Sustainably Successful: the PSI Sustainability Awards 2018 Winners

06 September 2018
Winners of the PSI Sustainability Awards 2018 |

• Premiere: PSI Sustainability Summit served as Successful Kick-Off Event

They produce ball pens from sugar cane and agendas from grass paper. They re-invent reusable bottles so that they last all life long and their initiatives make sure that families get better food and children are not forced to drop out of school: the promotional product industry is committed to making the world a better place. This commitment is recognised by the PSI Sustainability Awards, whose gold sponsor is PF Concept. For the fourth time now the only sustainability award in the industry was presented during a gala at the Wiesbaden Kurhaus on the evening of 7 September. For the first time the award ceremony was preceded by the PSI Sustainability Summit – an exchange between the promotional products industry and business representatives under the guiding theme “Future-Proof Supply Chains”. The event was attended by 50 delegates in total.

Category 1: Economic Excellence

Winner: Karl Knauer KG

The Economic Excellence category of the PSI Sustainability Awards is about companies’ quality management. Karl Knauer took the lead here with the comprehensive documentation of what truly is a quality offensive. The foundation of this quality management simultaneously forms the basis for a top-class performance set in environmental and social management, as shown by the current and forward-looking sustainability report.

Category 2: Environmental Excellence 

Winner: Karl Knauer KG

When it comes to Environmental Excellence Karl Knauer also accumulated the highest score with their environmental management certificates and have therefore taken home the Environmental Excellence trophy. The current certificates and audits for climate and environmental management as well as a responsible use of resources all point to a company at the cutting edge of ecological-entrepreneurial environmental policy.

Category 3: Social Excellence 

Winner: Halfar System GmbH

Working conditions at production sites are at the centre of the category Social Excellence. Here, it was Halfar Systems that asserted itself. The reason: only a few companies have succeeded in merging family-friendliness, inclusion and integration with their corporate DNA over their company history. With its entries, Halfar has documented Social Excellence once more most impressively as a never-ending mission that always has to be made transparent.

Category 4: Environment Initiative 

Winner: CD Werbemittel Vertriebs GmbH
Product: CD is a sustainable distribution partner

The Environmental Initiative category focuses on companies’ own environmental initiatives or standards developed in-house. As an ISO-certified commercial agency and climate-neutral company, CD Werbemittel has a meticulously documented track record of its ecologically responsible actions and consulting and was therefore chosen as the winner in this category. The initiative encompasses all steps from waste and resource management for customers to the re-use of carton empties and packaging materials in-house, even including the avoidance of unnecessary transport. The jury particularly recognises their “consistent implementation within the agency, the involvement of their own supply chain as well as their active CSR-based customer advice.”

Category 5: Social Initiative

Product: Exito Escolar (School Success)

BIC GRAPHIC has launched the “School Success” initiative with the aim of reducing the number of school drop-outs. The successful education promotion initiative focuses on vulnerable children in the Spanish province of Tarragona and provides support for a better quality of life, learning, food and personal development. The jury was impressed with the “extensive support programme on all relevant levels and their joined up, targeted approach” therefore opting in favour of BIC GRAPHIC in this category.

Category 6: Sustainable Product

Winner: Publishing House Verlag für Prävention Wilken Inh. Bettina Wilken
Product: Family Cook Book

Familienkochbuch-Ansicht-Titel_DIN-A5.jpgAlmost one in every two trees chopped down worldwide is processed into paper: with its “Familienkochbuch” publishing house Verlag für Prävention Wilken is committed to more environmental protection on the part of the paper industry. The cookbook contains low-cost dishes for the whole family as well as advice pages, a harvest season calendar and tips for a varied diet. The winning product is made of 100% waste paper – certified with the Blue Angel symbol. Printing ink as well as manufacturing is also sustainable. The jury says: “A comprehensively certified product made with green power that combines responsible content with certified paper and printing inks to form a sustainable product that deserves an award.”         (c) Verlag für Prävention Wilken 


Category 6: Sustainable Product – Product Set

Winner: Zettler Kalender GmbH
Product: agenda series "Gras"

Productset_Zettler_Kalender.jpgA set of agendas made of paper consisting of 50% sun-dried grass: this is the award-winning product in the category Sustainable Product – Product Set. With the “Gras” agenda series comprising one desk-top, one pocket agenda and one agenda book, Zettler Kalender wins the third consecutive award at the PSI Sustainability Awards. The product is FSC-mix and ISEGA-certified, fully recyclable and compostable and ISO certified. The jury especially praises the use of a renewable energy and resource-saving raw material for a refreshingly innovative series of agendas. (c) Zettler Kalender GmbH

Category 6: Sustainable Product - Product Line

Winner: werbegrün – Mappen | Verpackungen
Product: Faltschachtel Werbeartikel (folding boxes for promotional items)

Productline_werbegrun_Umverpackung.jpgwerbegrün wins with its packaging line “Faltschachtel Werbeartikel”. Still young, the company largely foregoes synthetic materials for producing its folding box line. The efforts range from the use of vegan adhesives to organic printing inks. This complex and thoroughly researched product line boasting many sophisticated ideas, standard sizes, custom-designs and small-run options met with the jury’s undivided approval and therefore received the award in the Sustainable Product – Product Line category. (c) werbegrün - Mappen | Verpackungen

