Actions with a sustainable perspective: The German Sustainability Award 2023

In addition to companies, buildings, manufacturers and innovations, personalities such as Sebastian Vettel and Zoe Wees received awards for sustainable actions

German Sustainability Prize 2023
Source & Copyright: German Sustainability Prize, © Christian Köster

Author: House of Eden

  • The 23th German Sustainability Prize was awarded in Düsseldorf on 2023rd November 16
  • The event spanned various categories, including business, architecture, next economy and international. In addition, the sports category was introduced for the first time this year.
  • Special and honorary awards for personalities such as Zoe Weed, Sebastian Vettel and Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer

On the evening of November 23, 2023, the German Sustainability Prize was awarded for the 16th time in Düsseldorf in collaboration with the Federal Environment Ministry, the DHK and the WWF. In addition to special and honorary awards, companies received an award for special achievements in the areas of sustainable business, communication and research. Consisting of eight competitions, over 1200 applicants and 2000 guests, the German sustainability award is the largest of its kind in all of Europe.

Sustainability assessment of companies by AI and expert jury

Selection procedures generated using artificial intelligence were used to evaluate the companies. In addition to this AI-controlled selection, there was also the option to actively apply for the award. A jury of experts then selected companies and services that have taken particularly innovative steps towards sustainability in their respective industries.

The most effective contributions to sustainable transformation

The German Sustainability Prize was awarded in several sectors, including companies, sport, architecture, next economy and the international German Sustainability Prize.

The CEO of the German Sustainability Award Foundation, Stefan Schulze-Hausmann, commented on the winners as follows: “There are successful solutions to the challenges of transformation in all sectors. ... The DNP wants to help spread the word and thereby accelerate the necessary change."


The German Sustainability Award included awards from companies from 100 industries, all of which are considered pioneers in their own field. For example, the company Infosyswon in the “commercial services” industry or Planet Ain “Asset Management and Investment Companies”.

In addition to these 100 companies, a special prize in the area of ​​transformation was also awarded. Applicants received an additional prize for particularly transformation-enhancing actions. This award was based on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and thus highlighted the topics of climate, resources, nature and society/supply chain.

These companies won the special award for sustainable transformations

Climate: From a climate perspective, the glass company Bulkhead won, which focuses on technological change in glass production. The company's goal: to build a hydrogen infrastructure. By 2022, the company has achieved 60% fewer emissions from glass production.

Resources: Interzero develops solutions for a functioning circular system for its customers, and it also has a research facility for recycled plastics. According to Study by “resources SAVED” the company was able to save 1 million tons through recycling last year.

Nature: Alnaturarelies on organic farming without any environmentally harmful substances. The company also works with organic farmers. In the form of its “Alnatura Organic Farmers Initiative”, Alnatura also supports the “Gemeinsam Boden gut machen” project of the German Nature Conservation Association.

Society/value chain:The Company Vaudefrom the outdoor industry measures its success by its qualitative and quantitative contribution to the common good: 100% of the production facilities belong to the international Fair Wear Foundation. In addition, there is training within the company on the right to have a say, occupational safety measures and proper employment. Since 2020, Vaude has been offering the so-called Vaude Academy, which supports other companies in the area of ​​sustainable business.


For the first time, the sports industry was also examined for sustainable action. Categories such as events, sporting goods and sports media were highlighted. In the sporting goods sector, for example, the Eco_Optimist from Khulula won, a boat made from flax fibers made from 60% bio-based resin and 90% renewable raw materials and materials. The boat also has a 70% lower CO2 footprint than conventional boats.


The U-Halle in Mannheim was converted from a distribution center into a functional building for event, exhibition and catering areas. This saved a significant amount of resources. This building received the German Sustainability Prize in the architecture category.

The Next Economy Award

The Next Economy Award honors start-ups for their sustainable actions. The winners: Concular and Plastic Fisher. While Concular comes from the construction industry and relies on circular value chains for circular construction, Plastic Fisher collects plastic from rivers before it can reach the oceans.

International German Sustainability Prize

In order to recognize companies that promote sustainable transformations beyond Germany, the German Sustainability Prize was also awarded at an international level. Companies with partner companies from a developing or emerging country were focused. On the one hand, the company Jeckybeng won with HerMin Textile from Taiwan, which specializes in sustainable and efficient production of fabrics. Additionally, the company Coffee co-op won with Rwashoscco from Rwanda, which wants to advance the coffee market through sustainable coffee trade with fair and transparent value chains.

Special and honorary awards

In addition to companies, public figures were also presented with a prize: Zoe Weed not only provided the music that evening, she also received a DNP prize ball for her commitment to mental health. Sebastian Vettel also received the award for his commitment to environmentally friendly technologies in racing and innovative fuels. The former federal minister and head of the UN Environment Program Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer even received a golden version of the DNP prize ball for his life's work. Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser was also among the guests on stage and presented several prizes.

Germany's largest sustainability platform

The congress extended far beyond the mere awards ceremony and offered a comprehensive two-day program with events such as keynotes, interviews, pitches, panels and deep dives. Partners and actors also took the opportunity to present their innovations and commitment. In doing so, they inspired each other, broadened their horizons and educated themselves beyond the boundaries of their own industries.

The German Sustainability Award 2023 as a role model for other companies

The German Sustainability Prize honors exemplary, sustainable transformations in Germany. Nevertheless, such actions should be practiced much more. As one of the strongest economies in Europe, Germany plays an important role in the fight against the climate crisis. The European Union also still ranks third in the world in terms of total emissions, which is a clear signal of an urgently needed transformation. The German Sustainability Prize will hopefully serve as an inspiration for other companies that are on their way to developing in a more sustainable direction. This is the only way we can move forward as a country that acts sustainably and act as a role model for other countries.


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