European Association of Sustainability Professionals
VNU Verband für Nachhaltigkeitsund
Umweltmanagement e. V.
c/o Christina Geiger
Am Hangelstein 8
D-65812 Bad Soden
Martina Prox
Phone: 0700 868 11225
Fax: 0700 868 11224
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VNU and its members:
VNU is an independent not-for-profit association established in 2000 in Frankfurt/M. as the legal successor of the Institute of Environmental Verifiers (IdU) and the Organisation of Environmental Auditors and - Verifiers (UBV), both founded in 1994, thus representing more than 20 years of experience in this area. It is the aim of VNU to promote management systems and other related tools which are based on the idea of environmental protection and sustainable development.

VNU represents some of the most important organisationsand companies in the field of environmental management in Germany (organisations with an environmental management in place;environmental consultants, environmental managers, verification organisations, independent verifiers, certification bodies and auditors) plus many others who are active in the areas of implementation, management, optimisation, upgrading or monitoring of management systems.

  • Improvement of the understanding of economic and ecological interdependencies
  • Strengthening the professional expertise in environmental and sustainability management
  • Work on special topics in various departments
  • Coordination and development of the EMAS Club Europe
  • Contribution to the shaping of new career profiles in sustainability and environmental management

In addition, VNU promotes networking among environmental and sustainability experts. The Association established the EMAS Club Europe in 2012 to support the exchange of experience among members. VNU maintains a close cooperation with a range of other organisations next to EASP.

We are a liaison partner of the ISO TC 207, and several VNU members participate in the work of various ISO standards bodies. VNU is a member of EAC/FALB (Forum of Accredited Licencing Bodies) and ENEP (European Network of Environmental Professionals) and a core member of the EMAS community, being a recognised authority by both the EU (DG Environment) and also the German EMAS Advisory Board (UGA) to the German government.  VNU has strong ties to DIN and GRI and  to the EU EMAS Regulatory Committee / Article 49 Task Force.

  • participation of environmental and sustainability professionals in politics, institutions and public affairs
  • building professional competence for environmental and sustainability management by organising  the exchange of experience and knowledge (organisation of meetings, working groups, seminars, excursions etc.)
  • supporting the development of new academic programmes in the field of environmental and sustainability development
  • raising awareness of the economic benefits of integrated sustainability and environmental management
  • promoting the minimisation of environmental impact using the “best available technology and knowledge”
  • promoting new sustainability concepts within professional organisations, forums for the exchange of experience and expert committees

Lennart Schleicher (President)

Bettina Heimer (Vice President)

Gisbert Braun

Dr. Patrick Neumann-Opitz

Helmar Pflock

Martina Prox

Stephan Schunkert 


In 2016 VNU established a range of departments with department heads each of whom reports to an assigned member of the board. The department heads serve as direct contact for VNU members in their respective area of expertise.

Energy Management  -  Jochen Buser
Business Ethics – Klaus J. Schuler
Environmental Management  - Dr. Birgit Gieren
Climate Proctection – Stephan Schunkert
Life Cycle Inventory – Thorsten Grantner
Water Risk – Bettina Heimer
Sustainability Management – Gisbert Braun
Sustainability Reporting – Dr. Michael Schink
Eco-Controlling – Christian Hiß

The EMAS Club Europe which was established by VNU in 2012 serves – via its regular meetings of the five regional groups – as a platform for the exchange of information and discussions for EMAS registered organisations.
Every year we offer the Environmental- and Sustainability Manager Day (jointly with our annual general assembly) in Frankfurt / Main, the Environmental Verifier Day in changing locations and since 2015 the VNU Symposium for Sustainable Management Systems.

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