On 26 November 2015, the German Sustainability Award Foundation will be presenting the Next Economy Award for the first time. “Green start-ups” have until 31 July 2015 to apply. Professor Günther Bachmann, Secretary-General of the German Council for Sustainable Development, has served the German Sustainability Award Foundation in an advisory capacity since 2008 and will chair the jury of the Next Economy Award. He explains what the Next Economy Award is all about.
Professor Bachmann, why does the name of the new award no longer contain the word “sustainability”?
The Next Economy Award is Germany’s sustainability award for start-ups. Sustainability obviously has a positive connotation, but using a word twice does not make the word twice as good. Start-ups nowadays are international, as our use of English reflects. A new award needs a new name. The Next Economy Award expresses an orientation towards the future: it is an award for the economy of tomorrow.
What does a young company wishing to apply for this award need to offer?
Innovative business ideas for climate change mitigation and renewable energies, sustainable food supply, protection of resources and recycling, mobility or social cohesion. The best will have the chance to pitch their ideas directly to the jury. We are looking for start-ups which are not older than three years and were established in Germany.
Is it actually possible to earn money with sustainability?
Our award-winners certainly can, despite considerable uncertainty. Only one thing is certain: without sustainability it is possible to lose a lot of money. Sustainability is a global trend – Germany must demonstrate that sustainability is not a luxury but the foundation for freedom, prosperity and success.
Applications for the Next Economy Award can be submitted until 31 July 2015