ZEIT WISSEN Award "Encouraging Sustainability" for Werner & Mertz

3 Mar 2016 - Mainz/Hamburg

It was a great honor for Werner & Mertz, the Mainz-based manufacturer of cleaning products, to receive the ZEIT WISSEN Award for its unfailing engagement in sustainability. Reinhard Schneider, CEO of Werner & Mertz and founder of the Frosch Initiative, accepted the award in the category "Action".

The speaker Dr. Delia Schindler, Head of HR Work Environment Tchibo and spokesperson for the Zukunftsrat Hamburg, praised CEO Schneider as a modern business leader who makes an important contribution to society while succeeding economically. "To support our daily consumer behavior, mankind now uses technology to move as much mass on Earth as geological power does. Those activities take place despite complete knowledge of the destructive consequences such as climate change, the related social impact, the elimination of plant and animal species and much more. That's why it is good to have role models who take up the cause and insist that it is not only possible, but then show how to close the gap between knowledge and action. And who would have thought that someone who produces and sells cleaning and care products would be the one to that just that? Reinhard Schneider of Werner & Mertz is such a role model whom others can copy, from whom corporate leaders can learn something."

Dr. Delia Schindler, Head of HR Work Environment Tchibo and Spokesperson for the Zukunftsrat Hamburg, Reinhard Schneider, CEO of Werner & Mertz (center), and Dr. h.c. August Oetker at the presentation ceremony for the ZEIT WISSEN Award in Hamburg. Photo: Phil Dera for DIE ZEIT"

Dr. h.c. August Oetker, jury member and co-initiator of the ZEIT WISSEN Award "Encouraging Sustainability", presented the award and prize winnings of €10,000 during the Sustainability Congress in Hamburg on 1 March. Dr. Oetker acknowledged the achievement of Werner & Mertz as an outstanding example in business and society. In 1986 the company was daring enough to seize the trend of the times and launch a green brand targeted at consumers. That long-ago vision has since become reality with a very successful brand and products designed for recycling. Sustainability in the best interest of society is lived here every day in a family-operated company.

During the event Mr. Schneider donated the prize money in equal parts to the two other nominees in the category "Action". One is a project in which craftsmen and refugees produce furniture and the other is an association which operates a hotel with artists, refugees and guests.

"You generate trust and confidence when you consider sustainability in all corporate decisions," Schneider told the jury and audience in his acceptance speech. Trust which the Frosch brand and the SME Werner & Mertz have persistently worked towards over the past 30 years as a European sustainability pioneer. "A manager of a family-owned company with a longer planning period than a publicly listed corporation can certainly make different decisions, which, in best case, link ecological with economic concerns."

Werner & Mertz works with its partners in the Recyclate Initiative toward genuine recycling of packaging waste that successfully integrates plastic packaging from the Yellow Bag. Recycled plastic is the basis for the production of high-quality, transparent PET material for plastic packaging.

For the development and launch of recyclable cleaning products in its consumer and professional divisions, the Werner & Mertz Group has received certification several times from the world renowned Cradle to Cradle Certified™Gold. Werner & Mertz also was honored with the Cradle to Cradle® Innovator Award for its brands Frosch and green care Professional in New York in November 2015. In 2012 the eco-power design of the corporate headquarters in Mainz was certified according to strict LEED criteria and since 2003 the company has voluntarily had its manufacturing facilities validated against the stringent requirements of EMAS, the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme of the European Union.

The ZEIT WISSEN Award "Encouraging Sustainability", which has been presented in the categories "Knowledge" and "Action" since 2013, was established by Klaus Wiegandt, founder of the "Forum for Responsibility Foundation", the ZEIT publishing house, and Dr. August Oetker. The award recognizes pioneers who make a substantial contribution to sustainable development. This year a jury made up of nine renowned experts from business, non-profit organizations and academia chose the winners from three nominees in each category.

Cradle to Cradle® is a registered trademark that is owned and licensed by MBDC.
Cradle to Cradle Certified™ is a certification mark licensed exclusively to the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.
More about the ZEIT WISSEN Award at
More about the Frosch Initiative Frosch and Werner & Mertz at
www.initiative-frosch.de and www.werner-mertz.de

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Werner & Mertz GmbH
Corporate Communication
Birgitta Schenz
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55120 Mainz

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