In 1895 my grandfather Carl Josef Neckermann established a business as a coal dealer. At that time coal was the most important energy source, and the company soon became the largest coal supplier in Bavaria. My father Walter Neckermann recognized the environmental and economic challenges, and managed to successfully restructure the business from coal to fuel oil.
When I took over responsibility for the company in 1995, 100 years after it had been established by my grandfather, I was already highly aware of the newly developing, ecological consciousness of the modern era. It was the beginning of the search for clean sources of energy, energy from renewable resources, which reduce the impact on the environment but are at the same time economically viable. From the start it was my personal conviction that this area of conflict between ecology and economy would only be resolved by personal commitment and that considerable entrepreneurial courage would also be necessary.
First of all our search led us to construct biodiesel plants. Our own standards were very high in this area, since I strongly believe that it is morally, ethically and ecologically wrong to use basic foodstuffs as fuel. For example, palm oil from plantations which have destroyed the jungle, or bioethanol from maize or wheat were not, and are not, an option for me.
It is up to each one of us to help shape the future. My personal commitment to searching for solutions to create an environment that is worth living in will never end. Energy is the driving force for all future development, prosperity and social peace and stability. Generating energy, but at the same time safe-guarding the environment, is one of the greatest challenges of this century. In this context Nature itself is our greatest source of inspiration. All energy sources until now have ultimately been a diversion, if one is aiming at producing energy in an ecologically sound way, since the greatest source of energy is available to us free of charge – the sun.
This is the reasoning behind NECKERMANN NEUE ENERGIEN, the continuation of this constant search for clean energy and for the solution to the conflict between ecology and economy: another important step towards an environment worth living in – for future generations as well.