Category 6: Sustainable Product – Writing Instruments

Winner: SENATOR GmbH
Product: Skeye Bio

Product_Senator_SkeyeBio.jpgSENATOR triumphs in the category Sustainable Product – Writing Instrument with a ball pen made of sugar cane. The organic plastic used for “Skeye Bio” is based on PLA and, hence, on resource-saving sugar cane. The ballpoint pen is manufactured 100% at the Groß-Bieberau premises powered with green electricity. In terms of the tooling required, most tools are made in Germany or even by Senator’s in-house tool shop, and designers predominantly draw on existing tools. The jury specifically praises the consistent look and feel, the appealing touch, the long-life refill as well as the ecological overall concept that goes far beyond the material proper.  (c) Senator GmbH

Category 6: Sustainable Product – Textile

Winner: memo AG
Product: organic cotton bag for fruit and vegetables

Product_memoAG_Obst-Gemuesebeutel.jpgThanks to memo’s award-winning product, shopping will become sustainable and plastic-bag free: the organic cotton bag for fruit and vegetables is made of GOTS and Fairtrade certified organic cotton. While one side is made of an airy mesh material, the smooth side makes for stability and provides room for the advertising message. As a textile promotional product the rugged bag therefore makes a particularly sustainable statement. “Plastic-bag free shopping is part of our future,” explains the jury and goes on to say: “An appealing design, a hard-wearing quality and finish as well as certified sustainability are the ingredients for a durable product. (c) memo AG

Category 6: Sustainable Product – Paper

Product: Riedle TopLuxe/Nature

Product_Paper__RIEDLE_TopLuxeNature.jpgCarrier bags that smell of grass: this idea convinced the jury in the Sustainable Product – Paper category. The paper carrier bag “Riedle TopLuxe / Nature” consists of 50% sun-dried grass and 50% customary wood-free FSC pulp. Compared to waste-paper based materials the production of grass-based pulp consumes 1.5 times less energy. On top of this, emissions are reduced to 77%, 4,500 times less water is consumed and the acidification potential is five times lower. The bags are also rated as fully recyclable. “The outstanding ecological benefits of grass paper were documented very well and convincingly,” explains the jury awarding the prize to BAGS BY RIEDLE. (c) BAGS BY RIEDLE

Category 7: Sustainable Campaign

Winner: Join The Pipe BV
Campaign: The Join the Pipe City Bottle

Join The Pipe wins in the Sustainable Campaign category with a reusable bottle produced and also filled with tap water locally. This first community of tap-water drinkers aims to distribute water more fairly and to reduce plastic waste by using reusable rather single-use bottles. The winning product is made of HDPE plastic. Thanks to the long service life of this plastic the bottles can be used life-long in developing countries without requiring waste management. “Think global – act local! The City-Bottle campaign has all it takes to become a global evergreen,” the jury finds.

Category 8: Sustainable Company of the Year

Winner: Karl Knauer KG

The award ceremony culminated in the selection of the overall winner arrived at by adding up the points scored in the 7 individual categories. As early as 2016, Karl Knauer concluded Category 8 as the overall winner of the PSI Sustainability Awards. And this year again sees the company as Sustainable Company of the Year 2018 “with its exemplary linking of the three pillars and its cutting edge documented operational excellence,” explains the jury.

Special Award Sustainable Distributor of the Year

Winner: CD Werbemittel Vertriebs GmbH

This year sees the debut of the Special Award for the Sustainable Distributor of the Year. CD Werbemittel managed to convince the jury not only with its award-winning performance in Category 4 – Environment Initiative – but also with its social commitment. With its entries, it achieved award-winning levels in the three fields of sustainability and therefore takes this Special Award.

Sustainable Products recommended by PSI 


Sustainable products recommended by PSI are products that the jury members would personally recommend. This year recommended products include the Green Coin, a trolley coin made of FSC-certified wood, by e+m Holzprodukte and the baza Kubusgarten by KW Open promotion consulting & trading. The latter is an organic plant system that contains organic soil, organic seeds and cultivation instructions. The granola cup made of brown cardboard by JUNG BONBONFABRIK as well as the PowerCube Extended Monitor by PowerCubes are also recommended by the jury. The PowerCube Extended Monitor shows where energy is wasted unnecessarily and translates this consumption into a money value in order to impact consumer habits immediately.

About the PSI

The PSI (Promotional Product Service Institute) has been serving the European promotional products industry and its market participants as a service provider and networking platform for over 50 years now. Its services support the daily work of 6,000 market participants such as manufacturers, importers, finishers, distributors and agencies. Key services include personalised consultation and product research as well as marketing, professional training, industry contacts and online product search solutions. These services enable our member companies to generate new business and grow their profits long-term.


Press Release [doc l 2.2 mb]

Photo Winners of the PSI Sustainability Awards 2018 (Credit: PSI) [jpg l mb]

Photo Familienkochbuch (Credit: Verlag für Prävention Wilken) [jpg l 900 kb]

Photo Kalenderserie „Gras“ (Credit: Zettler Kalender GmbH) [jpg l 6.9 mb]

Photo Faltschachtel Werbeartikel (Credit: werbegrün - Mappen | Verpackungen) [jpg l 1.5 mb]

Photo Skeye Bio (Credit: Senator GmbH) [jpg l 120 kb]

Photo Bio-Baumwollbeutel (Credit: memo AG) [jpg l 40 kb]

Photo „Riedle TopLuxe / Nature“ (Credit: BAGS BY RIEDLE) [jpg l 2.2 mb]

Photo Sustainable products recommended by PSI [jpg l 900 kb]

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