Sustainability: The New Category at the eco://awards 2021

This year, for the first time, we are awarding the eco://awards also in the category of  Sustainability . The year 2021 has shown: Never before have we needed climate-friendly or climate-positive digital solutions as much as we do now. Tatjana Hein, project manager for the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence sector, is the contact person for the Sustainability category. She is available to answer questions from companies, initiatives and projects with sustainable IT solutions. In this interview, we talk about efficient data centres, climate-friendly mobility solutions and the circular economy and why these are also essential for the Internet industry.


Why is the topic of sustainability so important for the Internet industry?

Hein: The topic of sustainability is increasingly coming into focus, especially in the context of the Internet industry. Because climate change and digitalisation are key drivers for global transformation. In the future, digital technologies and sustainability must be thought of together from the very beginning. Well managed and thoughtfully implemented, digitalisation has the potential to enable sustainable business models and establish them in the long term.
It is therefore necessary to rethink complementary systems in various areas such as mobility, agriculture, resource consumption and consumption. Digitalisation can be used consciously for urgent changes.
Decentrally generated renewable energy needs digital control. Climate-friendly mobility needs digital navigation and linking of users and offers in real time. The circular economy needs digital product data from transparent raw material and supply chains. And the Internet industry needs more sustainability! That is why this year, for the first time, we would also like to award digital companies, initiatives or projects that develop climate-friendly or climate-positive business models. Because it is important to implement digitalisation itself in an environmentally friendly way. Digital infrastructures also consume raw materials and energy along global value chains. Software, data centres and end devices must become more efficient and recyclable material cycles must be closed.

In which areas is there still great sustainability potential for companies?

Hein: In the digital environment, there is still some dormant sustainability potential that needs to be exploited for companies and especially for the Internet industry. In the area of digital infrastructures, there are data centres whose waste heat can be used efficiently, for example, and used to supply heat to buildings. The area of IT security also has potential: Here, software updates that are available for longer can ensure long-term use of terminals and equipment. Thirdly, there is the area of mobility: Smart mobility projects could sustainably change the volume of traffic in large cities and save not only a lot of space but also Co2 emissions.

Which companies can apply for the Sustainability category at the eco://awards?

Hein: For the eco://award 2021, we are looking for companies, initiatives or projects with innovative, market-ready products or processes that use the Internet as a basis or as an intelligent supplement. It is particularly important that they act and operate sustainably or enable other companies to become more sustainable. New digital business models that enable resource conservation through sustainable business practices are particularly well suited. We look forward to receiving submissions from all sections of our industry to be judged by our expert jury!

Thank you very much for the interview!

You can apply for the eco://awards here. Please send us your application documents by email to by the closing date on 30 August 2021.

The next issue of dotmagazine will focus on the topic of sustainability. Sign up for the dotmagazine newsletter which will be sent out the next timne on 8 September and read industry-insider articles on how smart neighbourhoods can lead the way to Smart Cities, mobility in the Smart City and its implications for tomorrow’s business models, and sustainability as part of corporate social responsibility.


Tatjana Hein is a project manager for the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) sector at eco – Association of the Internet Industry. She is responsible for topics such as Smart Factory, Smart City and Smart Home as well as mobility issues. Before joining eco in 2020, she was content manager and creator at a European analytics provider and guest writer for various magazines (including Big Data Insider, Website Boosting, UPLOAD Magazine, marconomy, Contentbird).

Tatjana Hein