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Andreas Rickert, AT

CEO of PHINEO, research institute and consultancy organization for philanthropy

What does Sustainable Entrepreneurship mean for you personally?

Ultimately, it means being conscious of the responsibilities you take on through all your actions – entrepreneurial, social and private – and striving to make as positive a social, economic and ecological impact as you possibly can. This may be a very general reply, but if this thinking is implemented consistently and broadly, then I think we’ll see a wide-ranging and positive paradigm change.

How deeply anchored is such a mindset, in your view, in society, but most importantly of all in the heads of entrepreneurs?

I get the impression that many actors are beginning to realise that social and ecological dimensions are no longer simply a ‘necessary evil’, but that they also have incredible potential, and could therefore promote business success as well. The journey from realising this potential exists to actually implementing and enhancing it is a long one, however, and only just beginning.

You are the Chief Executive Officer of PHINEO AG, a not-for-profit company. What role is Phineo playing in advancing Sustainable Entrepreneurship?

As an analytical and consultancy company for effective social commitment, we are primarily in the field of corporate citizenship, in relation to companies. Since numerous companies have positioned themselves highly credibly in the field of CSR and sustainability in recent years, we help companies commit themselves effectively to being ‘corporate citizens’, so that the ‘social case’ and the ‘business case’ can come together.

How important is it to you that you exemplify sustainable thinking, and to what extent do you do so?

We are a mission-driven organisation, and to that extent, all our actions are oriented to achieving positive social effect. Internally, too, we strive to act sustainably wherever we can – wherever it is, from staff management to printing.

How do you view Austria’s role and position in developing Sustainable Entrepreneurship further?

This initiative from Austria is also making an important impact at international level.

Every year, the SEA honours entrepreneurs for extraordinary projects which allow Sustainable Entrepreneurship to be implemented in practice. What convinced you to support this idea?

To create the 'paradigm change' described above and move towards a sustainable economy and society requires a debate and inspiring beacons of light. The SEA is making a valuable contribution in this field.

In what way can each and every one of us contribute to increasing the importance and value of Sustainable Entrepreneurship?

Every one of us plays a different role – whether we are a customer, a consumer, someone who is socially committed, a colleague, an investor, or something else. And in all these roles, we can and should act in a responsible way, and enjoy the social dimensions of everything we do.

And our final question: what is the most impressive example of Sustainable Entrepreneurship you can remember?

We all need all talent and potential for our society: this is where Career Moves makes a huge contribution.