Around 220 guests attended the 10th anniversary event of the Audi Environmental Foundation and celebrated with the Foundation’s employees and fascinating keynote speakers. Peter Kössler, AUDI AG Management Board member with responsibility for production and logistics, and Christian Lösel, mayor of the city of Ingolstadt, praised the Foundation’s significance. However, the evening was not about patting ourselves on the back for our achievements; it was much more about the future and what action every individual can take to ensure a liveable future. Three experienced sustainability experts were on hand to provide ‘life hacks’.
The tenor of the speeches: mankind can destroy the planet, but also rebuild it sustainably
With Robert Marc Lehmann (marine biologist), Santa Meyer-Nandi (environmental blogger and well-being coach) and Felix Finkbeiner (founder of Plant-for-the-Planet), the evening was filled with concentrated (sustainable) expert knowledge. In their impressive and, at times, emotional keynote speeches, the experts showed the audience the extent of the environmental destruction mankind has wrought. It wasn’t all bad news though; our speakers explained that although humans can destroy, they can also establish a sustainable way of life that is in harmony with the environment.
“Sustainability is both fun and rewarding”
Santa Meyer-Nandi cited concrete examples of this. Through her blog ‘Finding Sustainia’, she runs so-called ‘sustainability challenges’ in which participants can integrate sustainability into their everyday lives. She powerfully demonstrated that sustainability can be both fun and rewarding.
Felix Finkbeiner illustrated another idea. The 22-year-old was at primary school when he started the initiative ‘Plant-for-the-Planet’, with the aim of planting one million trees in every country on earth. To date, over 13 billion have been planted. Felix explained vividly how planting as many trees as possible could regulate CO2 content again.
In his keynote address, marine biologist Robert Lehmann showed the audience dramatic and emotional pictures of the devasting impact on wildlife of plastic in our oceans. He used the example of birds on the North Sea island of Helgoland which are now forced to build their nests out of the discarded remains of plastic fishing nets, often with disastrous consequences for the birds’ welfare. It was a report that moved many in the audience and which was a wake-up call for us to question fishing with trawl nets and the use of plastics.
“‘Greenovation’ is the identity of our projects”
Besides the keynote speakers, the Foundation’s project partners also had the opportunity of introducing themselves in more detail to our guests in short presentations and during breaks. The projects that were presented demonstrated one thing in particular: ‘greenovation’. “That is the core, the identity of our projects. We combine environmental protection with the use of the latest technology”, said Dr Rüdiger Recknagel, the Audi Environmental Foundation’s chief executive.
For us at the Audi Environmental Foundation the anniversary evening was full of inspiration and showed especially clearly that sustainability and environmental protection are of increasing concern to people. That is why we will continue to contribute to this in the future and to generate enthusiasm for protecting the environment.
Impressions of the evening can be found here.