Prime Minister of Bangladesh, National Geographic Society, Unilever CEO, Brazilian Cosmetics Firm and South African Anti-Poaching Unit All Lauded.
H.E. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Banladesh (L) receives the 2015 Champion of the Earth Award from Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP (R).
New York, 27 September 2015 - Five inspirational environmental leaders from the worlds of government, business, research and grassroots activism on Sunday received the UNs highest environmental accolade, the Champions of the Earth Award, at a ceremony marking the close of the Sustainable Development Goals summit.
The annual prize is awarded to outstanding leaders from government, civil society and the private sector whose actions have had a positive impact on the environment.
This years awards, presided over by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Goodwill Ambassadors, actor Ian Somerhalder and model Gisele Bündchen, as well as actress Nikki Reed, were focused on supporting the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals.
The awards do so by illustrating - through the examples of the laureates - that the transition to low-carbon, resource-efficient, inclusive and sustainable economic models is not just possible, but already in progress.
The full list of winners is as follows:
• H.E. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, for outstanding leadership on the frontline of climate change.
SCIENCE AND INNOVATION
• National Geographic Society, for over a century of life-changing science, exploration and storytelling.
• Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, for challenging business norms to show that sustainable, equitable and environmentally-conscious business is smart business.
• Natura (Brazilian Cosmetics Firm), for unparalleled commitment to trailblazing sustainable business models.
INSPIRATION AND ACTION
• The Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit (South Africa), for outstanding courage in fighting the illegal wildlife trade at community level.
UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said, "This weekend, we witnessed a historic moment. 193 nations committed to a sustainable path forward for the entire planet and its peoples through the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals. This is a major achievement, but the hard work now begins in earnest.
"With 17 goals that integrate all aspects of our economies, societies and the environment, the challenge is formidable. Each of this years five UN Champions of the Earth demonstrates that this challenge can, and I believe will be met to help usher in an equitable and sustainable future for all."