Winners 2014

The following thirteen products, services and concepts were all granted the 2014 Federal Ecodesign Award. The award ceremony took place on 14 November in the Federal Environment Ministry in Berlin.

Alongside President of the German Environment Agency, Maria Krautzberger, Federal Minister Barbara Hendricks gave an opening speech and presented the awards to the winners.

Image materials of the ceremony can be found here.

Product category

Six products ultimately went on to win the award 2014. The Product competition category invites submissions of products that are available on the German market including products from all sectors and all areas of design.

Blattwerk Collection Original HELLER LEATHER


The upholstery leather from Heller Leder is tanned with olive leaves, in compliance with Blue Angel standards. This dispenses with the need for lacquers and dyes, and instead makes use of a resource-saving waste product from olive harvesting. Pre- and post-treatment is now harmless to health and pollution-free. After staining, the leathers are left in their natural, open pored state. The use of beeswax for protection enhances the appearance and feel. All leather types are characterised by an olive fragrance.

“Genuinely innovative and with clear environmental benefits. The tried-and-trusted material leather is preserved using a revolutionary plant-based tanning agent from olive tree leaves. Previously, these leaves were burned after harvest. The highlight is the tender olive scent that remains.” Dr. Kirsten Brodde

E-FORCE, truck

The 18 tonne electric E-FORCE truck combines economic efficiency with practicality thanks to a high operating range. The electric drive, powered by renewable resources, is quieter and consumes one third of the energy of conventional diesel trucks. The long-lasting LiFEPO4 batteries are high-performing and recyclable. The purchase price amortises itself through lower operating costs. The vehicle is already part of the fleets at Coop and the Carlsberg Group.

“The electric truck from E-FORCE ONE AG represents a new dimension in the field of electric mobility. It’s impressively quiet for an 18-tonne truck, making it particularly well suited for urban areas. Due to low power consumption and improved range, E-FORCE is a financially viable alternative that can hold its own against the competition. This is already demonstrated by the examples from Switzerland.” Dr. Thomas Holzmann

Frosch recyclate initiative for packaging
Werner & Mertz GmbH
Design: Recyclat Initiative project team Der Grüne Punkt – Duales System Deutschland GmbH, Alpla-Werke Alwin Lehner GmbH & Co KG, UNISensor Sensorsysteme GmbH, NABU – Naturschutzbund Deutschland e.V.

This initiative is occupied with the production of transparent containers consisting of up to 40% PET from the Green Dot collection, recovery and recycling system. The containers are used for the Frosch brand of detergent. Here, for the first time, materials from the ‘yellow bag’ (light packaging recycling) are used for upcycling according to the Cradle-to-Cradle principle, which can be repeated as often as desired. High-quality reprocessing in a closed material cycle is reflected in the unchanged appearance of the Frosch bottles – in form, function and feel. The project is conceived as ‘open innovation’, namely that all market participants are invited to take part.

“The Frosch recyclate initiative is being distinguished for its innovative use of yellow-bag plastics for consumer products. At this time, the Frosch bottles consist of 20 to 40% yellow-bag PET. Another plus point is that the label on the bottle informs consumers about the initiative.” Dr. Dietlinde Quack

Heavy metal-free ophthalmic lens manufacturing
Satisloh GmbH
Design: Satisloh development department, Dr. Michael Mauderer and team

In this production process for lens manufacturing, the heavy metal-containing alloy is replaced with an ecologically compatible adhesive. This connects the optical glass blanks with a newly developed material carrier that is made of plastic instead of aluminium. Neither process – connection nor separation – produces heavy metal-containing waste. The result: A higher standard of health protection for workers and reduced environmental impact during disposal.

“The company Satisloh has succeeded in replacing the heavy metals and rare earths that are needed for the production of opthalmic lenses. This improves both occupational safety and the environmental impact of the manufacturing of lenses for glasses. This technique for heavy metal-free opthalmic lens production is the first time that we have awarded a prize for an innovative production process.” Dr. Thomas Holzmann

vosLED-light bulbs
vosla GmbH

At the heart of the vosLED light bulb is an LED filament of hundreds of low-power micro-LEDs. In contrast to energy-saving lamps, these give out a warm light with a viewing angle of 340 degrees. The vosLED comes with all the advantages of classic light bulb. It is energy efficient and lighter than conventional bulbs, remains cool in operation, has a longer life, and does not contain mercury. The retrofit version is in keeping both with the style specifications and the lighting mood of the original.

