The composition

Each year, the DBU office proposes suitable personalities to the Board of Trustees for the German Environmental Award jury. The jury members are elected for two years. The Board of Trustees may extend the mandate for a further two years. The combination of new and old jury members ensures the continuous transfer of experience but also the introduction of new views.

The task

The jury receives the proposals prepared by the DBU office and then deliberates extensively on the candidates and submits its well-founded recommendation to the DBU Board of Trustees, which is responsible for the final decision. The jury guarantees high-quality discussions and decisions and, above all, a look beyond the individual disciplines.

The jury in alphabetical order

Adina Arth

Ms. Adina Arth is a former German youth delegate to the UN Biodiversity Conference. She represented the voice of young people at the 14th UN Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Sharm El-Sheikh/Egypt in 2018 (CBD COP 14) and in Montreal/Canada in 2022 (CBD COP 15). From 2018 to 2020, Ms. Arth was active as a youth ambassador for the UN Decade on Biodiversity.

Dr. Anne-Marie Gro├čmann

Dr. Anne-Marie Gro├čmann is a member of the Management Board and shareholder of GMH Gruppe. The family-owned company bundles companies along the entire steel value chain and thus contributes to a circular economy – from scrap recycling, steel production and processing to forging technology and casting – as well as in mechanical and plant engineering. The group of companies employs over 6,000 people and supplies customers worldwide. Sustainability is a fundamental issue for GMH Gruppe. As Germany’s most climate-friendly steelworks, it produces CO2-reduced electric steel.

┬ę GMH Gruppe

Prof. Dr. Edeltraud G├╝nther

Prof. Edeltraud G├╝nther is Director of the UNU-FLORES Institute at the United Nations University in Dresden. Before joining UNU-FLORES, Prof. G├╝nther had been Head of the Chair of Business Administration, in particular Sustainability Management and Corporate Environmental Economics at the Faculty of Economics at TU Dresden since 1996. During her time at the TU Dresden, she founded and managed PRISMA – Center for Sustainability Assessment and Policy. Her research focuses on environmental management, accounting and economics with an emphasis on corporate responsibility, corporate carbon and climate accounting, life cycle assessment and sustainable corporate governance.

Photo: ┬ę Foto Hahn, Dresden

Prof. Dr. Thomas Hirth

Prof. Dr. Thomas Hirth was Vice President for Innovation and International Affairs from 2016 to 2021 and has been Vice President for Transfer and International Affairs at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology since January 1, 2022.

He studied chemistry at the University of Karlsruhe (TH), now the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), and obtained his doctorate in 1992 at the Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry.

Since his studies, Mr. Hirth has been involved in the development of environmentally friendly technologies, circular economy, bioeconomy and sustainable development as well as technology and knowledge transfer. He is the author of numerous national and international publications on sustainable development, the circular economy, bioeconomy, industrial biotechnology, sustainable chemistry and innovation.

KIT/Markus Breig

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Mark Junge

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Mark Junge is Managing Director of Lim├│n GmbH and Honorary Professor at the University of Kassel. After studying mechanical engineering and completing his doctorate, he founded maxPlant GbR in 2002. He was a partner there until 2007. From 2003 to 2008, he researched and worked as a research assistant at the Institute for Production Technology and Logistics at the University of Kassel. In 2007, he founded Lim├│n GmbH. Under his leadership, the company has developed from a start-up into one of Germany’s leading consultancies for energy efficiency and climate neutrality. This success story was honored with the Hessian Founder Award. He is active in various working groups and committees relating to energy efficiency and climate protection, such as the Federal Commission for Energy Efficiency. He is also involved as an investor and mentor for start-ups.

┬ę Lim├│n GmbH

Dr. Vanessa Just

Dr. Vanessa Just holds a doctorate in sustainable automation and digitization of business processes and a successful professional career, Dr. Just has been the founder of juS.TECH AG since 2020 and laid the foundation for brand and start-up development with a special focus on AI and sustainability. At the same time, she works at neusta anayltics & insights GmbH in the field of AI strategy and positions the AI portfolio in the market.

