How did you get to work today?
With the hybrid from Volkswagen.
You can probably guess where the question is headed, sustainability and the energy crisis are big issues, also for football. Many people are concerned about where they can save energy. Has anything changed in your personal life, heat less, shower less, fly less often?
Of course, the crisis also concerns the DFB, we are trying to help our around 24,000 clubs. How can they continue to pay their bills in the future, how can we ensure that the many children, young people and adults can continue to do sports and that the courts and clubhouses are not closed again as they were during the Corona pandemic? I know that our President Bernd Neuendorf is holding many discussions about this in Berlin. Together with the DOSB, we are committed to ensuring that there are funding programs – not only for medium-sized companies or commercial enterprises, but also for mass sport. In my private life I ask myself at many points: How can I use energy even more responsibly and efficiently than before?
And with the national team?
We have a few players who deal with the topic of sustainability and sometimes ask: why do we use plastic cups or plastic bottles here? Can we take non-recyclable ones? We pay attention to sustainability as far as we can. It was a conscious decision to take the train to Leipzig.
Her father worked as a manager in the energy industry. Do you talk to him about the subject?
yes, all the time He was also President of Eurelectric, the industry association for European energy supply. He was able to explain to me in a very exciting way how the world’s energy supply works. I also recently listened to an interesting discussion on the topic: How do we deal with nuclear energy? How do we deal with fossil fuels? The answer from all the experts was clear: we have to rely on electricity, we have to consistently expand solar and wind energy. But there are also different opinions among experts as to whether nuclear energy or coal can be completely dispensed with in order to achieve our climate goals.
And what do you hear from the talks for the near future: what is in store for all of us in winter?
My father is a mechanical engineer, an engineer, he believes in the power of innovation and technology, in this respect, like me, he has confidence that we can make enormous progress in the medium term through new technologies. As far as this winter is concerned, we have to assume that the energy supply will become critical. It’s going to be tough, but I don’t think we should give the impression that no matter what problem we have, politics or the state will save us and the problem will go away.
We have to encourage people, make them responsible, work on solutions themselves and contribute – and then give specific and targeted help to those who really need help, instead of considering everyone across the board. Every economically successful football club will have to find solutions because it also has the necessary income. But we have to help the many small clubs that don’t have the money, they need our support.
We are based in your office on the new DFB campus. The building looks like it was made for solar panels on the roof. Why isn’t there any?
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