Success Stories of Sustainable Business Featuring CSR Hub NRW

Since its first workshop event in March in 2016 the CSR Hub NRW has helped over 70 startups to discover their potential for sustainable business. CSR Hub NRW addresses social, ecological and financial issues startups face and demonstrates how socio-ecological thinking is a critical success factor for startups and growing businesses around the globe.

One of Cologne’s hottest startups, FOND OF BAGS, is known for its beautifully designed backpacks that are made largely from recycled PET. Having set the goal of minimizing harm to society and the environment as much as possible in the production process, the companies’ CSR staff joined the first workshop at the CSR Hub NRW for inspiration. Today FOND OF BAGS is the proud winner of Germany’s National Sustainability Award as well as the German Entrepreneur Award. Their product line includes 7 brands for all ages. Their employees number more than 200 and this figure is growing.

To ensure continued sustainability in its growth phase, the company wants to further develop transparency, good working conditions and environmental protection along its entire value and supply chain. To share the progress they’ve made over the years with other startups, FOND of BAGS hosted a CSR Hub Workshop in August 2017 on sustainable value chains at the company’s headquarters in Cologne. That said, the value chain does not stop with product sales, but continues towards the end of use of a product. In the future, the CSCP and FOND OF BAGS will be looking into possibilities to open up the circular economy for their backpacks.

Another important milestone for the CSR Hub NRW this year was its involvement in the ImpactSummit in Dortmund on 19 and 20 October. We moderated sessions on sustainable finance for social entrepreneurs and contributed to panels on business and impact opportunities of green tech and foodpreneurship. ImpactSummit demonstrated how social entrepreneurship can become an essential part of a successful business case and how relevant change processes can begin. Socio-ecological thinking is a critical success factor for startups and growing businesses around the globe.

In 2018, CSR Hub NRW is planning to expand its activity throughout its network. Training sessions for some of NRW’s 77 STARTERCENTERS will follow. Located at regional chambers of commerce, NRW STARTERCENTERS help entrepreneurs start their business. Expertise on sustainability and CSR measures will soon be included, delivered by CSCP’s CSR Hub NRW.

Please contact Patrick Bottermann if you have any questions.