"Antje von Dewitz uniquely exemplifies the idea and success of sustainable business practices that are as consistent as they are creative. The German Federal Environmental Foundation is extremely pleased that such a high-profile entrepreneur will be involved in shaping the future of Europe's largest environmental foundation as Vice Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees," said Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, Chairwoman of the DBU Board of Trustees. In addition to Antje von Dewitz, Dr. Michael Meister MdB, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and Prof. Dr. Kai Niebert, President of the German Nature Conservation Ring, were elected as Vice Chairmen for five years. As the executive committee of the foundation, the Board of Trustees determines funding guidelines, allocates funding for the major projects and, on the recommendation of an independent jury of experts, awards the DBU's German Environmental Prize, Europe's most lucrative environmental prize of € 500,000.
VAUDE - a pioneer of sustainable management
"The DBU supports small and medium-sized enterprises in implementing ecological solutions and innovations. This is precisely where most fail in practice. The ideas are there, but for smaller companies in particular, there is a high economic risk involved in implementation. Accordingly, it is difficult to obtain financing for such projects. As the DBU, we assist companies in overcoming these first major hurdles and provide stimulus for important ecological change in the economy. This is a matter of great concern to me. That's why I'm very pleased to be part of the DBU. The election as Deputy Chairwoman is a great honor for me." Antje von Dewitz knows from her own experience how much courage and effort it takes to operate sustainably. When she took over the management of VAUDE ten years ago, she and her team set a consistently sustainable course in order to take responsibility in the face of global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity conservation and microplastics. Today VAUDE is regarded as a pioneer and expert in sustainability – the brand stands for high credibility. VAUDE shows that a company can be both sustainable and economically successful: The medium-sized family business has been growing significantly faster than the industry for years and is successfully asserting itself in the fiercely competitive global outdoor market.
The German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU)
The DBU promotes innovative and solution-oriented projects for the protection of the environment, and strives to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises in particular to undertake new activities and help them overcome initial hurdles. The funding is intended to help reduce the financial risk of ecological innovations to a tolerable level. Funded projects should achieve sustainable results in practice, be an impetus and lead to a "multiplier effect". The DBU sees the crucial challenges primarily in the areas of climate change, biodiversity loss, unsustainable use of natural resources, and harmful emissions. The funding topics are therefore linked both to current scientific findings on the Planetary Boundaries and to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. At the same time, the DBU promotes the exchange of environmental knowledge between science, industry and other public or private bodies. The DBU is one of the largest foundations in Europe. Its capital amounts to more than € 2.2 billion. Since the foundation began its work in 1991, the DBU has provided funding of over € 1.76 billion to more than 9,700 environmentally friendly, innovative model projects.