The Young Champions of the Earth awards are given to individuals who offer novel solutions to today’s pressing environmental challenges. Each winner receives $15,000 in seed funding, expert mentoring, needs-based training and access to powerful networks to help them implement their plans over the coming year. Kaya Dorey, 29, was selected as the Young Champion for North America, in recognition of her sustainable apparel business, called NOVEL SUPPLY CO.
Dorey and the other winners received their prizes at a gala event Dec. 5, where they were addressed by UN Environment Head Erik Solheim and singer/songwriter Ellie Goulding, who was appointed by UN Environment as a Global Goodwill Ambassador for her environmental and social justice activism.
The master of ceremonies was model, actor and film producer Dia Mirza, UN Environment’s Goodwill Ambassador for India who has been recognized for her contribution to environment conservation.
Richard Northcote, Covestro chief sustainability officer, told the assembly that the success of the first Young Champions of the Earth competition meant Covestro would continue to support the UN Environment initiative.
Helping to tackle complex global challenges
“As one of the world’s leading contributors of materials for sustainable development, it was an easy decision for Covestro to partner with UN Environment to inspire and motivate young people across the world to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs] and help tackle some of the complex social and environmental challenges we all face,” said Northcote.
“Young Champions are living proof that amid today’s environmental and economic crises, there are incredible opportunities for innovative solutions, fresh approaches and inspirational leadership. This is a fantastic partnership founded on a shared passion for empowering aspiring change-makers,” said Solheim, underlining both partners’ commitment to support young talents in implementing their bright ideas.
The Young Champions of the Earth for 2017, selected for their outstanding potential to create positive environmental impact, are:
- North America – Kaya Dorey, Closed-loop apparel manufacturing hub;
- Europe – Adam Dixon, Phytoponics: a hydroponic growing system for the commercial greenhouse;
- Latin America & the Caribbean – Liliana Jaramillo Pazmiño, Native plants for green roofs in Quito;
- West Asia – Omer Badokhon, Biogas for all: improving rural livelihoods with sustainable energy;
- Africa – Mariama Mamane, Innovative eco-management of water hyacinth;
- Asia Pacific – Eritai Kateibwi, Te Maeu Project: a modular hydroponics food-growing system for Pacific islands
Photo courtesy Covestro