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Larissa Crawford was recognized as one of 30 sustainability leaders under 30 in 2019. Credit: Jonathan Dolphin

This past year has been a wrenching one for anyone who cares about the planet. Images of singed koala bears broke our hearts as devastating wildfires ripped through Australia, whales were washing ashore with bellies full of plastic and now the COVID-19 pandemic threatens the health of millions of human beings around the globe.

But it’s also been a powerful time to witness the interconnectedness, strength and determination of the human spirit. Millions of young people took to the streets and sparked a global movement for climate action, a growing roll call of companies and countries signed onto circular economy pledges as consumers demanded they do better and now #covidkindness has gone viral ­– as have calls for a greener post-COVID world.

So many things are uncertain. But there’s one thing we know for sure: young people are leading the push for a better world.

Millennials and Gen Z aren’t just demanding more from politicians, they’ve also been called this decade’s corporate watchdogs, demanding that companies demonstrate a higher purpose beyond profit.  Deloitte’s 2019 survey of over 13,000 millennials in 42 countries found that 42% have increased their support for businesses they believe are having positive impacts on society and the environment, while 38 % have withdrawn their support for companies they see as having a negative impact.

As the largest segment of the workforce, they’re also driving employers to do better. One 2019 survey conducted by Swytch found nearly 40% of millennials have accepted one job offer over another because of a company’s sustainability.  Another 30% have left a company due to its lack thereof.

Even in this generation of everyday changemakers, there are always those who stand out as leaders – young people on the frontlines who are blazing a path towards a greener more equitable future.

For our 6th annual 30 under 30 issue, Corporate Knights invites you to nominate yourself or any young sustainability champs you may know. We’ll be recognizing the top 30 individuals under 30 years old who demonstrate great leadership on sustainability issues in Canada.

Again this year, we will recognize in particular those whose work aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

We’ll be announcing the winners in the Fall Issue of Corporate Knights magazine, published November 6, 2020. Shortlisted candidates will be confidentially contacted over the summer to verify information.

What kind of work qualifies you for Corporate Knights 30 under 30?

Leaders in sustainability could be young social entrepreneurs or business leaders, politicians or impactful bureaucrats, up-and-coming scientists or rising activists.

Our 2019 list included Indigenous leaders, scientists, clean tech innovators, academics, educators, zero waste entrepreneurs, just to name a few. But don’t let that list limit who you nominate – as long as the nominee is working on making the planet a better place through a sustainability lens.

What’s the age cut off?

Anyone who is 29 or younger as of November 1, 2020. Younger teens and children are encouraged to apply, as well.

Which regions are eligible to join?

If you live in Canada (most of the time, anyway), you can be nominated. We aim for the final list to represent Canada’s geographic and racial diversity.

What do we mean by “sustainable”? Meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. 

In 2015, all United Nations member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with 17 sustainable development goals (also known as SDGs).  Purpose-driven companies and organizations around the globe have since been incorporating SDGs into their mandates. So, this year Corporate Knights is connecting the 30 under 30 to those UN SDGs.

To learn more about specific Sustainable Development Goals, visit the UN’s website.

 

 

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