$120,000 to Fund Six Sustainability and Clean Energy Projects from Young Business Leaders

SAN FRANCISCO – National nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) and sustainability-driven hotel brand 1 Hotels announced the 2021 1 Hotels Fellowship class at E2 today as Climate Week NYC and National Clean Energy Week hit into high gear. This is the fourth year of the annual fellowship, which awards six young business leaders $20,000 each to execute projects that advance sustainability and clean energy and environmental policies in America.

This year’s projects include a workforce training program for the transition to a zero-carbon economy, development of a bilingual clean energy curriculum to educate small business owners in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and creation of a ‘climate heatmap’ to identify legislative champions in state and local governments.

“Climate change is now an economic issue,” said Bob Keefe, E2 Executive Director. “It’s an issue we need to address every way we can. And one way is by helping foster the vision and big ideas of young entrepreneurs like these six fellows.”

Started in 2017 with a generous donation from 1 Hotels founder Barry Sternlicht and the Sternlicht Sustainability Fund, the fellowship program is designed to help early career environmentally minded entrepreneurs and community leaders to create and implement unique projects at the intersection of economy and environment.

“America is waking up every day to a fresh dose of the impacts of climate change,” said Sternlicht. “We need to make dramatic changes and find long-term solutions to fix our planet and grow our economy in a long-term sustainable way for the benefit of the planet. And we’re counting on young people like these fellows to help lead the way.”

In addition to support for their projects, fellows also receive mentorship from E2 members across the country and membership into E2’s Emerging Leaders program. For information on past E2 1 Hotels fellows and their projects, visit https://www.e2.org/fellows.

2021-2022 E2 1 Hotels Fellows & Their Projects

Adewale Adesanya, Michigan

An intensive workforce and development training program for select residents of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in preparation for a 100% renewable energy transition and a zero-carbon economy.

Alija Blackwell, New Mexico

Designing a participatory planning toolkit to ensure a community-driven and just transition to a clean economy that centers on fairness for businesses, workers, and historically marginalized communities.

Mary Kombolias, Louisiana

Promote photovoltaic microgrid power backup systems for emergency management by producing a case study on the true costs of sustained power outages in US communities with poverty rates above the national average which have been affected by climate events such as hurricanes, wildfires, and deep freezes.

Marlene Plua, Texas

Creation of a bilingual clean energy curriculum to educate Rio Grande Valley small business owners and community health workers on the impacts of fossil fuel and the benefits of renewable energy and to increase community engagement and business support across the border region.

Caroline Spears, California

Creating a public “climate heatmap” that helps citizens discover the largest climate opportunities in their community, using publicly available datasets and geospatial analysis.

Sara Waldner, South Dakota

Produce a report based on interviews with farmers, agribusiness professionals and environmentalists to identify the barriers in implementing an agriculture carbon market and what common ground exists for these important stakeholders in seeking solutions for change.


Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) is a national, nonpartisan group of business leaders, investors, and professionals from every sector of the economy who advocate for smart policies that are good for the economy and good for the environment. Our members have founded or funded more than 2,500 companies, created more than 600,000 jobs, and manage more than $100 billion in venture and private equity capital. For more information, see www.e2.org or follow us on Twitter at @e2org.

As a luxury lifestyle hotel brand inspired by nature, 1 Hotels cultivates the best of sustainable design and architecture, together with extraordinary comfort and an unrivaled level of service. 1 Hotels, which launched in 2015 with the opening of exclusive properties in Miami’s South beach and Manhattan’s Central Park, followed by Brooklyn, located on the East River, in February 2017, West Hollywood, on Sunset Boulevard, in June 2019, Sanya (China) in 2020 and most recently Toronto is inspired by a simple idea: those that travel the world should also care about it, it is, after all, 1 world. 1 Hotels upholds this vision by channeling nature through design and culinary partnerships while connecting with the local community and taking sustainable steps to make a big difference. All 1 Hotel properties are among the first hotels in the world to become Sharecare Health Security VERIFIED® with Forbes Travel Guide. The comprehensive facility verification helps ensure that guests and travel planners can book with confidence at properties that have appropriate health safety procedures in place. The brand is expanding with the upcoming opening of its San Francisco property and with properties under development in Nashville, Hanalei Bay, Cabo San Lucas, Paris, London, Mission Bay and Melbourne. Additional information can be found at 1hotels.com.

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