22 April 2017 – Today, on International Mother Earth Day, the United Nations Environment Programme will launch Young Champions of the Earth, a new initiative to spot young, talented people between the ages of 18 and 30 and support their inspiring ideas to save the environment.
Young Champions of the Earth is a global stage for young people to showcase technological inventions and innovative business models that improve our planet's health. The initiative aims to counter the negative discourse on the environment and inspire the next generation of environmental leaders.
Young Champions of the Earth is sponsored by Covestro, one of the world’s leading polymer companies and a strong proponent of innovation for environmental sustainability.
Each year, six young people – one from each of UN Environment’s global regions – will be named Young Champions of the Earth. These winners will each receive US$15,000 in seed funding as well as intensive training and tailored mentoring to help bring their big environmental ideas to life.
The winners will be selected by a global jury that includes UN Environment Executive Director Erik Solheim and Covestro CEO Patrick Thomas. Winners will be invited to attend the Champions of the Earth Gala Dinner, to be held in Nairobi in December 2017.
The application period opens on 22 April and will close on 18 June.
UN Environment Executive Director Erik Solheim said: “As I’ve seen time and again, when young people are given opportunities and support, they can be powerful catalysts for change. It is our hope that Young Champions of the Earth will inspire thousands of young people around the world to develop innovative ways to tackle the environmental issues that matter to them.”
Covestro CEO Patrick Thomas said: “I am delighted to support UN Environment on this excellent initiative. Sustainable thinking and acting is critical in preserving our planet and improving the safety and quality of millions of people.
“Covestro seeks to contribute to this goal with products and technologies that benefit society and reduce the impact on the environment. This is the basis of our vision ‘To make the world a brighter place’ – and Young Champions invites the enthusiastic participation of all who care for our future.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Young Champions of the Earth website: unep.org/youngchampions
With 2016 sales of EUR 11.9 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and sports and leisure industries. Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, has 30 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 15,600 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) at the end of 2016.
About UN Environment
UN Environment is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. UN Environment works with governments, the private sector, the civil society and with other UN entities and international organizations across the world.