UBQ Materials and Mercedes Benz have been named this year’s recipients of the inaugural Sustainability Award in Automotive, an award program jointly organized by the Springer Fachmedien’s ATZ/MTZ Group and Roland Berger, in the category of Best Startup.
The awards, held this year for the first time in eight different categories, honor companies whose products, processes and initiatives help shape sustainability in the automotive industry. The winning products, processes or initiatives must make a significant contribution to at least one of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
The aim is to establish specific benchmark standards and, in turn, a framework for corporate decision-making that is environmentally, socially, and politically sustainable. Submissions were welcomed from manufacturers of passenger cars, light and heavy commercial vehicles, construction and agricultural machines and off-highway vehicles as well as their suppliers and suppliers from Europe. The organizers received over 50 entries from firms across the industry.
The awards were presented in the categories Drive Technology, Best Startup, Complete Vehicle, Supply Chain, Operations, Best Business Model and Holistic Sustainability Approach.
UBQ Materials and Mercedes-Benz were recognized as Best Startup for their collaboration on the use of waste recycling startup UBQ Materials’ products. The automaker is currently testing the potential applications of UBQ’s thermoplastic material, made from recycled unsorted household waste, to produce automotive parts.
"This cooperation between the Mercedes-Benz brand and a start-up is a game-changer," said judge Hannah Zühlke from Roland Berger. "This is an innovative approach that is highly scalable and can address the global climate crisis.”
UBQ, patented by UBQ Materials, is a bio-based material made entirely from waste diverted from landfill, preventing harmful greenhouse gas emissions. The material, which is fully recyclable and actively reduces landfill buildup, decreases the overall carbon and methane footprint of both manufacturing processes and end-products.
As environmental consciousness moves from a luxury to a necessity for corporations, sustainability is quickly becoming a form of corporate currency. UBQ has introduced the market to a climate-positive material that can be seamlessly incorporated into manufacturing processes — from prototyping to final product — without compromising on function or cost,” said Tato Bigio, co-founder, and CEO of UBQ Materials.
After a successful proof-of-concept, Mercedes-Benz and UBQ Materials are now planning to explore the use of the UBQ material for new developments.