She has made a name for herself as an author and editor in renowned publishing houses such as Springer Verlag, through position papers and specialist articles in the AI Association and other specialist publications, and as a lecturer in digitization and AI at ISM Hamburg.


Prof. Dr. Alexandra-Maria Klein

Alexandra-Maria Klein has headed the Chair of Nature Conservation and Landscape Ecology at the University of Freiburg since 2013. She researches the connections between land use, biodiversity and crop pollination. Her work has been sponsored by the Alfred T├Âpfer Foundation and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, among others. Klein is one of the most cited female scientists. She is Vice President of the Society for Ecology, works for the Swiss National Science Foundation and on Senate Commissions of the German Research Foundation. She was the lead author of the World Biodiversity Council’s pollination assessment. She has been a member of various advisory boards at the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture in Baden-W├╝rttemberg since 2014 and led the Leopoldina statement on the management of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes.

Photo: ┬ę Felix Fornoff

Dr. Brigitte Knopf

Since 2024, Dr. Brigitte Knopf has been the founder and director of Zukunft KlimaSozial, a new think tank linking climate and social policy for a socially just transformation. From 2015 to 2023, she was Secretary General at the climate research institute MCC, where she established the Policy Unit as the institute’s interface with politics, business and civil society. Since 2020, she has also been a member and Deputy Chair of the Expert Council for Climate Issues newly appointed by the German government. She holds a doctorate in physics and climate science and conducts research on climate economics and energy policy issues in the German and European context, with a focus on the socially just design of the energy transition and a strategic orientation towards scientific policy advice. She develops analyses and impulses and actively contributes these to the public discourse.

Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner

Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner took over as UBA President on January 1, 2020. He is also Professor of Political Science at the University of Duisburg-Essen. His work focuses on national and international sustainability research, particularly in the areas of globalization and global governance, transformations towards sustainability, decarbonization of the global economy, sustainability and digital transformation as well as international cooperation and social change.

Most recently, he was Director of the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) in Bonn and Vice-Rector of the United Nations University (UNU). Before that, he headed the German Development Institute (DIE). As former Co-Chairman of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), he coined the term “transformation”, which describes the necessary restructuring of cities, mobility, energy systems and land use.

Prof. Messner is a member of the “Earth League”, an association of leading scientists in the field of sustainability and earth systems, and is currently co-coordinator of “The World in 2050”, a global research consortium for the implementation of Agenda 2030. He advises the Chinese government as a member of the “China Council on International Cooperation on Environment and Development”.

Prof. Messner holds a doctorate in political science and habilitated at the Free University of Berlin. He is the author or co-author of more than 300 publications.

Photo: ┬ę Federal Environment Agency / Susanne Kambor

Ramona Pop

Ramona Pop (born 1977) has been a board member of the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzbv), the political voice of consumers in Berlin and Brussels, since July 2022.

She studied political science in M├╝nster and Berlin. She was a member of the Berlin House of Representatives from 2001 to 2021 and was deputy chairwoman of the B├╝ndnis 90/Die Gr├╝nen parliamentary group from 2006 to 2009 and chairwoman from 2009 to 2016. From 2016 to 2021, Ramona Pop was Mayor of Berlin and Senator for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises. In this function, she was Chairwoman of the Supervisory Boards of Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe, Berliner Stadtreinigung, Berliner Wasserbetriebe and Investitionsbank Berlin.

Photo: ┬ę Dominik Butzmann / vzbv

Catrin Powell

This function includes the ZDF editorial management for the weekday science magazine nano and the management of the weekly primetime science documentary on Thursdays. Powell studied comparative literature, sociology and ethnology at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz and worked as an editorial assistant at the science magazine hitec during her studies.

