In the foreground during the evaluation process are innovation, design quality and environmental characteristics. Repercussions on everyday culture and consumer behaviour are also taken into consideration. Thereby, the full product life cycle – from the preliminary stages of production through to actual production, distribution and use, as well as end of life – are all given due attention.
The criteria matrix serves as a basis for the evaluation and provides orientation for candidates in the presentation of their competition entries. It is not to be understood as a checklist. The significance of the various ecological aspects differ from project to project, and it is therefore not a requirement for all points of the matrix to be explicitly included.
Notes on Materials
The environmental impact of the materials used in physical submissions plays a significant role in the overall assessment. In the following, you will find information on a selection of materials.
In products with paper, you should use recycled paper with the Blue Angel ecolabel. If it is not possible to use recycled paper for technical reasons, FSC certification is the best choice. However, in your application you should specify the technical reasons why the use of recycled paper is not possible.
FSC and PEFC are labels for sustainable forest management. The papers available on the market are predominantly FSC mix papers. “Mix” indicates that at least 70 percent of the fibres are derived from FSC wood and / or waste paper. In most instances, the paper is made from fresh fibre. While some papers carry the FSC recycling seal, this does not fulfil the strict requirements of Blue Angel – for example, the minimum proportion of low-grade waste paper or the use of chemicals in production. Papers bearing the FSC or PEFC labels are therefore less appropriate than products that have been awarded the Blue Angel.
(including bamboo and cork)
Origin, sustainable forest management
What kind of wood is used? Where was the wood sourced (country, region)? Is the sustainable forest management verified by a certificate (FSC, PEFC or equivalent)?
Long transport routes increase CO2 emissions.
Where is the wood processed (country)? Which environmental standards are observed in the course of processing? What approach is taken with regard to environmental emissions generated during processing (e.g. dust emissions or wastewater)?
How is the energy generated that is required for processing?
Is a surface coating applied (e.g. painting, dyeing, staining etc.)? Which chemicals / input substances are used (product name of the chemical)? Are the substances used in the surface coating environmentally compatible? Are these substances manufactured in an environmentally friendly manner?
Do they contain substances that are harmful to health or environmentally toxic? What techniques are used in the coating of the wood? The environmental compatibility of substances can be verified, among other means, by the Blue Angel certification.
Recovered wood / old wood
Where exactly is the waste wood sourced? What was the previous intended purpose?
How is it ensured that the new application does not pose a hazard to health or the environment as a result of harmful substances such as wood preservatives, or from pest infestation?
Textiles and leather
For products containing cotton, you should use at the very minimum certified organic cotton (GOTS, Blue Angel, Cotton made in Africa etc.) or waste textiles. Outdoor clothing should not contain PFCs. Viscose made from eucalyptus is considered to have an adverse environmental impact. In addition, in the assessment of textiles and footwear, we take into account the award criteria of the Blue Angel ecolabel.
Downloads and Links
- On paper:
Blue Angel’s brochure on paper (in German, (PDF, 5.96 MB)).
- On textiles:
Environmental standards in the textile and shoe sector
Informational film on textiles from the German Federal Environment Agency (in German)
- On 3D printing:
Trend report for assessing the environmental impacts of 3D printing
The examination and assessment of submissions is a multistage process.
Evaluation by the expert panel
All competition submissions that meet eligibility requirements will be passed on to an expert panel, which will undertake an assessment of the ecological and design quality on the basis of the submitted documents as well as make a preselection from all submissions. The expert panel is composed of specialists from the Federal Environment Agency and members of the project advisory board. Following preselection, all participants that have been approved for the next stage of the competition are invited to submit their entries for presentation at the jury session.
The interdisciplinary jury undertakes an evaluation of submissions and selects the nominees and award winners. A number of prizes can be awarded in each category. The prizes are on equal footing - there is no first, second and third place in the German Federal Ecodesign Award. The presentation of the submissions will also be open to the public after the session.
Please note: The application must be done in the German language.