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Dr. Paul Rübig, AT

Member of the European Parliament

What does ‘Sustainable Entrepreneurship’ mean for you personally?

For me, it means entrepreneurs thinking long-term, developing sustainable concepts, and then implementing those concepts.

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

I think a great deal has been achieved in this field in recent years. It has been important to form a new consciousness of what is required, and there has been a massive commitment to doing just this. Good entrepreneurs think sustainably anyway, in the sense of their members of staff, products and location.

You are a Member of the European Parliament; what role, in your view, does the European Parliament play in driving forward Sustainable Entrepreneurship?

When legislating as a Parliament, we try to design rules in such a way that sustainability and a forward-looking approach can be lived and implemented in the business world. We set framework conditions in fields such as energy, where we try to implement efficient energy usage, resource conservation and the recycling of raw materials in Europe in a sustainable way.

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

Austria, and that also means her entrepreneurs, are pioneers when it comes to innovation on the Continent. Many of the country’s small and medium-sized enterprises work day-in, day-out to drive entrepreneurship forward for the good of all, through innovation and redevelopment. Austria is a leading light in the field of eco-energy, for example, and developing rapidly in the field.

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?

Even when working at my parents’ company many years ago, I learnt how important it is to think and plan in a sustainable way. And as a politician, too, I like to support projects that are committed to innovation and a forward-looking approach.

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

By taking responsible purchasing decisions, consumers can make an enormous contribution to promoting and supporting this kind of entrepreneurship. And the political classes, too, can help support the cause by highlighting the positive value it creates.