A businesswoman who spent 15 years building a company around eco-friendly insulation made from hemp was honored last month by the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU).
When Carmen Hock-Heyl started the company, she had only two employees to help her sell hemp insulation mats for use in roofs and walls. Today, her business employees seventy workers across Europe and generates €10 million in annual sales.
Hock-Heyl was granted the DBU German Environmental Award along with Ursula Sladek, the CEO of a green electricity company. Since 1993, the DBU has honored individuals for outstanding achievements in environmentally friendly innovations.
The two CEOs will also split the €500,000 prize money. Heyl says she will use her half of the prize to establish a special interest group.
Hock-Heyl is credited for spreading the popularity of hemp insulation materials in Europe. The insulation mats possess natural fire retardant and thermal insulative properties. Hemp fiber is also a more sustainable than traditional insulation materials.
Hock-Heyl’s company manufacturers the line of “Thermo-Hemp” products. The company’s latest product, “Thermo-Hemp Plus,” is completely biodegradable and is recycled free of charge by the company when houses are demolished.