In the course of his life, Prof. Dr. Michael Otto has received numerous awards for his work as an entrepreneur, conservationist, benefactor and socially committed citizen. He has also held, and continues to hold, some significant honorary posts. Here is an overview of these awards and posts:


  • German Marketing Prize (1982)
  • Manager of the Year (1986 & 2001)
  • Environmental Manager of the Year (1991)
  • International Retailer of the Year (1995)
  • International Corporate Conscience Award for Environmental Initiatives (1996)
  • Binding Prize for Nature Conservation and Environmental Protection from the Binding Foundation (1996)
  • Alfred Töpfer Medal from the Hamburg Senate (1996)
  • German Environmental Prize from the German Environment Foundation (1997)
  • Honorary Senator of the Hamburg and Greifswald Universities (2000)
  • Prize for Business Ethics from the German Network for Business Ethics (2000)
  • Inclusion in the DMA Hall of Fame, New York (2001)
  • Sustainability Leadership Award (2002)
  • Prize for Understanding and Tolerance from the Jewish Museum Berlin (2004)
  • B.A.U.M. Special Environmental Prize (2005)
  • Vernon A. Walters Award 2005 from the Atlantik-Brücke Foundation (2005)
  • German Founders’ Prize in the Lifetime Work Category (2006)
  • International Lifetime Award (2006)
  • German Grand Merit Cross with Star (2006)
  • German Retail Prize in the Lifetime Award Category (2007)
  • Medal for Outstanding Services to the Foundation Sector (2008)
  • Theodor Heuss Prize (2010)
  • UNESCO Children in Need Support Award (2010)
  • Walter Scheel Prize (2011)
  • Heinz Sielmann Honorary Award (2011)
  • International TÜV Rheinland Global Compact Award (2011)
  • Honorary Doctorate from the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management (2012)
  • Inclusion in the Manager Magazine Business Hall of Fame (2012)
  • Honorary Citizen of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (2013)
  • Steiger Award for Commitment in the Environmental Sector (2013)
  • Bavarian Order of Merit (2015)
  • Honorary Membership of the Patriotic Society of 1765 (2016)
  • Nomination as Digital Champion as part of the Wirtschaftswoche and Telekom Digital Champions Award (2016)
  • German CSR Award (2017)
  • Hans Lenz Medal for Services to Amateur Music Making (2017)
  • Honorary Professorship from the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (2018)
  • European Economic Senate EMS Award (2019)
  • GEM Award for Branding Thought Leaders (2019)
  • Hamburg Founders' Prize from Haspa and Hamburger Abendblatt in the "Lifetime Achievement" category (2023)

Honorary appointments

Prof. Dr. Otto has been appointed to the following honorary positions, amongst others:

  • Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Michael Otto Environmental Foundation
  • Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Werner Otto Foundation for Medical Research
  • Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Aid by Trade Foundation
  • Co-founder and Honorary Member of the World Future Council, Hamburg
  • Co-founder and Honorary Senator of the German National Foundation, Weimar
  • Initiator and Chairman of the Executive Board of the Foundation "KlimaWirtschaft" – German Entrepreneurs for Climate Protection, Berlin
  • Member of the Board of Trustees of the Helmut and Loki Schmidt Foundation
  • Member of the International Club of Rome
  • Honorary Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the environmental foundation WWF Germany, Berlin
  • Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Society for Politics and Industry (RISSEN House), Hamburg


You will find the CV, interviews and other media here.

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Prof. Dr. Michael Otto being interviewed
Prof. Dr. Michael Otto being interviewed

Prof. Dr. Michael Otto as


Prof. Dr. Michael Otto as