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UNEP, LG Electronics Agree to Partner on Champions of the Earth Awards


Seoul, Korea. - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and LG Electronics (LGE), a global leader and technology innovator in consumer electronics, agreed to be partners in the recognition of outstanding global environmental leaders through UNEP’s Champions of the Earth Awards.

The agreement was signed by Angela Cropper, Deputy Executive Director of UNEP and Young Kee Kim, Executive Vice President of LGE, at a ceremony held in Seoul, Korea. Under the three-year partnership, LGE will contribute KRW 0.7 billion (approximately USD 560,000) per year to support the Champions of the Earth.

A total of USD 200,000 in prize money will be awarded yearly to winners, starting in 2010, with the contribution from LGE.

Established in 2004, the Champions of the Earth is the flagship global award presented each year by UNEP to outstanding environmental leaders. This year the award has been revamped to distinguish environmental heroes not just in the field of Policy Leadership, as was the case in the previous years, but also in the areas of Science and Innovation, Entrepreneurial Vision, and Inspiration and Action.
The 2009 winners are: Policy Leadership co-winners – Norwegian Environment Minister Erik Solheim; tropical forest and climate campaigner Kevin Conrad; Inspiration and Action winner – photographic and public awareness pioneer Yann Arthus-Bertrand; Entrepreneurial Vision co-winners – wind power entrepreneur Tulsi Tanti and recycling innovator Ron Gonen; Science and Innovation winner – biomimicry specialist Janine Benyus; and special category winner (Next Generation Champions) – youth-empowering Ethiopian organization Tena Kebena.
All seven laureates gathered in Paris on Earth Day, 22 April, to receive their trophies at a gala event attended by more than 200 personalities from business, politics and civil society. The award ceremony was held in conjunction with the annual Business for Environment Global Summit (B4E), the world’s leading international conference for dialogue and business-driven action for the environment held by UNEP and the United Nations Global Compact.
Cropper, who represented UNEP at the signing ceremony, said: “The Champions of the Earth honors catalysts of positive environmental change who are real and inspirational people from the worlds of politics, business, science, resource efficiency and civil society. We thank LGE for becoming our partner in celebrating heroes that promote transformational solutions to environmental challenges.”
“Through this strategic partnership with a global environmental organization, LGE is trying to raise awareness of environmental issues at the regional and global levels and to develop practical solutions to these,” said Young-kee Kim of LGE. “We will continue to build trust with consumers and communities through a number of corporate citizenship programs and through partnerships with global and local stakeholders, including employees, customers, local communities and NGOs, that focus on poverty relief and encourage environmental sustainability.”

LG has been supporting environmental programs that promote green education for children and teenagers through its Love Green and Life’s Green Class initiatives. Life’s Green Class consists of a lecture and an environmental science laboratory. LG employees visit primary and middle schools, and welfare centers in Korea to teach students about environmental science using a truck converted into a mobile science lab. LG also nurtures environmental leadership among young people around the world through its Science Leadership Program with the International Vaccine Institute. In 2008, 60 young people were chosen as the first Science Leaders; this year, the number of participants will increase to 250.


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