Nearly 700 proposals were submitted to this year’s Elsevier Foundation Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge, jointly run by the Elsevier Foundation and Elsevier’s chemistry journals team. The contest invites applicants worldwide to submit ideas for chemistry solutions addressing sustainability challenges in the developing world – energy, water, waste reduction, recyclability, chemistry, agriculture, medicine and more. After an extensive review process, the scientific jury selected five finalists, who will have the opportunity to pitch their proposals at the 2nd Green and Sustainable Chemistry Conference in Berlin May 14 to 17. First and second place winners will be announced during the conference, with the first prize winner receiving €50,000 and the second prize winner €25,000, to further develop their research. Projects were judged for reproducibility and scalability as well as their innovative potential.