal welfare shared by XPRIZE and Etihad Airways. Etihad has long been committed to these principles including pledging to be carbon net-zero by 2050, to reduce carbon emissions by 20% of their 2019 value by 2025, and 50% by 2035. Etihad has also reduced their use of single-use plastics by 80% in recent years, and is actively making fleet choices to reduce their impact including the use of the new and more efficient Airbus A350 as well as committing to the development of new sustainable airline fuels. They are a natural and valued partner for this innovative competition. 

XPRIZE and our partners, including Etihad Airways, recently announced the six finalists in XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion as we set the stage for our finals competition in 2024. Together, our two organizations will not only be able to better pursue our values, but improve the world and empower those innovators looking to make a more abundant future for all.

Follow along to see the future of protein, and help XPRIZE and Etihad Airways build a more sustainable world.