Shaping transformation

German Sustainability Award Products.

How are your offerings changing the world?  Which products and solutions does your company use to promote sustainable change? What are the “beacons” in your portfolio?

Apply now.

Create the profile for your product with our research partner.

 

We are looking for the best solutions for
a sustainable future.

The GSA for products, services and systems that provide answers
to the key challenges of our time - bold, innovative and effective

While the GSA for companies refers to the entire company and the complete portfolio of products and services, the product award recognizes individual solutions. The DNP thus follows a suggestion made by many companies who wanted the opportunity to submit their particularly sustainable offerings, the “lighthouses” with impact and appeal.

These can be tangible products, but also services, systems, campaigns and initiatives that in at least one of the five fields

  • Climate
  • Resources
  • Nature
  • Value chain
  • Society

make special contributions to transformation.

 

Participation is simple and digital: Submit the solution profile by July 04, 2024 with our partner score4more by describing the sustainability problem, the solution approach of your product, the impact already achieved and the narrative on which communication about the product is based. Also briefly introduce your company. You can attach additional information, product photos and the sustainability report via upload or links in your profile.

All submissions are pre-evaluated by an assessment team from research and consulting. Five expert juries then decide on the nominees, finalists and winners in the five transformation fields.

The prize is expected to be awarded at the 17th German Sustainability Day on November 28 and 29, 2024 in Düsseldorf.

 

Participants

Companies of all sizes based in Germany, freelance designers and start-ups offering products, services and systems from all sectors for the German market

Application

Creation of the solution profile with regard to the key transformation area by July 04, 2024

Fee

Companies up to 49 employees €250, up to 300 employees €550, over 300 employees €950 per submission (plus applicable VAT; 25% discount for multiple applications; free for start-ups)

 

Nomination

Pre-evaluation by assessment teams or research; nomination and publication of the best (“beacons”), preparation of the jury presentations

Jury decision

Decision on the finalists and winners by five interdisciplinary expert juries in a multi-stage process

Award ceremony

Special event, planned as part of the 17th German Sustainability Day (November 28 and 29, 2024 in Düsseldorf)

 

Seal

Possibility of licensing the GSA seal, with which the product can be labelled for a fee based on company size (free of charge for start-ups, among others)

The prize is awarded in five transformation fields.

Present your solution with a focus on the transformation field
in which it has or should have a particular impact.

Products and solutions that protect the climate
and enable adaptation

Sustainable products and services reduce CO2 emissions,
promote renewable energies or even have "negative" emissions.

Companies can make decisive contributions through energy-saving and CO₂-neutral solutions, efficiency in use, solutions for the energy and mobility transition, production methods with maximum energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies, materials with the lowest energy consumption and processes for sustainable CO₂ removal and reuse, among other things. It is also about solutions for improving climate resilience and protection against extreme weather events, flooding, heat and drought.

Products and solutions that regenerate our nature.

Sustainable products help to protect natural habitats and to regenerate the environment.

Innovative products and solutions can help to preserve and protect nature by using raw materials from sustainable agriculture and forestry, giving preference to materials that do not endanger protected natural areas, seas and rivers or endangered animal species, avoiding hazardous substances and recycling critical materials. A key criterion here is low land use throughout the entire life cycle. Solutions that enable the direct natural regeneration of oceans and rivers, soils and ecosystems using new technologies, digitalization and/or sustainable processing methods, for example, are also in demand.

Products and solutions that conserve resources.

Sustainable products and services optimize the use of resources
and minimize the consumption of finite raw materials, by, for example employing Circular Design.

They can increase usage rates and material productivity and enable new business models through product-as-a-service concepts in sharing and closed-loop systems, renewable, recycled, used or sustainably produced materials, among other things. The use of particularly material-efficient production methods and high-quality recycling throughout the entire life cycle (e.g. in consistent Circular Design or in the cradle-to-cradle logic) as well as the replacement of material products with immaterial services can also have a decisive influence on resource conservation. Solutions that help to use water efficiently and sustainably, close water cycles and minimize water losses in the agricultural or sanitary context, for example, are also becoming increasingly important.

Products and solutions that strengthen our society.

Sustainable products strengthen society, regions and end consumers,
and improve people's quality of life.

Pioneering solutions promote social cohesion through innovations for education, health, inclusion and social participation, through solutions for regional development and the strengthening of communities in urban and rural areas, through active commitment to democracy and an open society, against unequal treatment or discrimination (e.g. based on gender, age, culture, origin, sexual and religious orientation). Affordable, consumer-friendly innovations with real added value for end consumers, intercultural communication and wide-ranging participation also strengthen positive social development.

 

Products and solutions that inspire change
through fair value chains.

Sustainable products support the people who make them,
with equal opportunities and socially empowering working conditions.

Companies contribute to a fairer world through a value chain based on cooperation, transparency and appreciation, fair treatment of their own employees and partners in the upstream and downstream value chain throughout the life cycle, the selection of conflict-free materials and certified/audited suppliers and the minimization of negative effects on the health of all those involved. Solutions are also needed that directly improve working conditions along the value chain - be it through healthier and safer workplaces, empowering and training employees or supporting new family-friendly working models.

This is how the product award works.

Based on their profiles, the GSA recognizes innovative solutions that have a positive impact on our planet and society, setting standards for a more environmentally friendly and liveable future.

Products.

The GSA defines products as sustainable solutions of all kinds, i.e. not only physical objects, but also services, systems, campaigns and initiatives that solve sustainability problems with effectiveness (“doing the right things”), efficiency (“doing things right”) and/or sufficiency (“doing less”).

