What is KÖVET?

KÖVET in a nutshell

  • A non-profit and non-governmental association with public benefit status, and with a primary membership of companies;
  • An institution to raise awareness, spread the idea and tools of environmental management and corporate social responsibility;
  • An organization experienced in implementing small- and large-scale EU and other public financed projects;
  • A professional organization that provides assistance for small and large businesses on the way towards sustainable development;
  • A forum for environmental management leaders and ISO 14001 certified companies;
  • A club of socially responsible corporations;
  • An independent and pragmatic green NGO, seeking solutions instead of conflicts.


Aims of KÖVET

  • To strengthen the environmental and social responsibility of companies and institutions;
  • To disseminate the common tool of practical experience and ideas to business circles, and to provide appropriate information to the general public;
  • To make use of foreign experience with the help of the International Network for Environmental Management (INEM);
  • To spread the knowledge that environmentally and socially aware company management is not a cost increasing factor, but promotes the success of the individual business and the economy as a whole;
  • To propagate the mentality of corporate social responsibility, especially regarding its deep interpretation, the positive role of small and medium enterprises;
  • To introduce the methods and techniques of environmentally aware management into strongly innovative companies, in particular among KÖVET members;
  • To direct in-house and external education and training in such a way that it meets the needs of environmentally aware management and corporate social responsibility;
  • To adjust the economic environment so as to promote environmental management and cor-porate social responsibility;
  • To help in identifying and using cost cutting potential, especially in energy, raw materials, water and the disposal or reuse of waste water and other waste materials (cleaner produc-tion);
  • To find new market potentials for environment-friendly products and services, and the best products and services in respect of sustainable development;
  • To make the company more attractive, which is important in staff recruitment and motiva-tion;
  • To improve the acceptance of the environmentally and socially responsible companies, in the general public – especially in the local community and the media;
  • To assure a condition for sustained viability of socially responsible market economy;
  • To make a contribution to conserving our fundamental natural resources;
  • Cooperation for the above mentioned aims with business, governmental, non-governmental and other organizations.

Our History

The NGO KÖVET Association for Sustainable Economies was founded on 19 October 1995 by 26 Hungarian companies under the name of Environmentally-conscious Corporate Governance. The founders represented a wide range of economic sectors and they considered responsible operations and the protection of the environment important. They certainly deserve to describe their name:

ARAL HUNGÁRIA Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató Kft., BBL Tanácsadó Kft., BIOKOM Pécsi Környezetgazdálkodási Kft., Caola Kozmetikai és Háztartásvegyipari Rt., COOPERS & LYBRAND Könyvvizsgáló és Vezetési Kft., CORVINBANK Ipari Fejlesztési Bank Rt., DUNALAKK Festékgyártó és Szolgáltató Kft., GOMA  Csomagolástechnikai és Csomagolóanyag-gyártó Kft., Hungarian Data Systems Kft., KLISÉ Papír- és nyomdaipari Szolgáltató és Kereskedelmi Kft., Magyar Villamos Művek Rt., MERTCONTROL Minőségellenőrző Rt., MOL Magyar Olaj- és Gázipari Rt., Mölnlycke Higiéniai és Egészségügyi Termékeket Gyártó Kft., NATURA Környezetvédelmi Tanácsadó Kft., OTP Bank Nyrt., Paksi Atomerőmű Rt., PERION Akkumulátorgyár és Rt., REM-RWE Entsorgung Magyarország Környezetvédelmi Kft., Richter Gedeon Vegyészeti Gyár Rt., SHELL Hungary Kereskedelmi Rt., STENUM GmbH Közvetlen Kereskedelmi Képviselet, Szenzor P-E Gazdaságmérnöki Kft., TETRA PAK HUNGÁRIA Csomagolási Rendszer Rt., TÜV Rheinland Hungária VRF Minőségügyi, Környezetvédelmi, Biztonságtechnikai és Rendszerfejlesztési Kft.

KÖVET was founded by companies, but organized by people. One of them is the German businessman and environmentalist Dr. Georg Winter, who founded INEM (International Network for Environmental Management), which made a great contribution to creating KÖVET. The organizing work on the foundation was carried out by a four-member Volunteer Organizing Committee, in which Tamás Kemény, Lajos Csernátoni, Miklós Pákh, Gergely Tóth and György Viszkey performed devoted and responsible work.

KÖVET initially focused on environmental protection. It has developed many important and popular products from the Green Office Program to the Money back through the Window Program. KÖVET has also put great emphasis on  changing the attitude toward environmental protection,  organizing conferences and workshops today. During the years KÖVET expanded its profile and devoted more attention to sustainability. The purpose of the association today is to help companies and other institutions on the way of sustainability.

KÖVET works as a professional and value community in that everyone knows exactly why they are members of this community. Our goal is primarily to let our companies and associates learn from each other, transfer knowledge and experience to each other.  We are organizing our working groups (CSR Managers Forum, Environmental Working Group, Energy Working Group), organizing company visits, KÖVET Clubs and exchanges of experiences.

In KÖVET intellectual work is also being done. Under the leadership of Secretary General Gergely Tóth, we are thinking a lot about the basics of a new economic paradigm that could be an alternative to the current principle based on the triad of competition-efficiency-growth. The new direction was called bionomy.