69 German enterprises call for an implementation programme for climate neutrality

As the detailed exploratory talks on the formation of the new German government begin, a broad alliance of German businesses from all key sectors of the economy is calling for an ambitious, cross-sector climate policy fit for the purpose of reaching the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

With their appeal, 69 businesses – including many large enterprises – call upon the parties involved in the negotiations to put Germany on a clear and reliable path to climate neutrality. They call upon the new German government to launch an implementation programme for climate neutrality within its first 100 days. In doing so, the German private sector is sending a clear signal for ambitious climate action during the new legislative period.

"Climate protection was the decisive topic in the federal election and the parties must place it at the top of their agenda in building the new federal government," said Prof. Dr. Michael Otto, president of Foundation 2º, businessman, and chairman of the board of the Otto Group. "The decade for taking climate action has begun. The new federal government must now set the framework so that we as businesspeople can make climate neutrality a trademark of the German private sector," Otto continued.

The businesses involved include prominent representatives of all relevant sectors and key industries, including the raw materials and chemicals industries, machine and automobile manufacturers, the financial industry, and large enterprises from the buildings, mobility, and trade sectors. Taken together, they employ more than one million people in Germany and over five million people worldwide and represent a global turnover of around one trillion Euro.

Following the holistic approach of the European Commission’s Green Deal, the enterprises’ appeal includes a call for the implementation programme to contain a package of concrete measures so that the goal of climate neutrality can be reached with certainty by 2045. The transformation to climate neutrality necessitates an accelerated expansion of important technologies and infrastructures. This particularly applies to the expansion of renewable energies and the electricity grid needed to do so, as well as to climate-friendly industrial facilities and transport infrastructure and to building refurbishments for increased energy efficiency.

‘“Making climate neutrality work” should become the motto of the new legislative period. The new government must take courageous and determined climate policy action and can build upon the support of this broad business alliance in doing so," said Sabine Nallinger, managing director of Foundation 2º. "It is now a matter of making an implementation programme for climate neutrality a central pillar of the coalition talks and new government. Just weeks before COP26 in Glasgow and before the important decisions to be taken on the “Fit for 55” package of the EU, these businesses are sending an important signal to the European and international community with this appeal," Nallinger continued.


"Together with many other major German companies, the Otto Group is advocating for a new German government to place climate protection at the center of its work. An implementation campaign for climate neutrality can provide the planning and investment security that companies need to make climate protection an economic success model."
Alexander Birken, CEO, Otto Group

"The German economy bears great responsibility when it comes to the sustainable transformation of the country. The construction industry in particular, which is one of the most emissions- and resource-intensive sectors of the economy, has the potential to make an active contribution to achieving climate protection targets worldwide. To ensure that this potential can be effectively exploited, rapid and, above all, targeted support is now needed from the new government to achieve the necessary turnaround in climate policy and introduce effective measures."
Andreas Engelhardt, Managing Partner with Unlimited Liability, Schüco International KG

“Clear perspectives instead of cloudy visions – now! A huge transformation needs a reliable framework. For example for sufficient renewable energy at competitive costs.”
Kristian Evers, Managing Partner, Papier- und Kartonfabrik Varel GmbH & Co. KG

"Germany faces enormous challenges to become the world’s first climate-neutral industrialized country by 2045, while remaining competitive at the same time. However, sustainable climate protection can only work in this way and serve as a model for other regions of the world."
Roland Harings, CEO, Aurubis AG

"The business appeal expresses the basic consensus in the business community to expect and accept fast, clear and effective steps from policymakers to achieve the 1.5 degree target."
Thomas Jorberg, Spokesman of the Board, GLS Gemeinschaftsbank eG

"It is well known that climate policy must be a focus of the next federal government. The necessities and also the problems are all known. Clear priority must now be given quite practically to a binding and consistent implementation agenda."
Dr. Frank Mastiaux, Chief Executive Officer, EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG

"Rossmann can only become climate neutral if our suppliers follow in the same wake. But that will only be possible if the national and international energy mix will be radically decarbonized."
Raoul Roßmann, Managing Director, Dirk Rossmann GmbH