While the GSA for companies refers to the entire company and the complete portfolio of products and services, the product price focuses on individual solutions and their impact.

 

Application.

The application phase runs from May 6 to June 14, 2024. During this time, all companies of any size, freelance designers, students and start-ups that offer products and services in Germany can apply via the score4more platform by creating up to three solution profiles.

At the same time, particularly exemplary products, services and systems are researched in the score4more company database, which currently comprises around 2,000 companies with key measures and solutions. The companies are invited to create their own solution profiles for these solutions in the score4more database and thus take part in the product competition.

In addition, it is possible to upload a solution visualization. This is a voluntarily designed poster, which provides graphic support in the assessment process. It increases the chances of fully grasping your solution and can positively influence the chances of success.

The visualization can be freely designed (web PDF in DIN A0 format) or attached to the application using this template.

 

 

Sustainability profiles.

To apply for the product prize, the company must first be introduced. The existing company profile on score4more can be used for this or a new profile can be created by registering.

The relevant data for the submission follows in the solution profile

  • Name and brief description of the solution with photo/illustration
  • Selection of 1st transformation field from climate, resources, nature, value chain or society and max. two further fields
  • Addressed sustainability problem and solution
  • (measurable) impact
  • Narrative on which the communication about the product is based
  • Links to website, product documents and impact analyses

    Pre-evaluation.

    From all profiles, the assessment team identifies the submissions with particularly effective, innovative and pioneering contributions to transformation. The assessment team analyzes the information on the main questions according to problem, solution, impact and narrative (supplemented by the information in the appendices). Using a points model, they determine a shortlist that is presented to the expert jury in the respective field for a decision.

     

    Expert juries for all transformation fields.

    These independent expert juries select the best products in each of the transformation fields based on the applications and research. The panels, each consisting of around five members, are made up of representatives from industry practice, civil society, consulting and research. The finalists are then notified.

    The profiles of researched lighthouse products can now be detailed, completed or updated by the applicants. The expert juries will then decide on the winners in each of the five categories.

     

    Decision criteria.

    The award recognizes solutions that demonstrate particularly effective contributions to transformation and are therefore exemplary in their market.

    It is about products, services and systems that send the right signals in terms of successful transformation and/or represent “beacons” of their sectors. In addition, the jurors can consider different product groups in order to highlight exemplary examples from different sectors. They can also take into account development dynamics that make it clear, for example, that a solution has developed out of problematic sustainability balances.

    A symbol ofsustainability.

    By licensing the GSA seal, companies can label their products and thus document their leading position in the field of sustainability - for customers, suppliers, the media and the financial world. The GSA seal is a renowned external recognition, makes lighthouse products recognizable and ensures a head start in the market. The GSA seal provides consumers and potential business partners with guidance in their search for sustainable alternatives. Micro-enterprises and start-ups receive the seal free of charge.

    Five juries decide.

    In each transformation field, independent jurors decide on the finalists and winners based on the jury documents, personal expertise and insights from the stakeholder groups they represent.

    Benefiting from the GSA

    Taking part in the product prize is worthwhile - and not just for the winners.

    Profile

    The questionnaire is replaced by the profile - derived from the new EU reporting framework CSRD/ESRS - with key transformation topics for your industry.

     

    Knowledge

    The GSA enables the exchange of experience, know-how transfer and in-depth insights into transformation in all sectors.

    Networking

    The GSA's new formats bring together industry winners, the best from all competitions, associations, the media, politics and society.

     

    Seal

    With the GSA seal, nominees, finalists and winners can communicate their success in return for a license fee based on company size.

     

    The GSA products anticipate the
    Green Claims Directive of the EU.

    In principle, the seal is not an "environmental claim" as defined by the EU's "Green Claims Directive", expected to come into force in 2026. Nevertheless, the solution profiles are aimed at the required scientific verifiability of product-related claims.

    With the Green Claims Directive, the EU wants to create clear and transparent standards for the use of environmental claims for companies' products and services. In the interests of consumers, the main aim is to counter vague, unfounded or false climate claims.

    In future, environmental claims may only be made if they can be scientifically proven (the regulation does not apply to claims relating to the social pillar of sustainability). The first step will probably focus on life cycle analyses (LCA), with the "Product Environmental Footprint" (PEF) and science-based environmental labels such as the "Blue Angel" being discussed as assessment tools. In the second step, environmental claims on products and services are to undergo testing by accredited independent bodies before they are made.

    The directive will not be adopted before summer 2024 and must then be transposed into national law by the member states within two years, meaning it will not come into force until 2026/2027. However, in view of competition law and the forthcoming Empowering Consumers For The Green Transition Directive, companies should already be able to substantiate green claims now.

    The GSA Products seal is not an environmental statement, but documents the decision of an independent jury. Nevertheless, the GSA Products already aims to provide scientific evidence in the solution profiles and focuses on life cycle analyses, impact assessments and standards such as the "Blue Angel". These documents can be submitted to the jury as annexes, measurably underpinning green impact statements and thus anticipating the forthcoming Green Claims Directive.

    The Green Claims Directive does not apply to communication about the company as a whole (and therefore to the seals of the GSA Unternehmen), as it only relates to products and services. The GSA Company label can therefore be used for corporate communication as a whole without restrictions even after the Directive comes into force. It bears the term "company" and thus clearly distinguishes itself from product labeling, even when used on products.