Sustainability high up on German SMEs’ agendas also amid energy crisis, survey shows
Clean Energy Wire
Many companies in Germany’s vast "Mittelstand" sector of small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) still place high importance on sustainability, despite the energy crisis and economic struggles, according to a survey of 300 companies carried out by Commerzbank. Forty percent of the companies surveyed said they have a sustainability strategy –slightly down from 43 percent in the 2020 survey – and 33 percent are planning on drafting one, the survey conducted by pollster Forsa found in March and April 2022, when rapid energy price rises had already set in. “The effects of the energy crisis are strengthening companies’ efforts to implement further sustainability measures,” writes Commerzbank. “Ninety-one percent of those surveyed foresee many opportunities, above all in using resources carefully.” The survey defines sustainability not just as environmental and climate action, but also the long-term preservation of the economic performance of companies and corporate social responsibility.
A recent survey by the University of Trier showed that about two thirds of SMEs say they aim to reduce their CO2 emissions by 2030, while a quarter has set carbon neutrality targets. A recent report by the German CEO Alliance for Climate and Economy and sustainability consultancy Better Earth indicated that climate protection has a major impact on the strategic decisions of companies and is increasingly becoming a success indicator for management.