Deutscher Umweltpreis (German Environmental Award)

The German Environmental Award honours commitment and achievements that make a decisive and exemplary contribution to the protection and preservation of our environment now and in the future.

Winner of the German Environmental Award 2019  © Prof. Dr. Ingrid Kögel-Knabner: © Andreas Heddergott / TU Muenchen; Reinhard Schneider: © 2017 Herbert Piel / P!ELmedia
The soil scientist Prof. Dr. Ingrid Kögel-Knabner from the Technical University of Munich and the entrepreneur Reinhard Schneider from Mainz, who with his company Werner & Mertz focuses on holistic sustainable production in the detergent and cleaning agents industry, each share half of the German Environmental Award of the German Federal Environmental Foundation (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt) this year.
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German Environmental Prize awarded to soil scientist and cleaning products manufacturer

Osnabrück, Germany. In 2019, soil scientist Prof. Dr. Ingrid Kögel-Knabner (60) from the Technical University of Munich, and entrepreneur Reinhard Schneider (51) from Mainz, whose company, Werner & Mertz, is in the laundry detergent and cleaning product industry and is dedicated to comprehensive sustainability at every stage of production, will split the German Environmental Prize, which is awarded by the German Environmental Foundation (DBU) and has a remuneration of EUR 500.000. At today’s announcement of the prize winners, DBU General Secretary Alexander Bonde emphasized that they are both “innovators in the field of environmental protection who provide us with the solutions of the future for the enormous ecological challenges of the present. We need fundamental economic, political and technological change processes at all levels in order to find truly sustainable development.” The prize will be awarded on 27 October 2019 in Mannheim by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

One of the most influential soil scientists in the world

Bonde pointed out today that, as one of the most renowned and influential soil scientists and researchers in the world, Dr. Kögel-Knabner has succeeded in shining a light on the central role played by the environmental medium of soil, which is often “fatally underestimated” in terms of importance compared to air and water.

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Der Deutsche Umweltpreis

Main idea

The German Environmental Award honours commitment and achievements that make a decisive and exemplary contribution to the protection and preservation of our environment now and in the future.

Further information on the current award as well as a list of all prize winners can be found on our German website.


Selection criteria

The following selection criteria characterise the central idea of the award:

  • The award-winning achievement should primarily serve as a role model for other individuals, companies and organisations.
  • The award-winning achievement should help to identify environmental problems early and to defuse them with the help of appropriate prevention and implementation strategies.
  • The merits should be so convincing that an imitation effect is achieved. Accordingly, the focus should be on model character and practical feasibility.
  • Innovative, integrated and sustainable solutions are given special considerations. Interdisciplinary cooperation is evaluated with priority.


Endowment and target groups

The award, endowed with 500.000 €, is directed at persons, companies and organizations. In the name of sustainable environmental protection innovative products, technical improvements, research results or life achievements associated with a specific person can be awarded.


Procedure

The award is given annually and can be shared among several winners.

Around 200 people and institutions from all important social areas can submit their proposals for possible candidates for the German Environmental Award to the DBU branch office. The DBU examines and evaluates the proposals and submits its assessment to the jury, consisting of important personalities from business and science, society and the media. The jury discusses the proposals and submits its recommendations to the DBU board of trustees, which then makes the final decision.