Sustainability – Generations in dialogue

March 4, 2022

Sustainability – Generations in dialogue. Accompanying the EU taxonomy, the Carbon Disclosure Project or the enthusiasm for the topic among many larger and smaller companies, I see the dialogue in society and above all between the generations as an important key to the big topic of sustainability and this includes the goal of achieving Paris conformity (1.5 degrees).

The Fridays-for-Future Generation meets sustainability corporate culture. What do they have to say to each other? Thank you, Laurin Strößenreuther from Leadership Rhein-Main, for the initiative to prepare a dialogue process with the group spokespersons of the FÖJ Verband Hessen. FÖJ stands for Free Ecological Year, which is usually practiced between school and studies.

We notice that young adults are very interested in taking a look behind the scenes of a company. There is no fear of asking clever questions, very pragmatic and uncomplicated, which sometimes still lead to surprising insights within the company. Together with other experienced mentors, I am very happy to be part of this project as a coach and mentor. I look forward to seeing what will develop from it this year.

From my point of view, a real win-win situation for both sides.

 

November 3, 2022

Experiences after one year: The Fridays-for-Future generation meets sustainability corporate culture – a dialogue.

With great commitment, ten young adults were on the road as sustainability auditors in their “Voluntary Ecological Year” (FÖJ) of the year 2021/22 in addition to their work on the deployment sites. In a medium-sized company in the electrical industry and in a globally active mechanical engineering company – an initiative of the LEADERSHIP RHEIN-MAIN – network at eye level around Laurin Strößenreuther together with the FÖJ-Verband Hessen.

Together with Laurin and Claudia Graebel Beermann, CSP, I accompanied the project as a mentor and coach

In this process, dialogue at eye level is important to us.

✳ The FÖJ auditors ask managers and executives questions on the topic of sustainability: What exactly is being done? What are your plans for the future?

✳ Opinions and recommendations of the FÖJ auditors are heard and taken seriously by the company.

✳ The FÖJ auditors can look behind the scenes of a company to get a feel for the complexity of the topic in connection with the business.

The experiences from the first year in this process were consistently positive and enriching for the young adults. They were associated with the feeling of actually being able to make a difference. After all, the constructive criticism of the younger generation is perceived and reflected by the company.

 

“I was very happy to be a part of this project and hope that this idea of bringing young people into dialogue with companies will definitely grow into something big,” was the opinion of one of the FÖJ group spokespersons.

The FÖJ association has a voice with positive social relevance and creates space to be heard.

And now? Planning is already underway for the next year 2022/23. Because it’s worth it to keep going.

➡ I’m happy to receive supportive comments…

… and even more about your interest in participating if your company is located in Hesse (for example in the Rhine-Main area) or has a branch, plant or location there.

 

June 2, 2023

It’s all about trust – in our intergenerational dialogue on the topic of sustainability.

Our work is paying off and is beginning to bear fruit. The results in the second year will be transparent and public.

We had already reported on the pilot of the first year here (https://lnkd.in/e2W5JTZp). With great commitment, five young adults have now been on the road as sustainability auditors in their “Voluntary Ecological Year” (FÖJ for short) of the year 2022/23 in addition to their work on the deployment sites.

And recently we were at @Evonik at the Hanau site Industrial Parc Wolfgang. Evonik’s commitment to sustainability was impressive, as was its concern to better reach the younger generation and its issues. At the same time, it became clear that, from the auditors’ point of view, there must be a clear prioritisation of capital investments in such a way that the climate target of 1.5°C must not be exceeded under any circumstances.

Evonik has reported about the results (https://lnkd.in/eNirHqwz).

My observations:

✳ Very well prepared, asking smart questions, standing up for their convictions and also courageous, that’s how I experience our young auditors in the process. After all, it is already a great task to face this dialogue in new, largely unknown territory.

✳ The fact that it is possible to talk to executives and managers at eye level and that they take their opinions to heart was particularly positive for our participants.

✳ And: “We are curious to see what happens next!” is what we hear again and again as mentors from the participating FÖJ students, even under the aspect that they want to stay in touch even after the FÖJ year to see what will develop from the audit in the following year.

