12.12.11: ECO-Watt gewinnt Nachhaltigkeitspreis12.12.11: ECO-Watt gewinnt Nachhaltigkeitspreis12.12.11: ECO-Watt gewinnt Nachhaltigkeitspreis
Ö-quadrat - Ökologische und ökonomische Konzepte

12.12.2011: ECO-Watt wins German local sustainability award “Zeitzeichen 2011”

The citizen holding company “ECO-Watt” in Freiburg has won the German local sustainability award (“Zeitzeichen 2011”) in the category of “Initiatives”. The prize was awarded for an energy saving project at Freiburg’s Staudinger comprehensive school. This action had already been successfully implemented via citizen contracting in 2007. On 8 December 2011, the prize endowed with 3,000 Euros was awarded to the initiator of the project, Dieter Seifried, during a festive event in the Hannover Congress Centrum.
Seifried’s energy performance contracting project excelled over 130 competitors in the category of “Initiatives”.
Already in 1997, Dieter Seifried started the planning and implementation of the saving project. His idea was to collect funds from teachers and parents of Staudinger comprehen¬sive school as well as from Freiburg’s interested citizens, in order to invest the donations in energy efficiency measures at Staudinger comprehensive school. Besides retrofitting the lighting system, efficiency improvements were undertaken for the ventilation and heating system. In addition, a solar power plant was installed. Overall, the implementa¬tion of these efficiency measures amounted to an investment of 280,000 Euros.

Thanks to the savings realized through the reduced energy costs, attractive returns on the capital invested over a period of eight years could be repaid to the capital investors. The project ‘climate protection as a safe and profitable capital investment’ was completed successfully in 2007.

Tool for safe capital investment in climate protection
“With this award, the option of citizen contracting is being brought back into the public eye”, says well-pleased Seifried. “In the light of the failure of international climate negotiations and the current financial crisis, saving energy is not only particularly attractive in terms of profitable capital investment, but also as a contribution to climate protection.”
“Seifried’s savings concept is an important tool to overcome the stagnation of public investments”, Rev. Klaus Breyer, Head of the Institute of Church and Society of the Protestant Church in Westphalia, confirmed in his honouring speech. “Seifried ideally combines public engagement with ecologically sound investments.”

The Local German Sustainability Award (“Zeitzeichen 2011”)
In the framework of the Netzwerk21 Congress, the German local sustainability award “Zeitzeichen” is awarded every year. The award is promoted and supported by the German Federal Environment Ministry, the German Association of Cities and Towns, the German Association of Counties and the German Association of Towns and Communities.

Aim of the award is to raise awareness of exemplary commitment for a future worth living in, and to show that local and global sustainability goals are not only pursued by individual initiatives, but also by communities, citizens and commercial organisations.

The prize has been awarded to projects in the categories ‘Communities’, ‘Youth’, ‘Inter¬national Partnerships’, ‘Corporations’, ‘Initiatives’ and ‘Ideas’.