01 Feb 2024, 13:24
Carolina Kyllmann

Younger generations drive German companies' sustainability efforts – report

Clean Energy Wire

German companies are being driven to increase their commitment to sustainability by the younger generation and the competition for future employees, according to the latest Sustainability Transformation Monitor report by foundation Bertelsmann Stiftung. "Particularly in times of a shortage of skilled labour, and increased demands from potential employees with regard to the sustainability of their employers, companies often cannot afford to ignore the issue," said Laura Marie Edinger-Schons, sustainability officer at Hamburg University. "The competition for the best young minds is therefore a stronger direct driver of sustainability in companies than climate activism on the street." Having surveyed over 360 company sustainability managers, the report said that politics and regulation, as well as company management, are also important drivers behind companies' efforts to become more sustainable.

A large share of companies (80%) take a strategic approach to sustainability, with the topic having gained importance in recent years for the majority of them. More than half (54%) of surveyed companies include sustainability in their corporate strategy, 67 percent see sustainability as a development opportunity, and 70 percent are aware of their carbon footprint. Thirty-six percent say they feel fairly well prepared to meet regulatory requirements on the topic. Progress was being slowed by a lack of human and financial resources, as well as difficulties obtaining data, the report found. "Climate change is the greatest risk to our economic and financial system. Climate protection must therefore be integrated as a key objective in investment decisions," Philipp Wesemann, from foundation Stiftung Mercator, said.

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