Green Controlling

The focus of the Think Tank in 2010 and 2011:
Need and relevance of green controlling


The following results are available for free download:

ICV Study
Green Controlling

ICV Dream Car
Green Controlling

Speech Controller
Congress 2011


The green focus of companies and their impact on controlling

The starting point was the increasing strategic importance of environmental sustainability in companies and the resulting internal measurement and management requirements. This internal view is expanded by numerous interests of external stakeholders, who increasingly demand not only information on financial, meaning economic performance, but also the ecological performance of the company.

Closely related to the company's strategic green focus, with "greening” there are connected questions of measurability, profitability and selection of ecological measures. The core processes and instruments of the controlling department are to be expanded by ecological aspects. In this way, it is possible to sensitize stakeholders in the company for ecological goals, to resolve target conflicts, to assess opportunities and risks and ultimately to successfully implement sustainable strategies.

The concept of environment protection as a mandatory task and a cost factor is considered to be overtaken. Companies have recognized the competitiveness of a green company in almost all industries and are aligning their company activities and products and services accordingly.

Environmental management becomes thus a strategic task that is important for all functions within the company and must also be pursued across the company. The question of the importance of an increasing ecological orientation of the enterprises, in the form of the so-called "greening", was the core of the work of the Think Tank in the ICV in years 2010 and 2011.

On this page we present the results of the Think Tank from the year 2010. The results were compiled by the core team of the Think Tank together with the companies Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Hansgrohe AG and Trumpf GmbH + Co. KG.

ICV Green Controlling Study

The aim of the study was to assess the relevance of the greening from the point of view of the controllers, to analyze the state of green controlling in practice and to identify the future challenges resulting from them. A total of 295 ICV members participated in the study.

The study has shown that in the current discussion about "greening", the ICV members see a continuing development, which brings new challenges also to the controlling. In this way, controllers see their own active role, which is similar to the role of a green business partner.

Controllers should provide methodological and instrumental support for the company's environmental orientation, as long as it is already initiated, or actively promote the issue, if opportunities and risks to achieve the company's objectives are seen. Ecological and economic contexts must be continually questioned and transparently presented by the controlling department in the light of changing external conditions.

The development status and the requirements of a green controlling system were investigated as a function of four green strategic types. It is clear that, particularly in the case of high strategic importance, controllers see an increasing need for integration of ecological aspects in controlling processes. For this purpose, appropriate tools have to be developed and unresolved issues in the co-operation between controllers and environmental managers have to be clarified as well as potential conflicts of objectives have to be solved. A major challenge lies in the solutions of the measuring and evaluation problems in ecological aspects and their integration into existing IT systems and instruments.

You can find the complete study report here.

ICV White Paper Green Controlling

Based on the study results and the need for action identified there, conceptual possibilities for the "greening" of the controlling are described in the White Paper. It is done for a selection of controlling processes according to the controlling process model of the IGC. For example, approaches for green strategic planning, a green cost and performance calculation and green management reporting are presented. Examples from the companies Lufthansa, Hansgrohe and TRUMPF supplement the comments with experiences, the current status and the planned steps of green controlling in the three companies.

Publications of the Think Tank

The results of the Think Tank were also published and presented in different media. You can find more information in these publications.

  • Horváth, P./Isensee, J./Michel, U., „Green Controlling“ – Bedarf einer Integration von ökologischen Aspekten in das Controlling, in: Tschandl, M./Posch, A. (Hrsg.), Integriertes Umweltcontrolling, 2. Auflage, Wiesbaden 2011, S. 39-58.
  • Isensee, J./Michel, U., Green Controlling als (neue) Aufgabe für den Controller?, in: Controller Magazin, 36. Jg. (2011) H. 4, S. 18-20.
  • Isensee, J./Michel, U., Green Controlling – Die Rolle des Controllers und aktuelle Entwicklungen in der Praxis, in: CONTROLLING, 23. Jg. (2011) H. 8/9, S. 438-444.
  • Isensee, J./Henkel, A.,Die Herausforderung des Green Controllings - Ergebnisse einer empirischen Studie und das Beispiel STABILO International GmbH, in: Controlling-Challenge 2015, Der Controlling-Berater, Band 17, Freiburg 2011 (im Druck).

Dr. Uwe Michel and Johannes Isensee presented the results of the Think Tank as well as experiences on green controlling from the companies Alfred Kärcher GmbH & Co. KG and STABILO International GmbH as part of the 36th Controller Congress in Munich on 16.05.2011. You can find the lecture documents here.