She initiated and was responsible for the scientific documentaries at 3sat for over 10 years and took over the editorial management (ZDF) of nano in 2010.

Photo: ┬ę ZDF

Annika Roth

Born and raised in the Rhineland, Annika Roth completed a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at the Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences with the title “Rethinking Business”. Roth joined Blechwarenfabrik in 2014 and was responsible for energy and environmental management as well as project management and communication. From 2016 to 2019, she completed a part-time Master’s degree in International Management. Roth became Managing Director in 2020. She is also involved in climate protection companies, the employers’ association, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Museum of Natural History.
In 2020, Annika Roth was awarded the German Environmental Prize together with her brother, Hugo Sebastian Trappmann.

Christian Schw├Ągerl

Christian Schw├Ągerl is a journalist in the fields of science, environment and politics, co-founder of RiffReporter eG and managing partner of Riff freie Medien gGmbH. After training at the German School of Journalism and studying biology, he worked as a correspondent for FAZ and Spiegel.

He is the author of the books “Menschenzeit”, “11 drohende Kriege” (with A. Rinke) and “Analog Revolution”. Together with Riff freie Medien gGmbH, he organizes the promotion of research from foundation funds. His journalistic work includes contributions to the FAZ, Spektrum der Wissenschaft and Yale E360. He has received numerous awards for his work.

Photo: ┬ę Merkau

Prof. Dr. Helga Weisz

Helga Weisz is Full Professor of Industrial Ecology and Climate Change at Humboldt-Universit├Ąt zu Berlin and Head of the Future Lab Social Metabolism and Impacts at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Previously, she was an assistant and associate professor at the Institute for Social Ecology, Vienna, as well as a visiting professor at the Universitat Aut├▓noma de Barcelona, the University of St. Gallen and Yale University. Her academic background is in molecular biology (Mag. rer.nat. University of Vienna, 1995), cultural studies (PhD, Humboldt University Berlin 2002) and social ecology (venia docendi, Alpen-Adria University Klagenfurt 2006).

Her research interests focus on the transformation of industrial metabolism to stay within planetary boundaries while maintaining its function for human well-being.

Helga Weisz is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria, the Steering Committee of the National Research Program “Sustainable Economy” (NRP 73) of the Swiss National Science Foundation, the World Resources Forum, expert member of the International Resource Panel of UNEP, member of the Advisory Board of the UNDP Human Development Report 2020 and editor-in-chief of the transdisciplinary sustainability journal GAIA.

Image: without copyright / free to use

Philipp von der Wippel

Philipp von der Wippel is the founder and managing director of the non-profit organization ProjectTogether, which promotes social transformation. ProjectTogether brings civil society, politics and business together for collective action. To this end, ProjectTogether initiates mission-oriented processes and coordinates hundreds of organizations in the joint development and implementation of solutions for pressing challenges (e.g. WirVsVirus, UpdateDeutschland, Alliance4Ukraine, etc.). Philipp von der Wippel has worked for the BMW Foundation and for the G20 Task Force of the Federal Ministry of Finance in Berlin, among others. He studied philosophy, political science and economics at Oxford University.

Photo: ┬ę Samuel Groesch

Prof. Dr.-Ing. J├Ârg Woidasky

Prof. Dr.-Ing. J├Ârg Woidasky studied “Technical Environmental Protection” at the TU Berlin and received his doctorate from the University of Stuttgart in 2006. He worked at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT) in Pfinztal from 1994 to 2014, from 2006 as deputy head of the “Environmental Engineering” department and at the same time as group leader for “Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency”. In 2012, he was appointed Professor of Sustainable Product Development at Pforzheim University. He teaches in the Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration/Resource Efficiency degree programs and conducts research on topics relating to the circular economy. He has published his findings in well over one hundred publications and several patents. At Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences, he develops and supervises the “Circular Economy Engineering” course.

Photo: ┬ę Ute Boeters