Advisory Board

VNU e.V.

The advisory board - the association's  consultative committee

The mandate of the Advisory Board is to guidethe Board on the long-term strategic orientation of the association. The Advisory Board has a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 11 members. New Advisory Board members are appointed by the VNU Board in consultation with the Advisory Board. The duration of the advisory board membership is 6 years. Renewed appointments are possible. The Advisory Board elects a president and a vice president for 4 years, re-elections are possible.

Quelle: Prof. Dr. Eberhard Seifert

President of the advisory board

As co-founder of IDU, one of the predecessor associations of the VNU, Professor Dr. Eberhard K. Seifert was a board member of both associations for many years. He is one of the founding members of the "Neue Wohlstandsmodelle" (New Wealth Models) presidential group at the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Energy and Environment. Since 1992, he has been active in international environmental management standardization (DIN-NAGUS, ISO TC 207-ISO 14000 series, ISO 50000 series) in various functions - above all as DIN chairman for "climate change" and in other international committees, e.g. environmental performance evaluation, resource protection, climate finance.

Quelle: Prof. Dr. Annette Kleinfeld

Vice President of the advisory board

After studying philosophy, Professor Dr. Annette Kleinfeld specialized in business ethics at the end of the 1980s and earned her doctorate on the fundamentals of ethically sound corporate and personnel management. After working in research and as a consultant, she founded her consulting firm "Dr. Kleinfeld CEC - Corporate Excellence Consultancy" in 2004, focusing on corporate integrity, ethics, values, CI and culture management as well as social responsibility. Since 2014 she has been Professor of Business & Society at the University of Applied Sciences Konstanz - Technik, Wirtschaft und Gestaltung (HTWG) and is involved in the DNWE (German Network for Business Ethics). Netzwerk Wirtschaftsethik) engagiert.

Quelle: Monika Grübel

Member of the advisory board

Monika Grübel, graduate economist, was appointed to the advisory board in 2018. She works at the LUBW, Landesanstalt für Umwelt Baden-Württemberg, as an EMAS representative and consultant in the area of "Operational Environmental Protection". She accompanied the introduction of an energy management system at the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of the Environment and is a member of the jury for the Baden-Württemberg Environmental Award for Companies. She studied economics at the University of Hohenheim, specialising in environmental management and business ethics.

Franz Knecht

Member of the advisory board

Franz Knecht studied law at the University of Basel. After further legal education and initial years in the field of associations, he changed to the banking industry, holding various management positions in product development, marketing and communications. After building and heading the Environmental Management and Sustainability/Sustainable Banking Solutions department at Swiss Bank Corporation (now UBS), he started CONNEXIS AG, Strategy Consulting, based in Basel in 1999. He still heads the company as Managing Partner and supports clients on sustainability issues in finance, industry and services as well as international organisations as an independent international consultant. At ISO, he contributes to several standardisation projects in the fields of TC 207 Environmental Management and TC 322 Sustainable Finance. He has been a member of the VNU Advisory Board since 2020.

Member of the Advisory Board

Prof. Dr Stephan Krinke is Head of Sustainability Management and Life-Cycle Engineering at the Fraunhofer IST and Professor of Sustainability Management at the Technical University of Braunschweig. Prof. Krinke has broad experience in the development and implementation of sustainability strategies in industry. He worked at Volkswagen AG for 23 years and held various management positions: Head of Environmental Product, Head of Group Environmental Protection and Environmental Management Officer at VW AG as well as Head of Sustainability Strategy in the General Secretariat of the Chairman of the Board of Management. Prof. Krinke has been teaching environmental and sustainability management at various universities for over 20 years. He represents Fraunhofer for Sustainability and Life-Cycle Engineering in the DIN Group for Life-Cycle Assessment and was appointed by the government of Lower Saxony to the Government Commission for Sustainable Environmental Policy and Digital Transformation. Prof. Krinke has been a member of the VNU Advisory Board since 2023.

Quelle: Dr. Christian Plas

Member of the advisory board

Dr. Christian Plas studied agricultural engineering and water management at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna and received his doctorate in biotechnology. In 1993 he founded DENKSTATT GmbH with offices in Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Sofia, Bucharest and Temesvar. His work focuses on corporate sustainability and strategy for industry, financial service providers and energy suppliers. He is a member of the environmental, energy and socio-political committees of the Federation of Austrian Industries as well as several working groups and expert groups in the fields of sustainable development, energy and finance. He is a member of various sustainability juries (BVL, Green Brands, CSR) and teaches in the areas of sustainable development, sustainable mobility and environmental management. He has supported the VNU as an advisory board member since 2003.