UN Environment has announced the names of 35 young entrepreneurs across six regions who have made it to the regional finals of the 2018 Young Champions of the Earth prize, a global competition sponsored by Covestro that aims to identify, support and celebrate outstanding individuals aged 18-30 who have big ideas to protect or restore the environment.
All the regional finalists’ ideas address urgent environmental issues in bold and creative ways. From a total of 760 submissions, the finalists’ proposals include land-based coral farms that aim to replenish dying coral reefs around the world and a plan for breeding fatty insects as a source of biofuel, to be used as an alternative for palm oil.
Other ideas from the regional finalists include educational initiatives involving board games, music and digital platforms to raise awareness about environmental issues; tackling plastic pollution through recycling and upcycling into bricks and urinals; and an integrated system of wildfire detectors that can detect and prevent destructive fires.
“Covestro is proud to continue its full support for the second year of the Young Champions of the Earth competition,” says Covestro CEO Dr. Markus Steilemann. “As one of the world’s leading contributors of materials for sustainable development, we’re honored to partner with UN Environment to inspire and motivate young people across the world to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”
“The Young Champions of the Earth prize is highlighting exactly how creative, dedicated and driven young people can be when it comes to the future of our environment,” Head of UN Environment Erik Solheim said. “These regional finalists are an inspiration to all of us, that hard work and a positive outlook are a powerful way to reach a goal, even one as ambitious as a sustainable world for all.”
The final winners will each receive the prize along with 15,000 USD in seed funding, mentorship from industry leaders and access to a wide network of influencers to take their ideas forward to reality.
Members of the public are being encouraged to view and rate the proposals on the Young Champions of the Earth website, the non-binding public vote will close on Monday 25 June. The public online vote will inform a global jury to select the 2018 Young Champions in September.
For more information the regional finalists and their projects, visit the Young Champions of the Earth website (www.unep.org/youngchampions).
With 2017 sales of EUR 14.1 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, construction, wood processing and furniture, and electrical and electronics industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 16,200 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) at the end of 2017.
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