Category Science Radar
21 November 2023

Sustainable questions- What makes German SMEs tick?

Tag Heilbronn
Tag Business

A survey led by Prof. Miriam Bird, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise, and her colleague Prof. Philipp Lergetporer, Professor of Economics, together with Helena Baier and Sidney Hribersek from the Global Center for Family Enterprise at the TUM Campus Heilbronn provides answers to the willingness of companies to innovate and to what extent the sustainability factor is already influencing their decisions today.


More than 1,000 small and medium-sized enterprises were surveyed over a period of three years on their progress in the transformation process. One important finding: almost two-thirds of the companies surveyed have introduced products and services with a positive environmental impact. These account for around a fifth of total turnover. Companies that consume less energy and emit less CO2 have a positive environmental impact.


The topic of sustainability is examined from several angles. For example, the result shows whether the innovations were introduced in existing or new markets and whether the motivation for change was external or intrinsic. The human factor should not be neglected in the sustainability calculation: continuing education and lifelong learning play a decisive role beyond company boundaries and can help to counteract the shortage of skilled workers.