Joint press release by the German Environment Agency and the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, and International Design Center Berlin e.V.

German Ecodesign Award goes to 10 products and concepts demonstrating innovative, sustainable design

Jury of the German Federal Ecodesign Award 2021Click to enlarge
Jury of the German Federal Ecodesign Award 2021
Source: Sandra Kühnapfel

Ten winners received the German Ecodesign Award 2021 today. The award went to a very diverse set of innovative projects, ranging from personal care products one can mix at home, a school building with a climate-positive energy balance, mail order that does without packaging waste, to giving old fur a new life. The awards ceremony also marked the tenth anniversary of Germany's highest state distinction for ecodesign.

Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Environment and member of the jury, said, “Attractive design that combines the highest standards of ecology and aesthetics is what modern environmental protection is all about. Product design plays a decisive role in determining whether a product has a positive or negative impact on the environment. Ecodesign, when applied consistently - from production to use to recycling - makes it possible to decouple consumption from resource and energy consumption. The aim is to achieve an optimal combination of design, ecology and utility.”

Ms Schwarzelühr-Sutter also pointed out that the environmental properties of products and services are often aggressively advertised to consumers. However, this increasingly leads to a misleading use of terms related to the environment. "We take a critical view of the inflationary use of the terms 'climate-neutral' and 'climate-positive'. While the intentions behind these terms are sometimes good, they often amount to greenwashing and consumer deception. That is why we support corresponding activities in the EU and worldwide to counteract this.”

UBA President Dirk Messner said, “Ecodesign has gained in importance enormously. It now plays a key role in the circular economy and in the decoupling of resource consumption and prosperity. This greater importance is reflected in the German Ecodesign Award.“

The winners of the German Ecodesign Award 2021 are:

Category Product

CareTwice Shampoopulver – CareTwice UG (based in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg)
By adding water to the paper-packaged shampoo powder, it can be turned into a liquid shampoo at home. This adds up to significant savings of material and energy. 
CareTwice Shampoo Powder

Shower Gel & Hand Soap Powder – Less Waste Club UG (based in Kirchroth, Bavaria)
The water content of these personal care products is reduced to almost zero. This and the non-use of plastic packaging saves a major share of CO2 emissions in the manufacturing and delivery processes.
Shower Gel & Hand Soap Powder

Natural Softshell – Hess Natur-Textilien GmbH & Co. KG (based in Butzbach, Hesse) 
The softshell made of pure organic cotton combines comfortable fit, design suitability for everyday use while doing entirely without any problematic components.
Natural Softshell

NEO 3R 9,8 MM - EDELRID GmbH & Co. KG (based in Isny, Baden-Württemberg) 
This new model of mountain rope is made one half of new material and one half recycled rope and thus the first dynamic mountain rope that shows that compliance with high safety standards need not cancel resource conservation. 
NEO 3R 9,8 MM

VIOWALL glass foam cushions – Viol.Glass (based in Munich, Bavaria) 
This solution for natural drying of damp walls uses cushion elements filled with glass foam manufactured from waste glass. The cushions not only provide an efficient barrier to humidity but also do entirely without the use of petroleum-based substances. 
VIOWALL

Category Service

RePack – Original RePack Oy (based in Helsinki, Finland) 
This service providing reusable packaging for mailing envelopes reduces waste volume in e-commerce. Online shops send their goods in RePacks, and consumers can return them by dropping them free of charge in any postbox. 
RePack (bundespreis-ecodesign.de)

Category Concept

Zero Energy Classroom – LIEBEL/ARCHITEKTEN BDA (based in Aalen, Baden-Württemberg), Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH (based in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg), City of Aalen: building contractor 
The zero-energy building makes maximum use of solar, thermal and geothermal energy, which adds up after a year to generating at least as much energy as it uses. The energy consumption includes building operation and energy used for operational power. 
Zero Energy Classroom

Category Young Talent

A fur coat and its consequences – Magdalena Keller (Hochschule Niederrhein)
This master’s thesis explores the recycling of old fur coats and fur waste from invasive hunting. These materials can be used to make yarn, which is used to make a long-lasting, recyclable fashion collection. 
A fur coat and its consequences

MateriaLab – Florian Henschel (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Thuringia)
The MateriaLab experiment system gives children the opportunity to carry out a broad range of their own recycling and waste processes. The project fosters awareness and encourages a responsible approach to the value and properties of waste.
MateriaLab

Platzhalter – Lasse Schlegel, David Schwarzfeld (Braunschweig University of Art) 
The project transforms surfaces previously used purely for advertisement into places where people get together to interact. Various event formats encourage a focus on designing the public space.
Platzhalter

The Federal Environment Ministry and the German Environment Agency have awarded the Federal Ecodesign Prize every year since 2012 together with the International Design Center Berlin. The contest honours entries in the four categories "Product", "Service", "Concept" and "Young Talent" that are convincing from an environmental and design perspective. It is aimed at companies of all sizes and from all sectors as well as students. The competition places an emphasis on innovativeness, design quality and environmental properties. Effects on everyday culture and consumer behaviour are taken into account. The entire product life cycle is taken into account, from the preliminary stages of production, through manufacturing, distribution and use, to the "end of life".

Umweltbundesamt Hauptsitz

Wörlitzer Platz 1
06844 Dessau-Roßlau
Germany