Site Leader Kerstin Oberhaus has made it credibly clear to us that we are continuing to work on the implementation of measures with great seriousness, and she has invited us to the Sustainability Quick Check on site on June 21 to report on our impressions and results and discuss them further.

Together with Laurin Strößenreuther as initiator of the LEADERSHIP RHEIN-MAIN network at eye level and Claudia Graebel Beermann, I accompany the project as a mentor and coach.

We would like to thank Kerstin Oberhaus, Silke Wodarczak, and all Evonik colleagues involved for facilitating and continuing this important dialogue process.

➡ I’m happy to receive supportive comments…

… and as a heads-up the reference to the next reports, which are already in preparation.

Planning for the next season, the 2023/24 vintage, has begun. If your company is located in Hesse (e.g. in the Rhine-Main area) or has a branch, plant or location there and is interested in participating, simply contact us here via the website.

 

June, 21st, 2023

Age Diversity and an unusual perspective on the topic of sustainable business.

⏭ “How do we get more age diversity into the decision-making process? And I mean the participation process of the young generation.” ⏮

I asked this question yesterday to the participants of the panel who answered questions on the occasion of the second annual conference of the “Initiative for Sustainable Business” in Hesse. Questions could be asked in the digital voting process and supported by the audience. And my question had struck a chord with the audience.

The panel discussion was preceded by a keynote speech by KfW’s Chief Economist, @Friederike (Fritzi) Koehler-Geib, who described the path from knowledge to action, specifically how to clear the way for climate-neutral business. My conclusion from this is that Germany is well equipped for the technological developments of the green growth markets.

On the podium, they were accompanied by high-ranking representatives of Daimler Truck and VIESSMANN, as well as the managing director of the Hessian Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

Back to my question and the answers from the discussion, which are partly ideas, partly measures in the implementation phase.

✳ Training or developing a role as a sustainability facilitator in the company or association.

✳ Establishment of a climate council in municipal committees, which is composed of all social interest groups.

✳ Reverse mentoring: Young employees, such as trainees, are used as mentors to decision-makers on the topic of sustainability.

It’s all about trust – in our intergenerational dialogue on the topic of sustainability. That’s my opinion.

➡ And how do you see that? Do you have any other ideas?

Together with Laurin Strößenreuther as the initiator of the LEADERSHIP RHEIN-MAIN – Network at Eye Level, I accompany a project as a mentor and coach in which we train young adults as sustainability auditors in their “Voluntary Ecological Year” (FÖJ for short) in addition to their work on the deployment sites and refer them to interested industrial companies in Hesse for an audit on the topic of sustainability.

 

October 22, 2023

⏭ “How do we get more age diversity into the decision-making process for sustainability management? And I’m talking about the participation process of the younger generation.” ⏮

This is a crucial question and strikes a chord with the issue of intergenerational justice.

There are many ideas on this. Development of a role as a sustainability facilitator in the company, use of trainees as mentors of decision-makers on the topic of sustainability, establishment of an intergenerational climate council. Just to name a few examples.

Together with Laurin Strößenreuther as initiator of the LEADERSHIP RHEIN-MAIN Netzwerk auf Augenhöhe uG and Claudia Beermann, I accompany a project as a mentor and coach, in which we accompany young adults in their “Voluntary Ecological Year” (FÖJ for short) as sustainability auditors and refer them to interested industrial companies in Hesse for an audit on the topic of sustainability.

Questions from the young generation and answers from the company. In one day. A dialogue at eye level. That’s the concept.

We have already accompanied two FöJ years and now we were in Kassel at the Group Speakers Conference to win over the next year. In the meantime, FöJ alumni from the past two years support us with their experiences in the pitch and make it a self-runner. The group spokespersons of the current year 2023/24 have decided to participate with an overwhelming majority.

So we will have capacity for some dialogue talks.  If your company is located in Hesse (e.g. in the Rhine-Main area) or has a branch, plant or location there and is interested in participating, simply contact us here by DM.

It’s all about trust in our cross-generational dialogue on sustainability.

➡ Do you have any questions? Feel free to ask me anytime.

FöJ alumni and the coaches who were there in Kassel are here in the picture.

 

 

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