The German Association of Environmental Management is a business association that aims at promoting sustainable practices relating to environment-oriented corporate culture. Engaged with society, its goal is to sensitise the economy, politics and society for provident environmental protection and sustainable development. A core asset of the association’s is a code of ethics focussing on increased sustainability in the performance of the member companies, be it SMEs or larger enterprises from the industry.
An appropriate reaction to climate change is one of the main challenges of todays’ economy. To reduce the carbon footprint in a way that is simultaneously economically viable, environmentally sustainable and socially responsible, requires the joint effort and creativity of essential market players. Supporting the transfer of successfully implemented eco-innovations by disseminating these examples helps to approach such a common goal. Based on practical experience, producing policy advice is also a strategy to pave the way towards environment-oriented management in companies, since regulations help by raising awareness of producers about environmental impact and responsibility.
Based on a working group on sustainability criteria for material procurement, B.A.U.M. was founded in 1984. It has since then developed into Europe’s largest company-based environmental initiative with more than 500 member companies from different areas of business and of all sizes. The concept of an inter-branch association of companies aiming at more sustainable manufacturing processes as well as a holistic management approach, spread to Austria and Switzerland and led to the emergence of the International Network for Environmental Management (INEM). Intense public relations with policy makers as well as know-how-transfer amongst the members, led to the esteemed position of the Association. Its name is a play on words, symbolising the aim of the work: B.A.U.M. which means “tree” in German.
B.A.U.M. provides a framework for sharing good practice between member companies, as well as training opportunities with recognised practitioners on topics such as energy efficiency in industry or sustainable mobility. These tools allow members to unleash the innovation potential of their organization and achieve effective cost reduction. The various events organised by B.A.U.M. also provide networking opportunities to get in contact with local, state or European policy makers. The network initiates collaborative projects and political discussions. Due to their recognised competences, representatives of B.A.U.M. are appointed members in committees and juries.
The B.A.U.M. concept is implemented to full scale, qualifying for an estimated level 6 on the generic maturity scale GML. Its members are based in Germany, but the Association seeks to invite enthusiastic companies from further afield also. The activities are financed by the membership fee and testimonials show the impact of the associations’ longstanding work..