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The Entrepreneurs for Future initiative includes more than 3,200 participating companies. These companies set an example for climate protection within their businesses and take to the streets in solidarity with Fridays for Future. Photo: UnternehmensGrün, Jörg Farys
Dr Reuter, what do the Entrepreneurs for Future stand for?
We are all entrepreneurs who are committed to ensuring that the economy makes faster progress in the area of climate protection. We believe that the measures put in place by policymakers to protect the climate, species, forests, soil and oceans are far from sufficient. We are therefore showing our solidarity with the Fridays for Future climate strike, initiated by Greta Thunberg of Sweden.
What motivates companies to join your initiative?
The historic mobilisation power of the climate protection movement just goes to show how urgent the issue is. But the school strikes have largely been disregarded, due to the strikers’ alleged lack of knowledge or even understanding of reality. There was a general call for professionals to get involved. Well, we are those professionals – and here we are: more than 3,200 companies representing over 200,000 jobs. That’s not so easy to ignore.
Dr Katharina Reuter co-founded the Entrepreneurs for Future initiative. Photo: UnternehmensGrün, Jörg Farys
If sustainable economic activity has been a possibility for so long, why is it still the exception?
Conventional business associations still claim that climate protection is a burden and that companies cannot afford it. But that’s not true. This may have been the case in the past, but it is no longer the case today. We need to raise awareness that climate protection is not a burden, but a necessity and an economic opportunity for Germany’s competitiveness.
What needs to change, from your point of view?
First and foremost, we need fair competitive conditions for climate-friendly technologies and business models. Sustainable companies are currently the ones taking the initiative, which means they often have to sell their products at a higher price than companies that do not care about people or the environment. CO2 finally needs to be priced appropriately. Chemical, synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, for example, must be subject to such high taxes that the ecological consequences are factored into the price.
Companies of all sizes and from a wide range of industries have joined their movement. How do you bring them all together?
The signatories all stipulate concrete climate protection targets for their own companies and pledge their support for the Entrepreneurs for Future statement. Our catalogue of requirements is a strong statement and leaves no room for greenwashing. Because as different as the companies in our initiative are, we all share the same goal: To save our planet.