Frankfurt am Main, Germany, April 26, 2023.Yesterday, the international consulting firm Drees & Sommer, with headquarters in the German city of Stuttgart, was given an ESG Transformation Award for the sustainable transformation of its organization.
‘Our award identifies outstanding ESG initiatives and aims to encourage others to emulate them and start new ESG initiatives,’ explained Ralph Hientzsch, Managing Partner at the Management and IT consultancy Consileon and a member of the jury at yesterday’s gala for the award winners in the Museum of Communication in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) is a term that describes a strategy incorporating high environmental standards, social aspects and good corporate governance. The EU legislature wants to pass stricter laws and regulations to improve the transparency of ESG reporting in finance and real estate and to make it more widely mandatory. The ESG Transformation Awards were established by Consileon with Christian Klein, Professor of Sustainable Finance at the University of Kassel, and presented this year for the first time.
Blueprints that Prove their Worth in the Area of Sustainable Transformation
First place in the Organizational Transformation category was awarded to Stuttgart-based consulting firm Drees & Sommer SE. In his laudatory speech, Ralph Hientzsch remarked: ‘Drees & Sommer has a long-established reputation in the real estate sector as a sustainability pioneer, and it shows how transformation can be done successfully. The many sustainability and climate change activities undertaken by the company as part of its Beneficial Company strategy, along with its meaningful reporting, impressed the jury.’ The other jury members included Silke Stremlau, chairperson of the German Federal Government’s Sustainable Finance Advisory Council; Lanna Idriss, a member of the International Senate of SOS Children’s Villages; and Professor Christian Klein from the University of Kassel.
Drees & Sommer’s CEO Steffen Szeidl, who accepted the award, explained just what is meant by the term ‘Beneficial Company’: ‘A Beneficial Company gives more back to the environment and society than it consumes. This includes reducing carbon emissions as much as possible, or promoting biodiversity and recyclable products. A Beneficial Company focuses not only on commercial success but also on maximizing the benefit to the environment and society, so it is also characterized by its strong commitment to social and environmental sustainability. We believe that to lead by example is the best way to prove to our clients what stands the test of time and makes commercial sense.’
Established in Stuttgart in 1970, Drees & Sommer has 5,000 staff members based at 51 locations today. The interdisciplinary teams of the Partner-led company provide consultancy on sustainable, innovative and at the same time economic approaches for the property sector, industrial firms, energy supply companies and the field of infrastructure. These solutions are translated into practice in numerous construction and real estate projects.
Sustainability Has to Be Fun
Although ESG management and reporting can be very complex and challenging, that does not mean they have to be laborious, according to Steffen Szeidl. He explained: ‘We have developed an ESG toolbox for ourselves, but also for our clients, which makes the process clear and preserves knowledge, making it easier to set up a data-based strategy for this important area.’ Many companies are new to the increasing demands of ESG management and reporting.
Teething problems are therefore normal, Drees & Sommer’s CEO added: ‘Sustainability has to be fun. Instead of just seeing it as a chore and considering only the micro-economic cost aspect, it is worthwhile to recognize the opportunities it presents and try out a new approach. The best way to make ESG easier and more effective in the future is to build new partnerships and create digital ecosystems in which knowledge is retained and expanded. That will make every project, every check, every report a little easier.’
Around 100 guests attended the awards ceremony, including leading figures from the financial world, who enjoyed a great evening led by TV journalist Anja Kohl. Further details on the ESG Transformation Award (in German) are available at: www.consileon.de/esg-transformation-award.