Thursday - September 14, 2017

Twelve young talents in final round for UN prize

Finalists chosen for Young Champions of the Earth

Covestro supports global ideas competition / Outstanding submissions to protect the environment

The United Nations Environment Programme and Covestro have announced a shortlist of 12 World Finalists for the Young Champions of the Earth prize, a global competition sponsored by Covestro that aims to identify, support and celebrate outstanding individuals aged 18-30 with big ideas to protect or restore the environment.

The World Finalists are: Brighton Kaoma and Mariama Mamane (Africa); Ankit Agarwal and Eritai Kateibwi (Asia & the Pacific); Coline Billon and Adam Dixon (Europe); Liliana Jaramillo Pazmiño and Eddy Frank Vásquez (Latin America & the Caribbean); Kaya Dorey and Mark "Alex" Paullin (North America); Omer Badokhon and Nareman Zahdeh (West Asia).

Their proposals offer novel solutions to pressing environmental challenges: from the innovative management of invasive alien species and greening roofs to enhance urban biodiversity to carbon accounting in schools to sensitize youth.

The winners will be announced to the public in November 2017 and receive an invitation to attend an award ceremony at the United Nations Environment Assembly on December 5, 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya. Each Young Champion will receive USD 15,000 in seed funding, expert mentoring, needs-based training and access to powerful networks. They will share their implementation journeys through a series of videos and blogs over the course of a year.

Public plays a part in choice of finalists

Over 600 applications were received in the inaugural competition, and the top 30 were selected for having the most innovative, scalable and potentially impactful ideas. A subsequent online public vote determined the selection of 12 World Finalists, two per world region.

UN Environment Head Erik Solheim praised the 12 World Finalists and said: “Young people may have inherited an array of environmental problems, but they are not sitting idly in the face of catastrophe. The depth, novelty and ambition of the World Finalists’ proposals underscore the centrality of youth to securing a sustainable future.”

„Passionate about innovative solutions“

“The standard of entries in this first year has far surpassed my expectations,” said Patrick Thomas, CEO of Covestro. “The ingenuity and thought processes presented by our world finalists clearly show that young people are passionate about identifying and then finding innovative solutions to the world’s environmental problems. It gives us a lot of hope for the future.”

Six Young Champions of the Earth will be selected by a global jury comprising VICE Media Founder Suroosh Alvi; She Leads Africa Co-founder Yasmin Belo-Osagie; UN Environment Head Erik Solheim; Covestro CEO Patrick Thomas; and UN Youth Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake.

About Covestro:
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, 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 15,600 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) at the end of 2016.

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This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available at The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.