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German SMEs have some catching up to do when it comes to climate protection

2023-06-07 Lüneburg/Frankfurt am Main. Changing social expectations and increasing political pressure are forcing companies to anchor environmental and social aspects as well as climate conformity more firmly in their corporate management and to adapt their business processes accordingly. This is particularly important for medium-sized companies. Business administration professor Dr. Patrick Velte from the Leuphana University Lüneburg provided scientific support for a study on climate-related corporate management that has just been published by the consulting firm FTI Andersch. Looking at the results, he sees a clear need for German SMEs to catch up.

The study showed that almost half of the companies surveyed said they did not have sufficient internal climate expertise. So far, only 40 percent of the companies surveyed have developed a specific strategy for dealing with climate impacts, while 52 percent are working on it. Companies are endeavoring to reduce their CO2 emissions with a wide range of measures. However, only 28 percent of them have so far defined the achievement of climate neutrality as a goal.

More than half of the companies surveyed do not have any climate-related sustainability reporting - which is now the norm for DAX-listed companies. However, just under 40 percent of the companies stated that they were planning to do so. One in four companies monitors its own emissions only irregularly. This is the case even if a climate strategy has already been developed.

Velte assesses the survey results as follows: "The potential for improvement in German SMEs in terms of climate-related corporate management is not really surprising. Via the new EU directives on sustainability reporting (CSRD) and on sustainability-related due diligence in the value chain (CSDD), climate transformation will have a major impact on SMEs, so the sobering findings are likely to change soon."

For the study, the forsa Institute Berlin last year surveyed 152 German companies with annual sales of between €40 million and €1,000 million and a workforce of between 250 and 5,000 employees. The study is available free of charge at: www.fti-andersch.com/de/insights/climate-governance/

Personal details:
Prof. Velte is an expert on sustainability reporting and its monitoring. He has received numerous awards for his research findings on "green business administration", including one recently from "Wirtschaftswoche" as the best business administration researcher in German-speaking Europe during the period 2018 - 2022.

More information about Professor Velte: