Sandra MajewskiManaging Director ROIDINGER MAJEWSKI GmbH
We all know these words of wisdom by PR; with regard to sustainability they are probably particularly true. However, it is good practice in this respect to only tell stories which are actually true and, in addition, easily verifiable. Since consumers have appeared as a responsible power in the discourse of sustainability and since they have also been conceived as important decision makers, transparent and strong validation procedures have become more important than ever. Responsible consumption is only possible if environmentally and socially compatible offers are actually available. Companies of the green economy deliver themselves up to this verification and it is exactly this commitment that critical consumers appreciate.
In the best case, the circle of sustainable actions and lifestyle is complete. A nice, sustainable story? Not entirely, I am afraid. It is still a long way if we want to hand over this world responsibly to the following generations. GREEN BRANDS 2014 make a valuable contribution to this. Well done!
Mag. Susanne HasenhüttlScientific project manager of ÖGUT, the Austrian Society for Environment and Technology
Expert for sustainable Investment
Unfortunately, the words “green” or “sustainable” have turned into catch words in the last years. This development makes it more and more difficult for responsible consumers to recognise real ecological products. High-quality labels and seals of approval should remedy this; however, in the meantime, there has been a flood of them. Unfortunately, many labels are nothing more than a “green cloak”. Hence, a brand such as “GREEN BRANDS” which requires a high ecological standard from the companies and their products pursuant to transparent criteria are extremely important to offer a real guidance for decision to consumers.
Mag.(FH) Stephan BlahutGeneral SecretaryÖsterreichischer Gewerbeverein
NSustainability, secure resources, medium- and long-term targets are in the blood of every entrepreneur. In this respect, GREEN BRANDS offer orientation and support. Very important for stakeholders: Clear and measurable criteria are the foundation of Green Brands. Those who have already received the award are much talked about and credible witnesses of a serious and honest examination. To have gone through this examination successfully is an important milestone for the Green Brands products and companies.
Thomas WeberPublisher of BIORAMA. The magazine for a sustainable lifestyle and founder of Mountain Mill. Advertising for the good ones
GREEN BRANDS has convinced me – after an initial scepticism – especially because its criteria are not negotiable and particularly because it offers orientation to consumers also in sectors of the industry in which no other established seal exists. The fact that awarded GREEN BRANDS are evaluated and examined again and again ensures credibility just like the fact that the companies are thus also encouraged to improve their own “being good”. There is always room for more. However, consumers also need to honour this. And that is exactly the point where GREEN BRANDS comes into play acting as a link.
Constantin Wollenhaupt, M.A.Chief editor nachhaltigkeit.pur and marketing consultant focussed on sustainability
Before sustainability is really lived and breathed everywhere, there seem to be already first tendencies towards aversion. Many often use CSR and sustainability as catch words so that there is not effect anymore – at least from the point of view of Public Relations. It has been a long time since journalists and consumers fell for every green-washing story. What remains are the real advantages of sustainability for companies: A lower rate of staff turnover, fewer claims because of environmental pollution or market manipulations, etc. In the end, CSR is a tough economic risk management. Those who pass the GREEN BRANDS selection process show that they have done their homework.
Bernhard Holzbauer, MScCompany consultant and in the sustainability team of Klimabündnis Österreich GmbH
We from the climate alliance appreciate GREEN BRANDS as a partner for a sustainable world. With the award of the GREEN BRANDS seal, it becomes clear who also commits himself to this matter. It shows that it is possible to integrate the aspects of sustainability – ecological and social responsibility – in entrepreneurial thinking AND actions. Those who have been awarded the GREEN BRANDS seal are excellent examples in our society.
DI ALEXANDRA AMERSTORFERManaging Director of Kommunalkredit Public Consulting GmbH
“To live up to ecological and social responsibility clearly belongs to the requirements imposed upon modern and innovative companies. Many Austrian firms are among the international forerunners in this field. Green Brands honors ecologically sustainable products, services, and companies. The Green Brands seal has a double effect – on the one hand, it offers an important orientation guide to consumers and, on the other hand, it motivates companies to actively fulfil their ecological responsibility.”
Dr. FRITZ HINTERBERGERPresident Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI)
“As long as the state or the EU do not manage to effectively ‘impose’ comprehensive and practical sustainability certifications, private initiatives like GREEN BRANDS need to step into the breach. The GREEN BRANDS seal is awarded to companies and products that do not only carry out single environmental projects but that generally have an environmental focus. It is important to me to honor companies and products which are not yet in the still-too-small premier league of Zotter, Gugler, and Waldviertler and which thus contribute to raising attention for the issue of ‘ecological sustainability’ on a broader scale.”
Dr. FRED LUKSHead of the Competence Centre for Sustainability of the Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien
“Sustainability will not advance without convincing communication of future-oriented alternatives. Especially with regard to consumption, the following applies: Environmental compatibility needs to become visible. ‘GREEN BRANDS’ is a contribution to this. The approach to link clear criteria with clear communication is reasonable. Information alone does not suffice if sustainable consumption is to be promoted.”
ROSWITHA REISINGERManaging Director of LEBENSART Verlags GmbH
“Resource shortages, the climate, and economic crisis are omnipresent and show that we need to be more careful with the world we live in. The green economy is an important response to these new challenges. Companies that position themselves sustainably and use this as a strategic advantage will achieve economic success. By acting responsibly, they contribute to a caring society and a livable environment. More and more people realise and appreciate this.”
DI ROMAN H. MESICEKCSR expert and manager of the course Environment and Sustainability Management – Fachhochschule Krems
“Environmental and sustainability management is becoming more and more important for companies. What is most important is not only the recording of all relevant data but in particular a process of constant improvement. The questionnaire and the indicator system by GREEN BRANDS enables them to conduct an independent evaluation of companies in various environmental fields and helps to identify potential improvements within these companies.”
DORIS HOLLER-BRUCKNERExecutive Editor at oekonews.at
“GREEN BRANDS does not only stand for sustainable brands but, at the same time, for assuming ecological responsibility; efficient use of resources; lower water consumption; social standards; and more. The three-step awarding and evaluation procedure verifies transparently – on various levels – whether required criteria are met.”
Dr. CHRISTIAN PLASManaging Partner of denkstatt GmbH
“Consumers are looking for orientation when making purchasing decisions. With regard to ecological issues, it is particularly difficult to form one’s own opinion without comprehensive research. GREEN BRANDS attempts to meet this ever-growing need for ‘responsible consumption’. With a system that is as transparent as possible, the brands that integrate environmentally relevant issues into their corporate concepts will be put in the public forum. The selection process consists of a thorough evaluation and discussion by independent jury.”