"Climate protection is the greatest challenge of our time. Business enterprises need a clear political framework, and this now requires decisive action by the new federal government. We see climate-friendly business practices as both our responsibility as well as an opportunity to align our business model for the future."
Olaf Schabirosky, Chief Executive Officer, Hermes Germany GmbH

"Major financial institutions are working with businesses to help implement the 1.5-degree target. If policymakers create more effective incentives and framework conditions for climate-friendly business and action, large parts of the economy can change and evolve more quickly. This can make achieving the 2045 climate target possible."
Dr. Günther Thallinger, Member of the Board, Allianz SE

“We have ambitious climate targets and are upscaling necessary technologies, but without courageous and rapid policy support, the transformation cannot succeed."
Dr. Dominik von Achten, Chairman of the Managing Board, HeidelbergCement AG

"The next four years are crucial for creating reliable framework conditions for achieving the climate targets. In the transport sector in particular, there is massive untapped climate protection potential that can only be leveraged by consistently strengthening rail freight."
Sven Wellbrock, Chief Operating Officer Europe & Chief Safety Officer, VTG AG

"While there is widespread consensus on the importance of climate change, implementing climate action remains a major challenge. To finally get us to act, the next federal government needs to unleash innovation and remove hurdles with pragmatism."
Michael Zahn, CEO, Deutsche Wohnen SE

More information

Media Contact

Nicole Sieverding
Tel.: +49 40 6461 3179

Stiftung 2 Grad
Dr. Mikiya Heise, Senior Referent Kommunikation
Tel.: +49 (0) 163 8827595

About the Otto Group

Founded in Germany in 1949, today the Otto Group is a globally active retail and services group with around 50,000 employees in 30 major company groups and does business in over 30 countries in Europe, North and South America, and Asia. Its business activities are grouped into three segments: Multichannel Retail, Financial Services, and Service. In the 2020/21 financial year (to 28 February), the Otto Group generated revenues of 15.6 billion euros. With online revenues of approximately 9.9 billion euros, the Otto Group is one of the world’s largest online retailers. The Group’s particular strength is its broad market presence and differentiated product and service offers to diverse customer target groups in almost all of the world’s relevant economic regions. Numerous strategic partnerships and joint ventures provide the Otto Group with excellent opportunities to transfer know-how and leverage areas of synergy potential. Group companies demonstrate a high degree of corporate responsibility and willingness to collaborate with one another; at the same time this guarantees flexibility, customer proximity and optimum target-group appeal in their respective national markets.

About Foundation 2°

Die Stiftung 2° ist eine Initiative von Vorstandsvorsitzenden, Geschäftsführern und Familienunternehmern. Ziel ist es, die Politik zur Etablierung effektiver marktwirtschaftlicher Rahmenbedingungen für den Klimaschutz aufzufordern und die Lösungskompetenz deutscher Unternehmen zu unterstützen. Benannt ist die Stiftung nach ihrem wichtigsten Ziel: die durchschnittliche globale Erderwärmung auf deutlich unter 2 Grad Celsius zu beschränken. Die Unterstützer der Stiftung sind: AIDA Cruises, ALDI SÜD Dienstleistungs-GmbH & Co. oHG, Allianz SE, Aurubis AG, DAIKIN Airconditioning Germany GmbH, Deutsche Bahn AG, Deutsche Post DHL Group, DEUTSCHE ROCKWOOL GmbH & Co. KG, Deutsche Telekom AG, Deutsche Wohnen SE, Dirk Rossmann GmbH, DRÄXLMAIER Group, EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG, Unternehmensgruppe Gegenbauer, GLS Gemeinschaftsbank eG, GOLDBECK GmbH, HeidelbergCement AG, INTERSEROH Dienstleistungs GmbH/ALBA Services Holding GmbH, Lanxess AG, Otto Group, OTTO FUCHS KG, Papier- und Kartonfabrik Varel GmbH & Co. KG, Phoenix Contact GmbH & Co. KG, PUMA SE, Salzgitter AG, Schüco International KG, Schwäbisch Hall-Stiftung bauen-wohnen-leben, thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG, Union Asset Management Holding AG, VTG Aktiengesellschaft, Wacker Chemie AG.

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