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In the picture from left to right: Hans Roth/Saubermacher, Leonore Gewessler/Minister for Climate Protection, Severin Pock/Hero of Climate Protection, Franziska Pock with the children Noah, Mio and Liam; photo rights: Saubermacher
13. July 2021

Saubermacher and Minister for Climate Protection Leonore Gewessler honour the ‘hero of climate protection’ for the first time

Saubermacher is a trailblazer in climate protection and waste management innova-tions and wants to pro-actively thank environmentalists. The environmental pioneer is offering a new award to honour extraordinary contributions to climate and environmental protection in Austria. Founder of Saubermacher, Hans Roth, and Minister for the Environment, Leonore Gewessler presented the award to Severin Pock from Graz at the company’s headquarters in Feldkirchen in recognition of his waste collection and anti-littering activities.

Role model for young and old. Founder Hans Roth and Saubermacher are synonymous with sustainable enterprise and have taken responsibility for people and the environment for more than 40 years. The Styrian waste disposal company is now shining a spotlight on committed environmentalists and is pleased to be able to honour the very first ‘hero of climate protection’. This year’s award goes to Graz’ nurse and father of three Severin Pock, who has been recognised for his extensive anti-littering activities. ‘We want to show how important every individual’s efforts are and show our gratitude to role models. This should motivate everyone to be more like Severin Pock and to take environmental protection and waste separation to heart,’ emphasises Hans Roth, founder of Saubermacher.

Saubermacher honours the ‘hero of climate protection’ for the first time
Image: Günter Riegler/Financial Administrator for Graz, Sandra Krautwaschl/Member of State Parliament for Styria, Severin Pock/Hero of Climate Protection, Judith Schwentner/Environmental Councillor for Graz, Leonore Gewessler/Minister for Climate Protection, Hans Roth/Saubermacher with children Liam and Noah (Severin Pock’s children) (left to right), photo credit: Saubermacher

No time to waste. The birth of his first child around seven years ago prompted Severin Pock to do something to help with environmental protection and to motivate as many others as possible to contribute to saving the world. The 29 year old from Styria collects and sorts waste in the Graz area twice a week, either alone or with his family – waste that others have thoughtlessly cast onto the verges, into fields, forests and parks. Through his Facebook community ‘No time to waste’, which he started in 2020, he has managed to connect with more than 800 fans in the DACH region. Many fans follow his example and use their spare time to help clean up the environment. The award was presented by Hans Roth and Minister Leonore Gewessler at a ceremony at Saubermacher’s headquarters in Feldkirchen near Graz on 13 July 2021. ‘Unfortunately, we still have a problem with careless littering in Austria. Every year, 420 waste vehicles of rubbish end up in our forests, in our parks and on our streets. That’s why it’s so important that we dispose our waste properly and at the same time endeavour to buy durable, reusable products. As a politician, it is my job to create the conditions for that to be possible. One way is a binding reusable products range in supermarkets. At the same time though, it requires each and every one of us to work towards protecting the environment. And that’s why I am so pleased to be able to honour the important commitment of Severin Pock today. His waste collection efforts, which have inspired countless others, are contributing to a cleaner environment. Thank you!’, exclaimed Minister for Climate Protection Leonore Gewessler to the prize winner.

Expressing recognition and gratitude. As a symbolic gesture, the waste collector received an environmental trophy designed by artist Axel Staudinger, a certificate and a voucher worth €2500. In addition to the familiar Hans Roth environmental award, which has been awarded in Austria since 2003 and in Slovenia since 2012 to promote young scientists in sustainable disposal and recycling, the new ‘hero of climate protection’ award is aimed at private individuals, associations and organisations. The award recognises important and extraordinary contributions to climate protection that go beyond statutory regulations or conventional everyday efforts. The award will be given out in one state every year.


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