Virtual Conference

“Climate change and organisational change: food for thought and strategies for ambitious action“

By Katrin Reil

Global processes and events such as the discussion about sustainability, digitisation or the corona pandemic are changing organisations and the world of work as well as their significance in society. Against this backdrop, the ESB Management Dialogue brings together experts from science and practice to exchange experiences and ideas. This year the event will take place on Friday 26th as a virtual conference and will be dedicated to a highly relevant topic: climate change.  

“Not to lose sight of the climate crisis is of enormous importance, especially in the current situation where the COVID-19 pandemic is causing great personal suffering and economic hardship“, urges Professor Dr Florian Kapmeier, who has been working on the topic from a scientific perspective for many years, and adds: “During the COVID-19 lockdown, global CO2 emissions have indeed fallen by 17% - but at what price?  To overcome the climate crisis, we need to find a way to create a liveable and prosperous world for all people and at the same time keep the economy running”. His colleague, Professor Dr Maud Helene Schmiedeknecht, adds: “We are interested in discussing strategies for integrating sustainability, in particular the necessary linking of corporate goals with climate goals, into business models and processes of organisations.”  

This is why the virtual conference will bring together scientists from the field of climate and management research and experts from industry to share their concrete experiences in formulating, measuring and communicating ambitious climate targets.

The ESB Management Dialogue was originally planned as a face-to-face event on the Reutlingen campus. Professor Dr Arjan Kozica also sees advantages in the virtualisation of the event: “This expands the potential group of participants enormously. One of the strengths of the new format is that it now gives generators of ideas and drivers of transformation from science and practice the opportunity to network with like-minded people on a supra-regional level.”  

Please use the online form (in German) to register for the 2nd ESB Management Dialogue on 26 June 2020. Attendance is free of charge. The event will be held in German. Further information can be found here.

The event is organised in cooperation with Climate Interactiveizf - Initiative zukunftsfähige Führung (Sustainable Leadership Initiative), Weltethos Institut (Global Ethic Institute), Deutsche Gesellschaft für System Dynamics (German Society for System Dynamics), dnwe - Deutsches Netzwerk Wirtschaftsethik (German Network for Business Ethics, N! - Nachhaltig handeln Baden-Württemberg (Acting Sustainably Baden-Württemberg), UnternehmensGrün - Bundesverband der grünen Wirtschaft (Federal Association of Green Business.

The speakers at the 2nd ESB Management Dialogue

You will find more detailed information on the individual presentations by clicking on the names and presentation titles.



(Climate) Change Is Coming

The corona crisis shows how important scientific information and scenarios can be. Climate research and science have been warning for decades about climate change, which is now upon us. To continue to ignore their warnings would be foolish. Greta Thunberg exposed the option ”just carry on“ as an illusion: ”Change is coming, whether you like it or not“.

The physical principles of the greenhouse effect have been established for almost 200 years, and the warming effect of CO2 from fossil fuels was first estimated over 120 years ago. For more than 60 years the increase in CO2 has been proven by measurements and for at least 40 years global warming has been clearly visible in various observations. The consequences in the form of heat waves, droughts, forest fires, extreme storms and floods, sea level rise and much more can no longer be ignored. The goals of the Paris Climate Convention can only be achieved with a rapid decarbonisation of the entire energy system and a general transformation to a sustainable economy.

Professor Dr Werner Aeschbach researches and teaches at the Institute for Environmental Physics at the University of Heidelberg.


Climate crisis: Search for solutions, economic and political options after COVID-19 with En-ROADS.

How can we rebuild the economy after COVID-19 in order to cope with the climate crisis and what investments, entrepreneurial and political decisions are necessary to do so?

In this interactive workshop we will jointly develop a “below 2 °C scenario” for which we will test various political and action levers with En-ROADS. We use En-ROADS to investigate the consequences for energy use, consumption, economic growth, land use and other areas of the climate.  

The interactive climate simulation model En-ROADS, created by Climate Interactive & MIT Sloan, is embedded in the best scientific evidence available and allows users to improve their knowledge of energy, land use and climate dynamics for effective decision making and thus to learn for themselves.


Climate risks in the financial sector – a practical experience report

Climate change presents our society with profound challenges. Politicians, central banks and regulators expect institutes to take these risks adequately into account in their business strategy, governance, risk management, credit approval process and reporting. Banks should therefore review their existing procedures and processes in this area and, where necessary, adapt them accordingly. 

The presentation will give an overview of how climate and environmental risks are now seen as risk drivers at HSBC, affecting the well-known types of risk (credit, market price, operational risks etc.). A distinction is made between physical and transitory risks. In addition, the integration of the medium and longer-term effects of climate change into the existing risk management world is also addressed.

Katarin Wagner is Head of Corporate Sustainability at HSBC Deutschland.


Climate-neutral business – Active climate protection?

In order to protect the climate and save humanity from a serious change in the basis of our existence on this planet, the economy and society must become climate neutral.

Practical experience report of a climate-neutral company about necessary organisational and corporate change.

Bettina Roth is Head of Quality Management and CSR Supply Chain at VAUDE GmbH & Co. KG, Winner of the German Sustainability Award 2015, category ”Germany’s most sustainable brands”.


10 years of climate neutrality and sustainability at elobau

In my presentation I will look back at 10 years of sustainability at elobau and how we have managed to become carbon neutral right down to the product in just one year. I will also give an outlook on the current topics we are working on.

Michael Hetzer is managing director of elobau GmbH & Co. KG, winner of the German Sustainability Award 2016, Top 5, category “Germany’s most sustainable medium-sized company”.


What is the temperature of a company and how can it be reduced to a healthy <2°C? An economic climate impact analysis

Climate impact analyses are necessary to make the contribution of human activities to climate change tangible and to derive appropriate mitigation strategies. As global warming becomes more and more an economic reality, robust tools for measuring its impact are particularly important. The science-based X-Degree Compatibility (XDC) model of right. based on science calculates the contribution of an economic unit, be it a company or a whole portfolio, to global warming under consideration of different scenarios. The result answers the question by how many degrees centigrade the earth would warm up until 2050 if every company generated emissions as high as the one under consideration. This analysis helps companies to better guide their activities towards a <2°C world.

In her presentation, Ms Helmke will explain more about the Climate Impact Analysis using the XDC model and will discuss different use cases. In addition, the “right. open“ project will be presented: here the code of the XDC model will be shared with scientists to allow an open professional discussion of the model.

Hannah Helmke is managing director of right.based on science and winner of the Next Economy Award in the category ”Change“.