Young British inventor receives top UN environmental prize from Ellie Goulding in Nairobi

Adam Dixon and Ellie Goulding
Adam Dixon (left) and Ellie Goulding (centre) with the other Young Champion of the Earth winners. Photo: Twitter/ONUMedioAmb

Last Tuesday evening (5 December), young British entrepreneur and inventor Adam Dixon received his United Nations Young Champion of the Earth award for his hydroponic technology that supports the growth of plants using 10 times less land and water than conventional horticulture from singer and UN Goodwill Ambassador Ellie Goulding.

The 25-year-old was one of six young winners each representing a region of the world, awarded the prize from the United Nations Environment Programme and Covestro aimed at identifying, supporting and celebrating outstanding individuals between the ages of 18 and 30 with big ideas to protect or restore the environment.

Dixon’s Phytoponics technology enables food crops to grow in water encased in a 100 percent recyclable polymer film, improving irrigation efficiency and reducing the amount of land use needed for horticulture. In just one year, Dixon has built his company up to the value of $2.6 million and is supplying Europe’s second largest producer of salad.

“An important motivator for me has been witnessing the extent of deforestation and habitat loss around the globe to feed our growing population. I think it’s a tragedy that as a species we’ve had to use half our planet for our own needs,” Dixon said. “Gaining the acknowledgement and support from the Young Champion of the Earth prize is a huge boost for me, which will help me achieve my vision for sustainability and food security.”