“An archetype of the design world has been newly interpreted. Thanks to innovative technology, the vosLED bulb is far superior to the original. It provides a characteristic light, lasts 10 times longer, does not contain environmental toxins and, not least, makes a political statement. It can be used in traditional light fixtures, meaning that no new purchases are required.” Prof. em. Günter Horntrich

wunderwerk. more than organic.
Rheinstoff GmbH & Co. KG
Design: wunderwerk Heiko Wunder, Anna Brückmann, Judith Koch

The Eco Fashion Label wunderwerk dispenses almost entirely with petroleum-based raw materials such as nylon, acrylic and polyester. Instead, they make predominant use of raw materials from Germany and Europe that are certified according to GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards). Manual work takes the place of chemical processing; airbrush techniques and stonewashing replace bleaching with chlorine. Multiple overdyeing, batik and the cold dye treatment ‘maltinto’ (Italian for ‘badly dyed’) achieve colour and washout effects as well as a natural used look.

“This is one of the few fully ecological fashion collections to succeed in high-volume production wunderwerk shows that toxic-free production does not mean that you have to forgo fashionable finishes. Modern cuts make the collection marketable, and they employ a consistently sophisticated production strategy.” Dr. Kirsten Brodde

Service category

The following two projects were ultimately granted the 2014 German Federal Ecodesign Award:


Scholz & Volkmer GmbH
Realised for: DB Mobility Networks Logistics
Design: Hieu Phan, Larissa Honsek, Mauricio Franicevich Garcia

With the online game CO2-Kompass, Deutsche Bahn – one of the largest employers in Germany – is committing to raising awareness of the efficient use of resources among employees and company members. The playfully motivating approach of CO2-Kompass, in which users compete against each other, encourages participants save CO2 at home and in the office. Practical everyday tips, for example on the use of recycled paper or efficient heating, help to limit demand for CO2 and provide a gauge for activities.

“CO2-Kompass propels you in a fun way to reduce your own CO2 emissions. It’s well designed, quick to understand and encourages participation. The application is technically state-of-the-art and is well suited to the brand. Although originally designed as an online game for employees of Deutsche Bahn, it also motivates changes in behaviour in everyday life.” Erik Spiekermann

Recycling search app eSchrott

Hellmann Process Management GmbH & Co. KG

The free app eSchrott makes disposing of old electrical appliances quick and easy. With an appealing and user-friendly design, the app accesses a national network of over 15,000 municipal and commercial collection sites, and points users to the nearest location. As well as weekly alerts about environmental issues, the app can be used to report illegal dumping of e-waste. This increases the collection rate of e-waste and promotes the recovery of important secondary raw materials.

“The eco-friendly disposal of broken electrical appliances is too irksome for some consumers, either because it’s too far to the nearest recycling centre or they don’t know where it is. In such cases, this app can be a huge help. The overall approach is convincing, and makes the many return facilities in shops and municipalities available in straightforward and mobile way. Refreshing the data on collection sites means that users can always be up to date. This app solution was overdue, and it costs nothing.” Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter

Concept category

Concept studies, pilot projects and prototypes can be submitted in the Concept category. The winning project that convinced the jury and was awarded the Ecodesign Award 2014 for concepts is:

Environmentally friendly utility vehicle

StreetScooter GmbH
Design: Poschwatta Automotive Design Nils Poschwatta

StreetScooter GmbH has developed a bespoke electric mobility concept especially for the Deutsche Post. This eco-friendly E-utility vehicle was developed with the specific requirements of the combined delivery service in mind (letters and parcels), including simulations aimed at reducing physical strain for the carrier. The lightweight construction keeps production costs low, while the modular system enables the production of different versions of the vehicle.

