Antje von Dewitz was one of twenty-two to be honored this year. The judges were clear in their reasons for her commendation: "She has clearly been able to build on her father’s success with innovative spirit and conviction, as well as a sustainable, fair and environmentally friendly business approach. Furthermore, her keen instincts, farsightedness, and great sense of responsibility for society and nature distinguish her." "I am very proud to have received this award," the dedicated entrepreneur stated at the ceremony in Mannheim Castle. As the managing director in second generation of the family-owned and run company in southern Germany, she accepted the order: "Such an award for civic engagement is important and naturally it makes me proud because it validates what we are doing. The ceremony was very touching and I really feel honored to be amongst such interesting personalities, who received the Order of Merit with me."
VAUDE focuses on social and ecological commitment
Under Antje von Dewitz, the outdoor manufacturer VAUDE has consistently pursued a path of sustainability and social management, which has now been successfully implemented in all areas of the company. A leadership culture of trust, a 40 per cent share of women in management positions, an outstanding commitment to refugees within Germany, and the company's own organic canteen are just a few examples of how responsible entrepreneurship becomes visible. VAUDE has received numerous prizes for the company's dedication to sustainable and environmentally friendly business, including the German Sustainability Award in 2015 and the recently received European Business Award.
About the Order of Merit
The Baden-Württemberg Order of Merit – also known as the "Merit Medal" until June 2009 – is conferred by the Minister President for outstanding contributions in the state of Baden-Württemberg, especially in political, social, cultural and economic sectors. The number of people who can receive this honor is limited to 1000 living people.
All sections of the population and all areas of the state are equally considered for the honor. The redesigned Order of Merit is a stylized cross with a medallion in the center, on which the greater state coat of arms with the lettering Baden-Württemberg is depicted. It is worn on a folded ribbon in the state colors. Instead of the order, a black-yellow rosette or a miniature can be worn, which is also awarded. In addition to the insignia of the order, the order recipient receives a Certificate of Award signed by the Minister President. Prominent awardees of the past have been the soccer player, Sami Khedira, the former Mayor of Ulm, Ivo Gönner, and the cabaret artist, Christoph Sonntag.