German Environmental Award for Researcher Schulze and Entrepreneur Huber

DBU honours ecosystem researcher and sewage specialist for their top performances in global environmentalism
Osnabruck. The winners of the German Environmental Award are named: This with € 500,000 supremely endowed European environmental prize goes to the Bavarian entrepreneur Hans G. Huber (64) and the ecosystem researcher Professor Dr. Ernst-Detlef Schulze (65) from Jena. Huber gets the DBU award for his enormous commitment in developing applicable and robust high-quality technologies for the drinking-water purification and sewage treatment and selling them just as successfully to emerging and developing countries. As director of the Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena Professor Schulze explores the reasons for the global warming. He started the world's biggest project in order to evaluate the European carbon balance more precisely. "How different their fields might be - for both of them protecting the future is a matter close to their hearts” knows DBU Secretary General Dr.-Ing. E. h. Fritz Brickwedde. The award is presented by Federal President Horst Köhler on 29 October in Dresden.

Professor Schulzes work was above all important with regard to the Kyoto Protocol

"Climate warming and water shortage are among the most urgent global challenges to take up in the future. Already today, our award winners make an important contribution with their visions and commitment”, Brickwedde emphasized. Professor Schulzes work was above all important with regard to the Kyoto Protocol in which Europe has committed itself to reduce up to 8 percent of its carbon dioxide emissions from 2008 to 2012 compared with the level of 1990 -a measure to slow down the global warming.

"Thanks to him, Europe is in top position in the field of climate research"

Professor Schulzes project "CarboEurope" is in this form the first world-wide initiative providing reliable data about the greenhouse gas cycle. Where in Europe especially much carbon dioxide is bound or released - that examines Professor Schulze as a coordinator of more than 100 measuring sites. A gigantic loophole in the Kyoto Protocol is that the volume of carbon dioxide actually kept in the forests can be estimated only very roughly. Whoever could not lower his emissions simply assesses the forests' filter function favourably and thus meets the conditions. That could change with 'CarboEurope'," Brickwedde knows. As one of the world-wide leading ecosystem researchers, Professor Schulze tests also how the soil reacts world-wide to a possible climate warming. "Thanks to him, Europe is in top position in the field of climate research", Brickwedde emphasizes.

Schulze impresses as successful science manager

Professor Schulze impresses not only with his internationally very important research but also as successful science manager. He was member of the German Advisory Council on Global Change WBGU and besides the Jena Max-Planck-Institut he established also the Bayreuth Institute for Terrestrial Ecosystem Research.

Huber fights for effective water cycles

While Professor Schulze tackles with the global warming one of the central environmental problems, Hans G. Huber fights for effective water cycles and against another global problem. "From the sewage towards the recyclable material" - this philosophy is the central theme of his product spectrum: A comfortable high-tech toilet produces fertilizer instead of sewage, and his membrane-based purification technology allows a decentralised cleaning of industrial water - above all attractive for developing countries: According to the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, approximately 1.2 billion people do not have access to clean drinking water, and twice as many no sewage system within range. "With his outstanding commitment, Hans-Georg Huber contributes that the United Nations' millenium goals can be reached until the year 2015”, Brickwedde emphasizes. The number of people without any access to drinking water and those, who must live without hygienically dignified and ecological sewage technology is to be halved from 2005 to 2015.

Water treatment has to be built directly on the spot, without expensive sewerage systems

"Conventional water treatment procedures like those of our purification plants are geared to Europe's needs and have been optimized accordingly, but they are not applicable in many developing countries", said Brickwedde. Mr Huber recognized early that water treatment has to be built directly on the spot, without expensive sewerage systems. "Particular entrepreneurial courage and the will to recognize potential and help innovative technologies on the road to success left their mark on him”, so Brickwedde. That economics and ecology don't exclude each other, verify also the business figures. Hubers company employs in Germany a staff headcount of 470 (world-wide 750) and reaches an annual turnover of 77 million (world-wide 108 million) Euro.
Winner of the German Environmental Award 2006: Hans G. Huber (64, r.) and Prof. Dr. Ernst-Detlef Schulze (65).