22 Mar 2024, 13:12
Sören Amelang

German companies face increasing climate action demands from clients and investors – survey

Clean Energy Wire

Clients and financing partners both increasingly demand more climate action from German companies, which respond with a growing emission reduction engagement, according to a survey conducted by state development bank KfW. “In 2023, climate protection was not only more frequently an important topic in financing discussions (19% vs. 15% in the previous year), but was also increasingly demanded by customers (22% vs. 17% in the previous year),” KfW said. Around one in three companies (31%) said they faced external pressure for climate action from these stakeholders – this was especially true for larger companies, but an increasing number of smaller ones also reported such demands. Ninety-five percent of big corporations said last year that clients demanded more climate action or that it was an important topic during discussions about financing, compared to just 28 percent of micro enterprises.

The growing stakeholder demands have a direct impact on how companies deal with the issue, KfW said. “A look at the companies' specific climate protection activities reveals a strong and significant correlation between stakeholder requirements and the companies' commitment,” the bank said. Companies faced with these demands were more likely to draw up strategic climate protection plans, such as integrating the topic in their corporate strategy or explicitly formulating a climate neutrality target, and were also more likely to implement climate protection measures. KfW said stakeholder interest in sustainability and climate issues is expected to grow in the future, providing further impetus for companies' climate protection activities.

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