Photo Competition

*The competition is now closed for entries*


Visions of a sustainable UN


If you fancy yourself as a photographer and believe in the power of images to change the way we think and feel, then why not try your hand at capturing an image which describes a sustainable UN?

Greening the Blue and the UN Photographic Society have joined forces to create a competition to celebrate and inspire efforts to make the UN more sustainable. 

All entries must speak to the theme, Visions of a Sustainable UN.

The competition is open to everyone, and the winning entry will be announced on World Environment Day, 2011.

Background to the competition

Greening the Blue
was launched on World Environment Day 2010 in response to the Secretary-General’s call for a more sustainable United Nations. The website aims to engage UN staff and external stakeholders on sustainability within the UN and to highlight what’s been achieved, what’s planned for the future, and how they can join in.

To celebrate World Environment Day 2011, Greening the Blue is proud to launch the first in-house photographic competition on sustainability at the UN. Developed in association with the UN Photographic Society, we hope the competition will help to spark creative and engaging discussions on what sustainability means for the UN.

The competition provides an opportunity to raise the profile of existing green activities taking place within the UN, and will enable everyone to share their ideas of what a greener UN might look like. It provides a space for creativity and imagination, for hopes and dreams.

Entries must be submitted before 27th May 2011. The competition is free to enter and is open to everyone. All photographs must reflect the theme: Visions of a Sustainable United Nations.

The winning entry will be announced on World Environment Day (5th June), 2011. The winner will receive an award, be profiled on Greening the Blue and their photograph will be framed and presented to the UN Secretary-General.

Submission process and entry criteria


Submission Process

1.    Email your photograph(s) to with your full name, nationality and job title by 27 May 2011.

2.    Greening the Blue reserves the right to contact photographers to confirm information in the submission form or for any other purpose considered necessary.

3.    Photographers whose contact information has changed during the course of the contest should notify

4.    Winners will be notified via email Friday 3rd June. The announcement will go public on Sunday 5th June.

General Criteria

1.    The competition closes 27 May, 11:59:00 p.m. GMT. No entries received after that date shall be considered.

2.    The competition is free and open to everyone, in and outside of the UN.

3.    All entries not respecting the theme or the technical/authorship requirements will be systematically ruled out.

4.    Minor digital manipulations will be accepted.

5.    A maximum of five photos are allowed per applicant.

6.    All entries must relate to the theme: Visions of a Sustainable United Nations.

Technical Specifications

Submissions must be:

•    High resolution photographs, capable of being enlarged to a 8x10 size are desired.

•    Photographs sent via mobile phones will be accepted if capable of enlargement to 8x10.

•    High-quality scans of non-digital photographs are acceptable.

•    Digital photographs should be shot at the highest resolution possible.

•    Each photo should not be more than 10 MBs in size.


Photographs will be judged on the following criteria:

•    Relation to theme: Examine how closely the photograph aligns with the theme 
•    Creative: Examine the artistic level of the photograph.


Rules to determine the winners

Submitted images will undergo an initial selection by the contest organizers. The top 20 images will then be scored by a panel of judges, and then totaled to produce a final score. In the event of a tie for highest score, the entry with the higher score in ‘relation to theme’ will be deemed the winner.

The panel’s decisions will be final and no further correspondence will be accepted. 


The judges include senior UN staff from the UN Photographic Society, the Sustainable United Nations team, Greening the Blue and the UN Department for Public Information.



The overall winning photograph will be framed and presented to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. It will also be displayed on Greening the Blue and Greening the Blue’s Facebook page.


Promotional resources

If you'd like to promote the competition within your community, feel free to download our Photo Competition poster.

GtB and UN Photographic Society Photo Competition Poster (A4)

You can also promote the competition via Facebook, Twitter and email to your friends, family and colleagues.




At the time of entry, entrants are deemed to have read, understood and be in agreement with all rules and conditions. The organizer reserves the right to rule on any issue(s) not covered by these rules and disclaimers. In the event that an entrant should disagree with any decision made by the organizer, that entrant will have the right to withdraw his or her entry. All related expenses incurred shall be borne solely by the entrant.
Notes regarding entry

Entrants are entirely responsible for all entry-related costs, including but not limited to purchase or renting of equipment, use of computer systems, transmission fees, etc.

Greening the Blue reserves the right to disqualify photographers who are unable to validate the information submitted on the submission form.

Winners will be entirely responsible for any taxes or charges related to the receipt of any prize.

Greening the Blue reserves the right to cancel or modify the rules at its discretion. Decisions of Greening the Blue will be final. No correspondence will be entered into.



The copyright of submitted and winning photos will be owned by the participating photographers. The winning photos will be released to the “non-exclusive” use of Greening the Blue and the UN Photographic Society. Such use will be restricted to promotion, publicity, news, informational education or awareness usage relating to Greening the Blue and the UN Photographic Society.

Contest photographers will be able to use their photos, which they retain the copyright to, in their print and online portfolios, exhibitions, books and other publications and to disseminate – including sell – their photos to interested clients. They will be identified as the authors of the photos.

By submitting the photograph for consideration, the photographers attest that they created the image and that the submitted image has not been previously published. Photographers must also have obtained any necessary third-party releases and be responsible for ensuring that their submissions are in compliance with the legal and copyright laws of their country.

The organizer will not be responsible for any claims or complaints against infringement of rights or damages from third parties relating to the subject/subject matter of entries, and the entrant agrees to indemnify and hold the organizer harmless in such cases. The contest organizers reserve the right to request your copy of any personal release, location release or artist release.

A photograph which displays an identified or identifiable person may infringe on such person’s right of privacy or may disclose such person’s personal information. Entrants shall use due care to avoid any infringement of personal rights including but not limited to obtaining necessary permission from such person.

The organizer is not responsible for any damage or loss that may occur during the sending of entries via the Internet. The organizer is not responsible for any problems or damages experienced by the entrant due to forces beyond the control of the organizer, such as but not limited to troubles relating to computer networks, computer virus infections or unauthorized computer access.

Except in proven cases of malice or gross negligence, the organizer is not responsible for any unfortunate or unwelcome occurrences and/or damages that may befall entrants as a result of entry to the contest.

The above terms and conditions relating to the responsibility of the organizer will apply equally to both Greening the Blue and the UN Photographic Society, and third parties cooperating in the operation of the contest and contest judges, as if they stood in the place of the organizer.