The 2019 GREEN AWARDS’ staged a star-studded gala at the iconic Tempelhof Airport, Berlin as part of the Greentech Festival – a three-day event to promote world-class sustainable innovation with a focus on green tech hosted by former F1 world championship winner Nico Rosberg.
The award’s mission is to support and connect visionaries, private individuals, start-ups, as well as mid-sized and large companies that are committed to sustainability. This year it welcomed laudations by H.R.H Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway and other distinguished guests who walked the aptly named ‘green carpet’ to show their support for the global sustainability solutions being recognised. These included actor Til Schweiger, and celebrities Peter Imhof, actress and model Victoria Jancke, designer Eva Lutz, speaker Matti Klemm and actress Julia Hartmann.
The gala was hosted by Jana Azizi, and renowned international musicians Nena, and Nick Mulvey performed. “If you want to change the world, you better start with yourself” said well-known German singer Nena.
Former Unilever CEO Paul Polman was awarded the coveted “Lifetime Achievement Award” as a forward-thinking role model for his outstanding contribution and commitment to sustainable business over his career for having positively influenced both people and the environment. One of the most memorable parts of the event, he delivered a rousing and moving speech that brought the audience to a standing ovation.
Another of the gala’s highlights was the “Special Prize Norway” that was awarded to Yara International/ Kongsberg Gruppen. As GREENTECH FESTIVAL’ s partner country and arguably one of the most sustainable countries in the world, the Norwegian align themselves perfectly with the GREENTECH FESTIVAL’ s principles to support the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, especially in the areas of mobility and energy.
In addition to the “Special Prize Norway”, another two special award categories were introduced this year; “Forward Actor of the Year”, which honoured both Shimrit Perkol-Finkel (ECOncrete) and Cyrill Gutsch (Parley for the Oceans) for their contribution to promote environmental leadership and innovative solutions to address climate change.
Former F1 World Champion Winner Nico Rosberg launched the awards in Berlin as part of the Greentech Festival, the world’s biggest sustainability festival. The three-day event included an high-tech technology exhibition, conference and the award ceremony with a focus on sustainable innovations for the future. He commented “The greatest force to make our world sustainable are ground-breaking green technologies, inspirational entrepreneurs and innovative start-ups. Sustainable innovations are needed more urgently now than they ever have before. They are brought to life by brilliant minds and these modern-day heroes deserve a place in the spotlight. That’s why the Green Awards celebrate and showcase the green thoughts, thinkers and doers of today while thinking about the needs of future generations”.
The coveted winners of the GREEN AWARDS 2019:
This year’s winners were chosen after intense discussion and secret ballot by the 75-member expert jury consisting of independent representatives from industry, science, politics, and media.
Life Achievement Award
Paul Polman (NETHERLANDS)
Start-up of the Year
Skipping Rocks Lab – Ooho!: edible packaging for liquids made of algae extract (UK)
Innovation of the Year
Ferguson Marine – HySeasIII: ferry using CO2-free hydrogen as its energy source (UK)
Game Changer of the Year
Plastic Bank – Exchange of plastic waste for money and other compensation (CANADA)
Rising Star of the Year
Ann Makosinski – Hollow Flashlight: converts human heat into energy (CANADA)
Special Prize Norway
Forward Actor of the Year – MALE AND FEMALE
Female – Shimrit Perkol-Finkel – ECOncrete: offers concrete solutions that enhances he biological and ecological value of urban, coastal and marine infrastructure (ISRAEL)
Male – Cyrill Gutsch – Parley for the Oceans: raises awareness for the beauty and protection of the oceans (GERMANY)