Members of the public responded to our call for heroes by sending in dozens of fantastic entries to the competition, and the time is now fast approaching to announce the winners. We narrowed the entries down to a shortlist of amazing individuals, who are all in the running to win the title of Workplace hero, Lifestyle hero or Community hero.
Our Earth Hour Heroes competition recognises those who do so much to protect our brilliant planet. These individuals remind us that together we have the power to make change happen, and we can start to make that change through our own actions and by inspiring and engaging others.
This year we were looking for heroes who make positive actions in 3 categories: Community heroes, Lifestyle heroes and Workplace heroes.
Community heroes are those who have brought their community together to help make a real difference to the environment, whether from a project that’s receiving great results or from going the extra mile to make their community more climate-friendly.
Our shortlisted community heroes for 2017 include:
David King, who started a litter picking initiative in his community and works tirelessly to clear waste from Cardiff waters.
Martin Angel, who has made outstanding contributions to wildlife conservation work in his local community.
Carrie Cort, who set up her own initiative, Sussex Green Living, to teach adults and schoolchildren about waste prevention and the environment.
Catherine Fookes, campaign manager at the Organic Trade Board who encourages others to buy organic to be more climate friendly.
Joe Duggan, co-founder of Crystal Palace Transition Town, which runs projects from food markets to community clean ups.
Gloria Esposito, environmental scientist who has championed improvements to air quality in London.
Lifestyle heroes embrace a climate-friendly lifestyle, and inspire others to do the same. Whether through green initiatives in the home, a commitment to spreading the word, or innovative ideas they’ve come up with the help the environment, lifestyle heroes’ show how climate action can be undertaken at the individual level to help our planet.
Our lifestyle heroes for 2017 include:
Stanley Child, a year 6 student at Preshute Primary School who inspires others with his passion for wildlife.
Patricia Knox, who planted a flourishing woodland in memory of her late husband.
David Saddington, who since his teen years has been a climate change champion and is a member of the UNEP climate change education programme.
Mike Elm, founding member of the 2050 Climate Group and project officer for the Scottish Forum on Natural Capital, who has committed to a low carbon lifestyle.
Jane Cook, ethical lifestyle blogger who encourages others to eat, travel and shop more sustainably.
Workplace heroes stand out in their workplace for their climate-friendly thinking and ability to inspire their colleagues. Whether that’s through a cultural change they’ve introduced, a project that’s making a real difference, or going above and beyond to help their community to be as sustainable as possible.
Our workplace heroes for 2017 include:
Sammy Schwartz, a Plan A Champion for M&S who has been enthusiastic in involving her store with a number of environmental projects.
Ross Allan, who has championed sustainability and inspired students and staff as General Manager China Region at Dulwich College International.
Dr Neil Jennings, who developed the Student Switch Off campaign and doubles as superhero Eco-power ranger in his spare time.
Tim Whitemore, a solar school project manager who brought solar energy to St Saviours nursery and infant school.
Fiona Ball, who heads up the responsible business team at Sky and drives her colleagues to deliver big results for the planet.
Tom Hunt, a chef who founded the Forgotten Feast, a UK campaign to revive cooking heritage and help reduce food waste.
In previous years we have recognised heroes such as Simon Jakeman, an environmentally-friendly fireman who was the man behind “London’s greenest fire station”, and Jen Gale, author of sustainability blog ‘Make do and mend year’ which helps others to lead more eco-friendly lifestyles. Both received cash prizes to supplement their respective environmental projects, and have gone on to grow their endeavours with the help of this funding.
This year’s competition closed on 31st January 2017 after receiving a huge amount of entries. Our winning heroes will be announced at an event at the Palace of Westminster on Tuesday 28th February, and each will receive a £1000 prize to further their Earth Hour Hero initiatives.