Sustainability as a success factor for all start-ups
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Start-ups can help drive change in the economy. They can accelerate the implementation of the Federal Government’s political sustainability goals.

The Sustainability4All project has encouraged the early and permanent integration of sustainability concerns into newly founded, innovative companies and enabled them to do so through practical approaches. This was done in cooperation with key players in the German start-up ecosystem.

The project was carried out jointly with Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg and the German Startups Association and funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV).

Sustainability as a success factor for corporate development

By anchoring sustainability aspects in newly founded companies at an early stage, it is possible to integrate climate protection, energy and material efficiency as well as recycling concepts into the strategic orientation of start-ups. Sustainability can thus become a success factor for further corporate development from the outset.

In order to exploit the full potential of sustainable management in early business phases, sustainability must become an integral part of all start-up fields and central support programmes.

For this reason, the project was aimed in particular at start-up competitions, university start-up institutions, support programmes and other supporters of young companies.

Key results of the Sustainability4All project

In the Sustainability4All project, we have shown how sustainability and, in particular, climate protection aspects can be integrated in a target group-oriented and beneficial way. We did this by looking at selected important funding programmes and offers of the German start-up ecosystem.

With the capacity building concept, we have implemented a systemic and institutional innovation. We were successful in ensuring that sustainability requirements are increasingly anchored in funding programmes and their orientation. Key results and conclusions from the project can be found in the Policy Insights „Sustainability4All: Nachhaltigkeit als Erfolgsfaktor für alle Start-ups“.

The capacity building for the integration of climate protection and sustainability in the German start-up system carried out by the project also includes numerous new materials, methods and tools. On the one hand, these can be used to develop sustainability management in new companies. On the other hand, the tools help to take sustainability into account from the very beginning in the development of products, services and business models. By encouraging the integration of climate protection and other sustainability aspects into important start-up support activities, we were able to contribute to start-ups in Germany implementing additional climate protection measures.

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