“This concept for an environmentally friendly delivery vehicle impresses above all with its functional design that is tailored to the needs of riders and drivers. The eschewal of a combustion engine creates entirely new possibilities for vehicle design. This is an aspect that has been tackled in an innovative way. The electric drive and lightweight construction are combined with a successful design approach, with clear benefits for environmental protection. A boost for electric mobility!” Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter

Young Talent category

The Young Talent category is to be understood as a cross-section category for projects from all areas of design. A total of four projects in the Young Talent category went on to win the 2014 Federal Ecodesign Award. The awards in this category also include a cash prize of 1000 euros.


Essi Johanna Glomb and Rasa Weber
Studio Blond & Bieber
Art Academy Berlin Weißensee

Algaemy is an analogue textile printer that produces its own colour pigments. The colour palette ranges from blue, green and brown tones, all the way to vibrant red. The variability of the colouration and surface are all a part of the aesthetic concept. In an autarchic cycle of production, Algaemy exploits the sustainable potential of a microalgae that binds to CO2. Although generally regarded as a weed in Europe, the microorganism exhibits filtering characteristics and can be fruitfully exploited as a renewable resource.

“An extremely creative project by up-and-coming designers. Textile printing that works with algae - an original raw material that is wrongly maligned as a weed. The drum of the wooden wagon constructed by the designer duo functions as a compactor that is rolled over the lengths of fabric on the ground. The first products, in the form of printed outfits and cool shoes, are already here. It doesn’t get more future-oriented than this!" Dr. Kirsten Brodde

Link_urban logistics
Ayelet Fishman
Art Academy Berlin Weißensee

LINK is an urban logistics system that uses the existing city infrastructure for sustainable freight distribution. This comprises a fleet of electric semi-autonomous transporters, among other aspects. In collection centres on the city outskirts, goods are sorted systematically according to region before being distributed in containers to neighbourhood storage facilities. This eliminates unnecessary journeys and shortens delivery distances. Further transportation to local merchants replaces lorries with an environmentally friendly means of transport.


“An exciting concept for the economically viable combination of digitally controlled infrastructure and ecological transportation by rail. Today, thanks to the Internet, goods are often shipped directly to the customer – usually with gas-guzzling, environmentally and socially incompatible suppliers. For this reason, it’s high time we gave serious attention to alternatives. Link_urban logistics represents one such alternative to conventional systems. However, it will require a radical rethinking in politics and in the logistics sector. The idea inspires a desire for immediate implementation.” Theresa Keilhacker

Jeongdae Kim
University of the Arts Bremen

MLKL is an environmentally friendly and cost-effective technique for the protection of habitats that are threatened by erosion. To stabilise the soil, compostable modules that incorporate seed capsules (from quick-rooting plants) are attached to eroding slopes in a form of netting. Shortly after, the growing roots provide support, while the modules degrade. The specific shape permits narrow or wide netting, depending on the degree of erosion. MLKL are produced using waste materials such as straw, manure, hair and foliage.

“In many parts of the world, the erosion of fertile soil layers by heavy rain is an increasingly frequent issue. In contrast to the ugly concrete blocks that have previously been used for embankments, this module is integrated with compostable seed capsules and is thus ecological, functional, economical and, in a natural way, beautiful.” Theresa Keilhacker

Quality standards in product design
Johanna Gedeon, Gabriel Brückner
School of Design Schwäbisch Gmünd
Quality standards in product design

The inkjet printer counteracts the trend of decreasing quality in technical products (watchword: built-in obsolescence) through creative timelessness and technical durability. The quality standards in this case are interchangeable components with fewer moving parts that allow for repairs and upgrading. The function-oriented vertical design and intuitive operation give an extremely user-friendly device. Large inkwells do away with the need for frequent refilling.

“Modularity in design is a self-explanatory and process-optimising principle – from manufacturing to installation, repair and handling. DIY culture and topics such as upcycling, which have been growing for some years, encourage users to repair their products to maximize life cycles. The ‘Quality standards in product design’, which are all about a manifestly longer shelf-life, are implemented perfectly in Gabriel Brückner’s and Johanna Gedeon’s project.” Werner Aisslinger

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