After this programme, there is no longer any question that companies need an ESG strategy. The demands for more sustainable action and greater consideration of social issues come from customers, employees, investors and legislators alike. 

Watch the highlights of the programme (in German only)

What is sustainable? What advantages can be derived from ESG for companies? Our moderator David Rohde discussed this controversially and constructively with our guests:

  • Rebecca Freitag, sustainability activist
  • Kerstin Hochmüller, managing director of the family business Marantec
  • Dr. Katharina Reuter, Managing Director of the German Sustainable Business Association (BNW)
  • Jens C. Laue

ESG becomes a competitive advantage

Jens C. Laue sees the ESG concept positively. For the first time, the concept encompasses a broad understanding of sustainability with social-ecological factors. Sustainability activist Rebecca Freitag castigated the fact that some things are merely marketing: "It's exciting what is suddenly sustainable. The change is often limited to the packaging, while the content is the same. She emphasised the role of German business: "German companies have a direct influence on 77% of German emissions. This creates a position of responsibility."

"Non-sustainable business will no longer find credit in 10 to 15 years," said Dr Katharina Reuter from the German Sustainable Business Association (BNW). In her opinion, politics should also set stricter framework conditions: "Higher standards have never harmed Germany as a business location."

Sustainability as a unique opportunity

The managing director of the family-owned company Marantec, Kerstin Hochmüller, sees ESG as a "unique opportunity". This can be used to develop a competitive advantage that is sustainable and long-lasting. From her point of view, the key question is: "How do we have to think in order to become more sustainable as a company?

For Jens C. Laue, a turning point is currently taking place: "The road is still long. But we can see that something is happening now." The task now is to generate a strategic advantage from this. "The costs if I don't meet the requirements are many times higher than taking on the costs now and becoming more sustainable.


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