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.

 

April 26, 2024

It is about sustainability, and about strategic measures to limit climate change, when we as mentors and coaches accompany young adults in their “Voluntary Ecological Year” (FÖJ for short) to their audits of interested industrial companies in Hesse.

The initiative was launched a few years ago by Laurin Strößenreuther from the LEADERSHIP RHEIN-MAIN – Netzwerk auf Augenhöhe gUG and is very much supported by the FÖJ sponsorship in Hesse.

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

On Tuesday, Till Boch from ITO Global Logistics invited us to Mörfelden. The company has offices in Frankfurt and Hamburg, as well as at several locations on the African continent.

Operations & Finance Director Monika Demski and Operations Manager Daniel Hein answered our questions. And a video link to Tunis was also on the agenda in order to understand with the experienced quality manager of the ITO Group how to creatively and sensitively support the employees at the respective locations in their development, also with regard to the cultural sensitivities.

The challenges of the entire logistics industry and the importance of Scope 3 in the topic of emission reduction were discussed transparently and very openly. Especially if you as a logistics company have the will to have a more sustainable appearance – and this became clear for ITO – you fail due to the fact that in the end only the cheapest price counts and sustainability criteria play a very subordinate (or even none) role in the tender.

The report of the “FÖJ-tis” to the company is now being prepared. During the closing session on Tuesday, initial approaches for ideas and possible implementation options have already emerged. An exciting day for all of us. We agreed on that.

To learn together in an intergenerational dialogue on the topic of sustainability. That’s what our goal is.

➡ Are you and your company interested in our approach? We will be happy to answer your questions.

 

May 23, 2024

Could you imagine working here?

This is a question that we as mentors and coaches always ask the young adults in their “Voluntary Ecological Year” (FÖJ for short) when we accompany them to their audits on the topic of sustainability at interested industrial companies in Hesse.

After all, you want to feel in good hands with a potential employer of the future when it comes to sustainability.

Because sustainability is what it is all about, and strategic measures to limit climate change in the initiative that Laurin Strößenreuther from the LEADERSHIP RHEIN-MAIN Netzwerk auf Augenhöhe gUG launched a few years ago and which is very much supported by the FÖJ sponsorship in Hesse.

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

It was the first time we were at a start-up. Timur Sirman and Max Fries had invited us to Darmstadt. Max and Filippo Castelli guided us through the day. It was very inspiring to perceive how completely new approaches can be used to initiate a general rethink.

MAGNOTHERM is a young company that was founded as a spin-off of the Technical University of Darmstadt and already has more than 40 employees. It is about innovative magnetic cooling technology that is expected to revolutionize the efficiency of commercial cooling systems and pave the way to a decarbonized future.

The connection to sustainability is the product itself and the business model behind it.

The final report on the observations and what can possibly be improved from the point of view of the FÖJ-tis has just been prepared. MAGNOTHERM has made a great start and yet is thrilled to receive our suggestions on how to make work in the company even more sustainable.

Compromises exist, for example, in the selection options for the suppliers of raw materials. And all those involved in this audit would like to see more flexibility from the real estate industry, such as enabling the use of renewable energies in the leased premises.

The day was exciting and instructive. For us and for the company. To learn together in an intergenerational dialogue on the topic of sustainability. That’s what it’s all about for us.

 

June 12, 2024

Hier is the link to the article of Dieter Hilla in Haufe Sustainability:

➡️ https://www.haufe.de/sustainability/soziales/nachwuchskraefte-und-nachhaltigkeit-im-unternehmen_575770_624950.html

 

July 3, 2024

And now it was even on the podium …
… for our dialogue project on sustainability.

The project has now become a broad initiative. Over the past three years, twenty young adults have audited companies in the metal and mechanical engineering industries, the electrical and chemical industries and logistics, from start-ups to large corporations.

We have already reported on our audits at ITO Global Logistics, MAGNOTHERM and in the Wolfgang Industrial Park at Evonik here, and Dr. Dieter Hilla has already presented our initiative at Haufe Sustainability: ⏭️ Young people as a driver for the green transformation.

The nice thing about it is that the dialogue takes place at eye level. And that is one of our goals.

Our initiative continues to grow. The participating FÖJ-tis also hope that this idea of bringing young people into dialogue with companies will grow into something big. And that’s what we set out to do.

➡️ We are looking forward to your interest and also to your supportive comments.

A special thank you to our three FÖJ alumnis, Stine, Annika and Ole, who represented their and our initiative here in such a first-class way.

And here is the report of Annika Sauer at LinkedIn (https://lnkd.in/g_KWixYT)

Three years ago, we said, “We have a voice and we need space and space to be heard.” Last week we felt the recognition of our work and had a chance to raise our voices clearly!

With this motto, we, participants of the Voluntary Ecological Year (FÖJ-tis for short), started the sustainability audit project at interested industrial companies in Hesse in 2021. The initiative was launched by LEADERSHIP RHEIN-MAIN – Netzwerk auf Augenhöhe and is supported by the FÖJ sponsorship and FÖJ-AKTIVE e.V. in Hesse. Over the past three years, we have audited companies in the metal and mechanical engineering, electrical and chemical industries and logistics, from start-ups to large corporations.

On Thursday last week, we were invited with representatives of our FÖJ alumni to the 2024 annual conference of the Sustainable Economy Initiative of the NHS Hessen. One of us 📣, Stine W., sat in the panel moderated by Zackes Brustik together with various industry representatives. The hall was full of signatories of the Sustainability Charter. We reported on the experiences of the audits and on what the young generation expects from industrial companies.

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

✳️ It’s encouraging!! We felt a positive and future-oriented mood among the participants. The lectures and discussions were exciting and multifaceted. We felt in good hands and respected and noticed in numerous conversations that there was a lot of interest in our points of view and ideas. We also gained an authentic insight into the various strategies for implementing sustainability in the company. … and we have also clearly stated where we still see a need for action.

📣 We are heard and taken seriously. And that’s a good thing, because we need more age diversity in the decision-making processes of the economy. And we mean the participation of the young generation. 📣

… of course, this event was a bubble of sustainability and our voice must be❗️ carried further into the breadth of the economy

🔜 Are you and your company interested in our approach? We will be happy to answer your questions.

Our thanks go to all twenty FÖJ-tis, Monika Berger and team participating in the project so far for inviting NHS and Laurin Strößenreuther, Bernd Scharbert and Claudia Graebel Beermann as our experienced coaches.

Stine W. (on the podium), Ole Kiehne and Annika Sauer, who were allowed to represent the program and our work at the conference.

 

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