Last Friday we held our very first digital event and it was really amazing to gather along with more than 200 prominent industry players from around the world. Together with well known experts on climate change, leaders from successful startups and VCs, LFCA climate officers, and even the German Federal Environment Minister, we united with one shared purpose: fighting against climate crisis.
We would like to thank you all for joining and showing your willingness to act! Our future is so unpredictable but one fact is certain: climate crisis is the biggest challenge for the decades to come, and we need to pool our strengths to save our planet.
Here are some of the highlights of our first climate breakfast
Svenja Schulze: Insights into political climate action
Our first speaker was the German minister for the environment, Svenja Schulze. She gave us an overview about the measures of the German government’s latest Coronvirus Recovery Act and how these actions will help to achieve national climate goals, namely: subsidizing the cost of renewable energy, expanding electric mobility, supporting local public transport, investing in the transformation of municipalities, and increasing production of green hydrogen energy by using cutting-edge technologies. The German government will invest a total of €100 billion in green initiatives.
Another topic was Germany’s upcoming EU presidency which will span the next 6 months. Schulze and her colleagues will use this mandate to enforce the Green New Deal in the EU. The plan is to work on climate law, biodiversity strategy, shifting financial priorities, and implement other regulations in order to reach the goal of becoming climate neutral by 2050. An earlier goal is to have 40% less emissions by 2030, however, that is not enough and the German government is fighting for a 50-55% reduction by then.
In the final Q&A session, she emphasized the importance of industry initiatives like LFCA.
Many politicians think that companies don’t want climate protection regulations, it’s too hard for them, they just want to mind their own business… But if there are companies, leaders, entrepreneurs, who say “we want you to go in this direction,” please do it publicly! Conservative politicians are convinced that they speak for the whole economy, but I’m the one who says, “no, I know 400 entrepreneurs on the other side.” That’s a lot. We need this public pressure to bring the government forward.
Seeing an initiative like LFCA and the passion of today's speakers, she can now confidently confront these colleagues and point out that forward-thinking entrepreneurs are ready for much stronger climate action measures.
Ferry Heilemann: Putting climate action first
Ferry Heilemann, serial entrepreneur and founding member of LFCA shared how his personal climate action journey developed over the last six years:
Personal level - The first phase was to learn more about the current climate crisis. I started to act on a personal level: became vegetarian, changed my electricity provider, switched to LED lights, reduced flights to the minimum, and more. It was a great start, but the impact of the personal reduction potential is limited.
Company level - Then I decided to use the same approach at the company level. At Forto since the very foundation in 2016 we every year measure, reduce, and compensate our corporate emissions. Now it has 300+ employees, so there is a much bigger impact already. But I wanted to go further.
Industry level - Next step was to expand my circle of influence and I co-founded LFCA a year ago. It gave me an opportunity to trigger climate action in many more companies. Nowadays it’s a community of 400+ entrepreneurs and growing every day.
Full focus - After some time I realized that the passion for combating climate change became actually the biggest passion that I experienced in my professional life. Therefore I made a tough decision to step down from my operational CEO role at Forto. I love the team, the company, and the culture that we’ve built, but I had to do it in order to free up much more time for climate action. I want to dedicate my whole entrepreneurial skillset, my time, my assets, and my network to fight this crisis.”
Philippe Singer: Update on LFCA
In a 10-minute keynote, Philippe Singer, CEO of LFCA shared the latest achievements and goals of our organization. Citing the latest research from PIK Potsdam ecologists, he pointed out what it would mean for us to live on a +4 degree planet. “In a +4 degree scenario, our planet will struggle to accommodate even 4 billion people. What will happen to the rest?” At LFCA our mission is to transform the digital industry to climate neutrality and to inspire other industries to do the same. In order to support more companies in their green transformation during Q2 of 2020, we’ve built many new tools for our members:
Carbon footprint calculation tool (in partnership with MyClimate);
Climate Action program for companies, including an Impact Dashboard;
Improved onboarding workflow, helping businesses to finish their Company Pledge within 3 months;
Community communication space in Slack for Climate Officers and experts;
Our website is now available in English, German, and French. And this is just the beginning, in the future, we’ll continue designing scalable solutions in alignment with our mission.
All LFCA services are free of charge, but individuals and companies can support us with voluntary donations to help us grow and reach our ambitious goals even faster. Check out our full deck with updates here.
Albrecht von Sonntag: Moving away from classic success factors for companies
Albrecht von Sonntag, CEO of one of Europe’s largest price comparison platforms, sheds light on how modern companies need to think differently about goal setting and KPIs for measuring their success. In his 20 years of being a leader in the industry, he has seen a dramatic shift towards new and more complex measures for success: customer happiness, impact on society, ethical behavior towards partners, and, of course, impact on the climate. While at first these factors might seem less important for the success of an organization, he points out that they do indeed play an important role in long term success. Statistics prove that companies who take their social and ecological responsibility seriously attract top talent, decrease turnover, boost happiness at work, and thus increase productivity and profit.
Elisabeth von Lichem: Climate action for Investors
Elisabeth was speaking on behalf of Acton Capital, a venture capital firm based in Munich. While Acton has been measuring and offsetting their carbon emissions already for a few years, she found that the tools provided by LFCA helped to engage more employees and brought some much-needed transparency to the process. She called on her colleagues from the venture capital scene to join Acton in applying ESG guidelines for their due diligence processes, and implement the LFCA Sustainability Clause to leverage the impact that an investor has in the startup ecosystem. Furthermore, Elisabeth has taken the initiative to launch and moderate a dedicated channel for the discussion of climate-related challenges for VCs. To join this channel please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Alex: On using entrepreneurship as a force for good
Our last speaker during the hour-long event was Anna Alex, founder of Outfittery and now a CleanTech entrepreneur. She shared the story of how LFCA inspired her to found a company, .planetly, that puts fighting climate change at the core of their mission. > There is one thing that all entrepreneurs have in common: the belief that they can change the status quo with their own hands.
Together, let’s act to become the first ecosystem to go climate neutral and show other industries that it’s possible to do so!