"Europe has the massive advantage of climate issues already being a major element of policy here."
WELT am Sonntag - Better Future Conference "Sustainability"
The "Better Future" initiative of WELT am Sonntag focuses on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
On 20 April 2021, around 500 guests from business, science, society, politics and culture discussed solutions for a better future around the topic of sustainability.
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the conference took place mainly in virtual format. Participants could join, interact and network via a digital platform. Austria's Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz held the opening keynote. In addition, model and entrepreneur Sara Nuru, Formula 1 World Champion and sustainability investor Nico Rosberg, serial founder Frank Thelen, Henkel CEO Carsten Knobel and Germany's Federal Minister of Agriculture Julia Klöckner, among others, discussed topics such as foods of the future, sustainable travel after the pandemic and fair fashion.
Global Managing Partner Stefan Schaible commented on the findings of a current Roland Berger CO2 study, which deals with the urgency of climate action and decarbonisation as a competitive advantage. He gave strategic recommendations for action for companies.
"Companies have to do their homework on digitalisation and sustainability," Schaible is convinced. Climate protection is no longer an option for companies, but a must. Energy-intensive sectors such as cement, aluminium or metal production are most affected.
The expert warns: "Without immediate countermeasures, we are heading for disaster. CO2 pricing is one of the best remedies available." In future, the value of a company will also be reflected in its climate protection activities.
That is why Roland Berger is committing itself to net-zero emissions by 2028 - an ambitious stance that Schaible is pushing forward in a strategic alliance side by side with other selected global business representatives. For it is clear - and the discussions at the conference proved this once again - that consumers are already favouring CO2-friendly product innovations through their demand. It is important to use this momentum today rather than tomorrow - for a better future and to maintain the own competitiveness.