Working for Green business since 1999: we weren’t born yesterday! Milestones, successes, flagship themes – read on for a brief round-up of what we’ve done and achieved over the past 20 years.

Autumn 1999
  • A group of Viennese business owners come up with the idea of fielding a list of Green candidates for the elections to the Vienna Economic Chamber.
March 2000
  • Grüne Wirtschaft gains 5.7% of the votes and 60 trade association mandates in the elections to the Vienna Economic Chamber.  Two Green delegates are appointed to the Vienna Economic Parliament.
Spring 2000
  • Founding of the association, inaugural General Assembly, election of first Executive Committee.
  • Head office established on Gardegasse in Vienna’s Neubau district, with one member of staff.
2001 – 2004
  • Work focusses on building the organisation, with regional organisations being set up in all nine federal states. The structures, statutes and finances of the local Viennese association are adapted to meet the needs of a nationwide organisation. Establishment of the Regional Committee as the nationwide steering body.
Autumn 2004
  • Grüne Wirtschaft rejects the traditional election set-up in the province of Vorarlberg, in which a single list of candidates is fielded by the three main political groupings (affiliated to ÖVP, FPÖ and SPÖ) and the mandates are divided among them according to a pre-agreed ratio. Grüne Wirtschaft is thus responsible for ensuring that the Vorarlberg Economic Chamber holds its first ever true democratic election.
March 2005
  • Grüne Wirtschaft fields more than 800 candidates in the nationwide Economic Chamber elections, obtaining 4.5% of the vote across the country and 290 trade association mandates. Grüne Wirtschaft emerges as the third-strongest fraction in Vienna and immediately wins 18.7% of the votes in Vorarlberg. At a single stroke, Grüne Wirtschaft claims seats in all the regional Economic Parliaments, as well as on the Extended Presiding Committee of the Federal Economic Chamber (WKÖ).
2005 – 2006
  • Ongoing expansion of the association, including structural, statutory and financial reform. Establishment of regional offices, recruitment of staff for the regional organisations. Introduction of a system to appoint delegates to the General Assembly.
  • »Starke Stimme« campaign: Grüne Wirtschaft gives 200,000 sole traders a »Strong Voice« and highlights the needs of one-person companies across the country during the campaigning ahead of the national government elections.
  • Green energy campaign: Grüne Wirtschaft focusses on the energy crisis and the business opportunities associated with renewable energy sources. International conference in Salzburg on the shift to renewables (»Last Exit Energiewende«), co-hosted with our German sister organisation UnternehmensGrün and Hermann Scheer, winner of the »Alternative Nobel Prize«.
May 2008
  • Opening of our new national HQ at Blümelgasse 1, 1060 Vienna.
  • »Be the economic miracle!« logo
  • With its »Be the economic miracle!« (»Das Wirtschaftswunder bist du!«) campaign, Grüne Wirtschaft highlights the key role micro-enterprises can play in the context of the global financial and economic crisis.
March 2010
  • Grüne Wirtschaft fields more than 1,200 candidates in almost 400 trade associations in the nationwide elections to the Economic Chamber. Over 5,000 Austrian businesses support their candidature.
  • Symbolic handover of 5,000 declarations of support.
  • Grüne Wirtschaft emerges as the winner in the Economic Chamber elections, being the only fraction to gain both votes and mandates as well as increasing its share of the vote (5.7% vs. 4.5% previously), obtaining 349 trade association mandates across the country.
  • Grüne Wirtschaft campaigns on the theme of »Peak oil« and the imminent shortages in the supply of fossil fuels. The Economic Chamber is shaken by a property speculation scandal that Grüne Wirtschaft helped to expose. The pension funds of the regional and national Economic Chambers are on the verge of collapse and have to be recapitalised to the tune of over 100m euro.
  • The social security of self-employed people and how it can be improved is the key theme of Grüne Wirtschaft’s internal political work within the Chamber, with »The post-growth economy« as a second major focus of attention. In November, a conference entitled »Economy XXL – How long can we keep growing?« is held in Vienna.
  • Intensive preparation for the 2015 elections to the Economic Chamber. Grüne Wirtschaft adopts a new logo.
  • Grüne Wirtschaft’s field of candidates for the elections to the Economic Chamber is stronger than ever before, with over 1,400 candidates in more than 400 trade associations. Our campaign motto: »Ändern gut. Alles gut.« (»All’s well if you change it for the better.«)
  • The nationwide elections to the Economic Chamber see Grüne Wirtschaft achieving the best result in its history, with around 600 trade association mandates, nine trade association presidents and 57 vice-presidents. In the capital, a Grüne Wirtschaft candidate is elected vice-president of the Vienna Economic Chamber for the first time.
  • The summer months see the launch of a comprehensive programme of internal reform.
  • Grüne Wirtschaft sharpens its public profile as the only opposition fraction within the Economic Chamber, presenting alternative proposals for the reform of the organisation.
  • Headline themes this year include business start-ups, the sharing economy, innovations in the world of work and, in Tyrol, alternative forms of tourism.
  • Grüne Wirtschaft focusses the debate on a basic minimum income for all and the topic of e-mobility.
  • The ongoing process of internal development culminates in a comprehensive structural reform, including the introduction of new forms of decision-making.
  • The Green business fraction sets out its campaign strategy and communications plan for the 2020 elections to the Economic Chamber. The new campaign slogan: »Green business – can do!« (»Grün wirtschaften und erfolgreich sein – Ja, Kamma!«).
  • Grüne Wirtschaft proposes solutions to the shortage of skilled workes and highlights the advantages of regional economic development and the circular economy.
  • Grüne Wirtschaft brings a test case to push through a revision of the childcare allowance scheme and places the spotlight on hybrid entrepreneurs and start-ups.
  • The Green business association successfully continues its watchdog role as the opposition fraction within the Economic Chamber, publicly expressing criticism of the Chamber’s pension fund and the organisations’ expenditure on self-promotion ads and bringing these topics up for debate in the Economic Parliament.
  • In the 2020 Economic Chamber elections, Grüne Wirtschaft fields over 1,500 candidates and receives nearly 3,000 declarations of support from member businesses.
  • Grüne Wirtschaft wins 9.5% of the nationwide vote, its best result to date.