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Generali awards the most sustainable German small-medium enterprises

March 8, 2021

With the Sustainable Impact Award, Generali puts SME EnterPRIZE in practice in Germany.

Generali Deutschland, the German business unit of the Generali Group and the second-largest primary insurer in the market, has launched the Sustainable Impact Award – SIA. Under the framework of the Group-wide SME EnterPRIZE project and the 190° anniversary celebrations, SIA is a cooperation with WirtschaftsWoche, Germany’s leading weekly magazine dedicated to entrepreneurs, and the Bundesverband mittelständische Wirtschaft (BVMW), the country’s largest association among SMEs. The initiative seeks to recognize the German SMEs that distinguish themselves for their positive contribution to employees’ life quality, environment and society.

As the backbone of the German economy, SMEs play a decisive role in the vision of a more sustainable economy, and Generali Deutschland is committed to supporting them on their journey to more sustainable practices – a journey that is vital in the current extremely challenging scenario. “One can object: Now that we are confronted with an unimaginable crisis and, in some cases, struggle to survive, how can we be asked to commit to sustainability and be “humanistic” when the world economy is burning?” wrote Generali Deutschland’s CEO, Giovanni Liverani, in a recent editorial.

“I believe we need to reverse the question: How can you economically flourish if you’re not sustainable? Sustainability is a pre-requisite of economic resilience. Being sustainable means being more efficient, wasting less, saving more and being more innovative. Sustainable companies, for example, are credited with being the most profitable. Being sustainable means being able to create financial wealth for the shareholders across all cycles in the long run and at the same time securing customers’ trust and loyalty, which might prove vital in times of crisis.”

On March 1st, Giovanni Liverani presented the Sustainable Impact Award at the digital Jahresimpuls of BVMW. Among the keynote speakers also ECB President, Christine Lagarde, German Health Minister, Jens Spahn, Economy Minister, Peter Altmaier and BVMW Executive Director, Markus Jerger.

German SMEs will be able to apply to SIA through an online platform until May 16, 2021. A high-caliber jury, including Mr Liverani, WirtschaftsWoche’s Editor-in-Chief Beat Balzli and other experts, will select the winners to be announced at a ceremony in September. SIA will award the most sustainable SMEs in 5 categories:

  • ‘Impact on Humans’, to recognize socially-conscious, inclusive and diverse organizations;
  • ‘Impact on Earth’, to recognize more efficient and sustainable businesses;
  • ‘Impact on Product’, to recognize sustainable product offering;
  • ‘Generali SME EnterPRIZE’, to recognize the most sustainable small enterprise employing up to 250 people;
  • ‘Generali – The Human Safety Net Refugee SME EnterPRIZE’, in collaboration with The Human Safety Net, to recognize the refugee start-up with the most positive impact on community and environment.