Opening: Institute for Sustainable Management

Heinrich Sülzle takes part in the panel discussion at the launch of the IHK Institute in Reutlingen

05. Mai 2023

“Environmental protection and sustainability are increasingly becoming success factors for companies. From my point of view, the opportunities outweigh the risks,” said Christian Kühn MdB, Parliamentary State Secretary of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, at the opening of the IHK Institute for Sustainable Business.

The European Green Deal, climate neutrality in Baden-Württemberg by 2040 and, last but not least, the significant increase in energy costs – there is no lack of major challenges at the moment, Kühn admitted. In view of the Paris climate goals and the looming climate scenarios, however, transformation is without alternative, he said. “We need the contribution of the economy and I am firmly convinced that the innovative power of the regional entrepreneurs is there. The linear economy will become a circular economy and it will be highly innovative, successful and profitable. I am convinced that only sustainable business models can make an economy successful and fit for the future. That is why I welcome the fact that the Reutlingen Chamber of Commerce and Industry is setting its own accent with the new institute.”

Power for innovation
With the IHK’s own Institute for Sustainable Business, INaWi for short, the IHK wants to bundle its activities around the environment, energy and resource efficiency and support companies in implementing their goals. “It is about maintaining and expanding the competitiveness of our companies and their innovative and sustainable orientation,” explained IHK Chief Executive Dr Wolfgang Epp. However, in addition to the opportunities for sustainability, domestic businesses are currently facing additional laws and regulations. Working through these and reporting back improvements to politicians is part of the Institute for Sustainable Management’s work assignment. “Regulations always mean the deployment of personnel in the companies. These are capacities that small and medium-sized enterprises in particular often do not have,” says Epp. “We must succeed in ensuring that the energy of the companies flows into innovation development and less into dealing with bureaucracy.”

The panel discussion “On course for the future: economic efficiency, security of supply and environmental protection” brought together a wide variety of players from the environment and energy sector. The aim was to create transparency in the large topic complex of the Green Deal – especially among SMEs. The exchange with politicians is also to be stepped up. Afra Porsche, climate activist of the “Last Generation” and Heinrich Sülzle, Managing Partner of the Sülzle Group exchanged views on concrete solutions for climate protection.