New Generation of Executives Making Their Voices Heard - Part 4

The Lufthansa Cargo’s ‘Climate Care Conference’ provided the perfect platform for some of the important issues affecting our planet as well as positioning the issues properly with respect to global logistics and to show the significant role companies (including LH Cargo and others) can play, in creating positive change.

Taking a stand on the critical issues facing our entire planet are the graduates from top universities. They are bringing a refreshing new set of values, ethics and principles that are not a trend nor a smart marketing campaign, it is much more… a fresh and imperative drive to do the right thing and to work for companies and organizations that have “saving the planet” on the top of their list.

Climate is a hot issue
The hot topics like organic fuel, climate change and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), were in the forefront including how important it is that this (new) mind-set is backed up with action. The change to “green and clean” thinking is easy in comparison to implementing sustainable measures that can (positively) reflect and effect the position of an organization, as well as its bottom line – short, middle and long term.

Who is driving the change?
This refreshing and desperately needed shift has a driving force. The new millennium brought with it massive changes with respect to world economics, geo-political conflicts, attitudes towards climate changes and the general health of our planet. How did we get things so far off track? Why are we living in “constant” crisis? The scholars and scientists can debate forever but the students I had the privilege of working with (at 2 universities* in Germany between 2002 and 2010) were tired of just talking and ready to take action – yes, to change the world. The majority of the, then 20-25 year old students were intently focused on being in charge of (or working for) organizations/corporations where the guiding principles included saving the planet, community support and other CSR related measures. Those future CEOs, COOs, CFOs, VPs in Charge, Engineers, Economists, Industry Professionals and Government Officials were eager to get to work, excited about the prospect of making a difference, where a healthy profit margin was weighed against a healthy planet and a healthy community. Even though I share these values, the students I worked with came to school with them already – so hats off to Mom and Dad and corporate cultures that make it possible!

A better tomorrow, today!
Working as a teacher was without a doubt one of the most inspiring times in my life and even more rewarding now to see the new generation of movers and shakers at work. The students I met during that time (03-10) have since graduated and are actively influencing positive change in their respective industries. The shift presented at the LH Cargo conference by experts like Professor Lucia Reisch of Copenhagen’s Business School, Consultant Dr. Ingo Schoenheit or Dr. Francisca Mueller-Langner of the scientific institute Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum (DBFZ), including the impact the changes already implemented have made environmentally and their effect on the entire logistics industry, are strong indicators of the new status quo. This new wave of decision-makers (across industry and border) is pragmatically moving forward, because it makes sense. There is no better time than right now, to make things better.

Michael Taweel
Special Correspondent CFG

Michael K. Taweel (50, from NJ/NY) taught at the Otto Beisheim School of Management and the University of Applied Sciences in Rhineland Palatinate between 2002 and 2010.

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