On the margins of the #COP27 world climate conference in Egypt, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Otto Group, entrepreneur and philanthropist Prof Dr Michael Otto was presented with the prestigious Future Economy Leadership Award for his life's work.
The awards presented by the non-governmental organization Future Economy Forum honours individuals or organizations that make an outstanding global contribution towards a new economic mainstream that integrates business success with the regeneration of climate, nature, societies and people.
Speaking to hundreds of guests at the Future Economy Forum, held as part of this year's #COP27 global climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Helmy Abouleish, co-chair of the Forum, said: “There are some entrepreneurs who began to incorporate the protection of people and the environment into the core strategy of the company at an early stage, before sustainability turned into a consumer trend. Prof Dr Michael Otto is one of these few entrepreneurs who, with the Otto Group, has always been committed to taking responsibility and integrating sustainability into all work processes. His professional life has been marked by both far-sightedness and a sense of innovation.”
Abouleish also pointed out that Prof Dr Michael Otto, 79, has taken on responsibility for the global community far beyond his work in business, with his attitude being manifested in the founding of the Stiftung KlimaWirtschaft – German CEO Alliance for Climate and Economics – the Aid by Trade Foundation, the Environmental Foundation Michael Otto and in the co-founding of the World Future Council: “He is a role model in philanthropy and very active in his foundations.”
In a video message to the Forum delegates, Prof Dr Michael Otto expressed his sincere thanks for the prestigious award. “Through my work within the Otto Group and with my foundations, I hope I can contribute to ensuring that the planet we leave behind for future generations is one worth living in.”
Other winners of the 2022 Future Economy Leadership Awards include regenerative agriculture expert Vijay Kumar, long-time Triodos Bank leader and founder of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values Peter Blom, Club of Rome and its co-president Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, Natura and Natura & Co CEO in Latin America Joao Paulo Ferreira, impact investing and microfinance movement leader Marilou van Golstein Brouwers, and Italian Senator Mauro del Barba, president of Assobenefit and Benefit Corporation Legislation.
In honour of each award winner, the Future Economy Forum will plant 100 trees at the Egyptian White Desert Farm of the company SEKEM, one of the Forum’s co-founders. The trees will gradually grow into a large forest.
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Founded in 1949 in Germany, the Otto Group is today a globally operating e-commerce and service Group with around 43,000 employees in 30 significant corporate groups, primarily present in the three economic areas of Germany, the rest of Europe, and the USA. Its business activities extend to the Platforms, Brand Concepts, Retailers, Services, and Financial Services segments. In the 2021/22 financial year (28 February), the Otto Group generated revenue of EUR 16.1 billion. With online sales of around EUR 12.1 billion, the Otto Group is among the world’s largest online retailers. The Group’s main strength is its broad-based presence with various ranges of products for diverse target groups in important regions around the world. A number of strategic partnerships and joint ventures offer the Otto Group outstanding conditions for the transfer of know-how and the use of synergy potential. A high degree of entrepreneurial responsibility and the Group companies’ will to collaborate guarantee both flexibility and customer proximity along with optimal appeal to target groups in each country.