The United Nations Environment Programme has launched ‘Young Champions of the Earth’, a new initiative that aims to celebrate and support individuals between the ages of 18 and 30 with outstanding ideas to save the environment. The initiative is sponsored by Covestro, one of the world’s leading polymer companies and a strong proponent of innovation for environmental sustainability.
“We are delighted to support UN Environment on this excellent initiative”, said Covestro CEO Patrick Thomas. “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.”
‘Young Champions of the Earth’ provides a unique global platform for young people to showcase innovative thinking and positive contributions to the health of the planet. The initiative aims to balance negative discourse on the environment and inspire the next generation of environmental leaders.
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.
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 this initiative will inspire thousands of young people around the world to develop innovative ways to tackle the environmental issues that matter to them.”
The winners will be selected by a global jury that includes Erik Solheim and Patrick Thomas. They 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.
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 the sports and leisure industries. Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, has 30 production sites around the globe and employs approximately 15,600 people (full-time equivalents) as of the end of 2016.
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