During the first company visit online of Umweltprofis von morgen at UnternehmensGrün member Zedler – Institut für Fahrradtechnik und -Sicherheit GmbH, Managing Director, Dirk Zedler, skilled automotive mechanic with graduation reported to the juniors about his own experience as a founder and gave insights into the business of his company. The motivation behind what he does: Whenever he gets angry, he takes action.
“Sustainability in the cycle industry – isn’t that a matter of course?“ This is a question that is posed in the Sustainbility Report 2019/2020 of the Zedler-Group. But Zedler’s commitment goes far beyond the obvious, i.e. the promotion of sustainable mobility. From Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen e.V. (German society for sustainable construction, DGNB) the company’s headquarter received for example not only the highest possible level of certification “platinum”, but also the award of being “climate-positive”. Germany-wide this has only been presented to eleven other companies. Besides their commitment on the ecological level, social sustainability is also a matter of heart for the Zedler company. The promotion of educational projects has long been pursued within the company. There are for example educational partnerships with three schools, among them a school for children with special needs, where a bicycle workshop for the pupils was set up. In addition, ten percent of the profit at least are donated every year to non-profit organisations. As to the question whether every company could afford social commitment and about the relation between ecological and social objectives compared to economic ones, Dirk Zedler gave a clear answer: You have to do it flat out, then it pay offs.
A final advice from Dirk Zedler to the founders of the junior companies for their time after school: It is not only important that one is interested in the job, but there must of course also be a demand for the business. Another tip from Zedler: The fact that there is currently a lack of sustainability competence in the building industry, is a great chance for those who are interested in qualifying themselves in this field.
There are about 200 old bicycles in the exhibition area of the seminar facilities at Zedler-Institut. Hopefully on the next company visit of the environmental pros they can be viewed again directly on site.
The UnternehmensGruen project Junior Companies on their Way to Sustainable Management has been promoted by Baden-Wuerttemberg’s Ministry of Environment, Climate and Energy Economy since 2010 and underlines Baden-Wuerttemberg’s sustainability strategy in the field of Education for Sustainable Development. The project awarded among others by the United Nations as well as by the Sustainability Council promotes the entrepreneurial thinking and acting of the pupils under the guiding principle of sustainable management.
For the coming project year 2020-2021, sustainably operating companies in Baden-Wuerttemberg interested in cooperation within the project can apply at umweltprofis[at]unternehmensgruen.de.