Joint press release by the German Environment Agency and the Federal Environment Ministry

"Mehr als schön" - more than beautiful: Winners of German Federal Ecodesign Award announced

Federal Environment Ministry (BMUB) and German Environment Agency (UBA) award the fifth round of ecologically designed products

logo with the word "schön" (beautíful)Click to enlarge
The motto of the German Federal Ecodesign Award 2016 is "Mehr als schön" - more than beautiful
Source: Adler & Schmidt Kommunikations-Design GmbH

Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks and President Maria Krautzberger of the German Environment Agency (UBA) honoured eight winning projects from the Federal Ecodesign Award 2016 contest today. Awards were given to sustainable and recyclable textiles, energy-saving solutions for mobility and buildings, a near zero-emissions wood heating system and a next-generation concept for the removal of plastic particles from the oceans.

More than 200 guests representing government, industry and design gathered to celebrate in the atrium of the Federal Environment Ministry. In her address, Federal Minister for Environment Barbara Hendricks emphasized the importance of consumer behaviour which conserves resources: ”Ecologically minded purchases can reduce pollution. Our aim is to bring sustainable consumption into the mainstream. Ecological products must become part of the buying decisions made in everyday life. For this to work, products and services must be not only environmentally friendly but also eye-catchers. The German Federal Ecodesign Award will help us to achieve this aim. The more than 350 submissions in this year's contest are impressive proof that ecological and social aspects are becoming a matter of course in product design. From cooling automotive coatings, lightweight aircraft parts or resource conservation in the fashion industry, more and more fields of activity are going for ecological product and service design.“

Maria Krautzberger, President of the German Environment Agency, used the occasion of her address about the winning projects to illustrate the opportunities in design to conserve resources, saying: ”Design today can and must be more than just functional and aesthetic. Designers shape our everyday living environment with their products and services, but many products are still causing too many problems for the environment. Most of these problems could be avoided if taken into account as early as the design process. I am very glad that awareness of the problem is growing in the designer world.“

The Federal Ministry for Environment and UBA have awarded the German Federal Ecodesign Award since 2012 to products, services and concepts which are both ecologically and aesthetically appealing. The Award is open to businesses in all sectors and of all sizes. Everybody - whether start-up or market leader, local supplier or global players are just as eligible as designer groups and marketing agencies, architects or engineers. The award is given every year in collaboration with the International Design Center Berlin (IDZ). The prize-winning projects will be shown in a travelling exhibition in various locations throughout Germany in 2017. The sixth Federal Ecodesign Award will be announced on 16 January 2017.

2016 award winners

Category Product

  • Cool Coatings, BASF Coatings Division. The reflective properties of the automotive coating 'Cool Coatings' lower the temperature of the vehicle body and its interior.
  • Climatex Collection, Climatex AG. The temperature and moisture regulating textiles in the Climatex Collection are used in the fields of health, interiors, fashion and transportation and are certified cradle to cradle.
  • ALL WEATHER COAT, QWSTION international GmbH and development never stops llc. The jacket is made of 100% organic cotton and is made water-repellent and breathable without the use of chemical substances.
  • PuroWIN wood chip gasifier, Windhager Zentralheizung GmbH. The PuroWIN wood chip gasifier heats with near-zero emissions.

 Category Concept

  • Bionic partition wall, Airbus Operations GmbH. The bionic partition wall for use on aircraft is 45% lighter and results in annual reductions of 10 tonnes CO2 per aircraft.

Category Young Talent

  • Breathing Skins, Tobias Becker, University of Stuttgart. The 'Breathing Skins' facade technology controls the passage of air, light, sound and heat and thereby reduces the energy consumption of buildings.
  • Pacific Garbage Screening, Marcella Hansch, RWTH Aachen. The floating Pacific Garbage Screening platform filters plastic waste from the oceans without endangering marine life.
  • Sustainability and other stories, Mayya Saliba, ESMOD International University of Art for Fashion Berlin. The 'Sustainability and other stories' case study and collection proposes a model of textiles for the fast fashion industry which can be returned to the material cycle.


Werner Aisslinger (product designer)
Prof. Anna Berkenbusch (communications designer, Professor at University of Art and Design Halle)
Andreas Detzel (Environmental expert, ifeu, Heidelberg)
Prof. Matthias Held (Product designer, Professor at University of Design Schwäbisch Gmünd- HfG)
Dr. Thomas Holzmann (Vice-President, German Environment Agency)
Prof. em. Günter Horntrich (Product designer, emeritus Professor for Design and Ecology, KISD)
Dr. Claudia Perren (Architect, Director, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation)
Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter (Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety BMUB)
Prof. Friederike von Wedel-Parlow (Fashion designer, Professor at ESMOD Berlin International University of Art for Fashion)

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