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Earthshot Prize finalists will be supported by global firms

Image credit: Louis Reed | Unsplash

The Duke of Cambridge’s Earthshot Prize has announced the companies and brands who will help “scale up” ideas submitted by finalists aiming to tackle the planet’s problems.

Hitachi, Microsoft and the Ingka Group, which owns and operates most Ikea stores, are among the businesses supporting the inaugural 15 finalists of the environmental competition, who will be revealed later this month.

William launched the Nobel-inspired £50m Earthshot Prize project in October 2020 through his Royal Foundation. It aims to recognise solutions, ideas and technologies that “repair the planet”.

The Prize name draws inspiration from the Apollo Moon landings, nicknamed 'Moonshot', which helped advance mankind’s technological achievements, and features five categories, or 'Earthshots', which organisers say if achieved by 2030 would improve life for all.

The five Earthshot categories are:

  1. Protect and restore nature.
  2. Clean our air.
  3. Revive our oceans.
  4. Build a waste-free world.
  5. Fix our climate.

After being selected by the judging panel, the panel winners of the five Earthshots will each receive £1m every year from 2021 until the end of the decade.

Indra Nooyi, a member of the Earthshot Prize judging panel and former chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo, said: “Sustainability is fundamental to how business is conducted. Collaboration with the private sector is critical in order to propel sustainable environmental innovation.

“These companies can accelerate our progress toward a more sustainable future with their global reach and impact.

“By leveraging their expertise, size and scale, they can supercharge the adoption of solutions created by our Earthshot Prize finalists and winners, solutions that will ultimately improve lives around the world and restore our planet.”

The companies supporting the finalists are based across the globe and will make up the first 'Earthshot Prize Global Alliance'. They include engineering and design firm Arup; Vodacom, a South African mobile communications company; Microsoft; Walmart, and Unilever, along with those mentioned above.

The inaugural Earthshot Prize winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on October 17 2021, as E&T reported in June.

Ahead of the award ceremony, a definitive guide to the global environmental competition is due to be published later this month. Featuring an introduction written by the Duke of Cambridge, 'Earthshot: How To Save Our Planet' features contributions from naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough; environmental activist Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim; singer Shakira, and former astronaut Naoko Yamazaki.

Earthshot Prize book cover - inline

Image credit: PA Media

The book aims to highlight the urgency of the environmental challenges facing the world and will showcase some of the solutions taking place. The publication will also coincide with the five-part BBC One TV series focusing on different aspects of the Earthshot Prize.

Collin Butfield, former executive director at the international conservation charity WWF, and producer and director Jonnie Hughes, who were behind the 'David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet' documentary, have written the Earthshot book and created the series.

They said in a joint statement: “The Earthshot concept is simple: we have 10 years to turn the tide, 50 ingenious ideas and one goal – to save our planet. What we need is action and optimism.

“Our book reaches from the coral reefs of Mexico, via palm oil plantations in Borneo and sheep farms in Australia, to the forests of Kenya. It’s an explanation of how we’ve got to this point, and how – by acting collectively – we can fix it.”

'Earthshot: How To Save Our Planet' will be published by John Murray in the UK, Europe and across the Commonwealth on September 30, and in the US on October 5 2021.

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