Panel Discussion: The future of energy-intensive industry

4. October 2021 | Reading Time: 2 Min

SEE: Balancing between competitiveness and climate neutrality

On 14 September, at the invitation of SEEBDN – Southeast Europe Business Development Network – and the tax advisory company TPA, a high-class panel discussion took place on the topic of “The future of energy-intensive industry: Balancing between competitiveness and climate neutrality” at the TPA office in Vienna.

  • Sophie Karmasin (founder of Karmasin Research&Identity and former Federal Minister for Family and Youth),
  • Olaf Höhn (CEO Florida-Eis Manufaktur GmbH in Berlin),
  • Josef Eisenschenk (Managing Director of AGRANA Zucker GmbH) and
  • Hans Roth (Supervisory Board of Saubermacher AG) discussed the highly topical issue.
  • ORF journalist Nadja Bernhard hosted the evening.

3 key points for climate neutrality in SEE

After the welcome by Aleksandar Gros (Secretary General of SEEBDN), Fritz Kaltenegger (Chairman of the Board of SEEBDN) and Thomas Haneder (TPA Partner, Member of the Management Team at TPA), a highly exciting and entertaining discussion started immediately, which was peppered with many personal accounts and showed the consternation and commitment of the panel participants. In the course of the evening, three main points emerged from the objective discussion:

  • The great relevance of the sustainable idea in our society and its direct impact on the economy, which all panelists found serious and necessary.
  • Furthermore, the very complex challenge for all energy-intensive industrial companies to bridge the difficult gap between profitability and meeting all necessary standards to achieve climate neutrality.
  • And finally, that while innovations are absolutely indispensable for this necessary transformation, at the same time one should not underestimate the power of each individual consumer.

How can SEE cope well with the climate crises?

Even if the positive view of the future was not equally strong among the experts, the participants agreed that there is still a long, rocky road ahead and that extensive factual information or the unconditional education of consumers is a central lever for containing the climate crisis. They unanimously called on politicians to show more commitment and to act more quickly in terms of legislation – and this should ideally be done away from different ideologies or political colours.

Thomas Haneder, tax advisor, expert for South Eastern Europe and TPA partner, about the event: “In our company, we focus on sustainable economic growth. Climate protection has arrived in the middle of our society and we take our responsibility very seriously at TPA. That’s why I’m particularly pleased about our great panel guests, who provided many important impulses and are very inspiring.”