About the project


The “green economy & education for sustainable development” projects offer young people the opportunity to implement a sustainable project in a real business while still attending school.

During the project the participants gain a fundamental understanding of the responsibilities economic actors have for the environment and society. They learn about the real challenges of an enterprise in its day-to-day activities.

The participating businesses benefit from fresh insights of the students. In addition to the practical work in the company, students deepen their knowledge in the area of sustainable business by attending thematic workshops (e.g. sustainable accounting, resource efficiency). At the end of the project, the “Umweltprofis von morgen” receive a “sustainability qualification”, verifying their participation in the project and their sustainability knowledge

The projects are mainly funded by regional governments or foundations (Baden-Württemberg, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Berlin) and vary slightly in their conceptual implementation by the state. While in Baden-Württemberg and Nordrhein-Westfalen, students from secondary schools take part, participants in Berlin are in vocational training. In the first one, the project is carried out over the period of one year with students (ideally) visiting the company every week for one hour, while in the latter one the students carry out their projects during their obligatory internship.

So far, 170 independent projects have been realized, more than 140 companies have supported our educational projects and 700 trainees have received the “sustainability certificate”.

  • At Knipex (company for pliers), the trainees developed a concept on how to raise employees’ awareness on sustainability
  • The GLS Bank (a sustainable bank) supported a student company with management, accounting and distribution of sustainable products
  • With the support of myclimate (calculation and compensation of carbon emissions), students calculated and compared their schools carbon emissions
  • At VAUDE (sustainable outdoor clothing), students designed a plan to recycle surplus materials.

UnternehmensGrün (UG©) – the German Federal association of green economy – was founded as early as 1992. Representing more than 350 members, UG© campaigns for the protection of the environment and a sustainable economy. UG© is a nonpartisan, non-profit and financially independent entrepreneurs association.

Our members are mainly small and medium-sized businesses, who have a common interest in operating in a sustainable and responsible manner. They range from engineering, metalwork, the renewable energy sector to business consultancies, advertising agencies, law firms to a brewery. All memebers can be found on here.

  •  Mahsa Pourjabbari

    To be part of this project gave me the opportunity to combine ecology and economy and to comprehend that they are no longer separable in our time. 

    Mahsa Pourjabbari , student at Freie Georgenschule Reutlingen
  • Antje von Dewitz

    By participating in this project, young people learn not only how complex economic relationships are, they also learn key competences such as team-work, self-organization etc. They experience what scope of action companies have to deal with in order to become more sustainable: from the small daily decisions to long-planned projects, taking responsibility for people and nature.

    VAUDE is convinced that junior enterprises do not only raise awareness for sustainability issues among young people. These young people also deliver new ideas and show potential for further improvement to the companies.

    Antje von Dewitz , CEO of VAUDE
  • Stefan Baumeister

    myclimate is convinced that we need to make young people aware of climate change issues! We want to offer them the possibility to become actively involved and to conciliate the theory of sustainable development with everyday business.

    The junior company project addresses precisely this and sets the makers of tomorrow into focus.

    Stefan Baumeister , CEO of myclimate