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The current question:
What makes a company sustainable?
What do you think?
Photo / Video: Shutterstock.
#1 Luck instead of material
A company is sustainable when it satisfies people's real and non-supposed needs in a way that generates happiness with the least direct or indirect use of primary resources (happiness instead of material). Thus, the focus is not on the product or service, but on people and the common good ("Design for Human Needs" instead of "Design of Products / Services"). Furthermore, such a company must, in principle, be able to survive and be competitive in the long term without growth. Growth must not be an existential entrepreneurial end in itself, but, as in nature, it should only take place after a phase of development ("youth") to "maturity" to an economically meaningful size.
Matthias Neitsch, repanet
#2 Follow the consequences
A sustainable company thinks about the consequences of its actions for people and the environment - and not only for the immediately visible consequences, but also for the often overlooked consequences. A sustainable company produces goods and services that are actually needed to help people live a better, easier, more meaningful, healthier, more spiritually fulfilled life. It therefore requires little advertising to aufzuschwatzen customers these goods. A sustainable company thinks about the health of employees, the compatibility of work with family, promotes volunteer work and social commitment.
Wilfried Knorr, spokesman for the common good economy
#3 Honest and transparent
Sustainability has become almost a nonsense. Who still believes in companies and organizations if they call themselves sustainable? In times when every company creates its own label, making it the most sustainable player in the industry, education is the most important thing. For those who look closely, the truly sustainable are already the winners, and for everyone else it's just a matter of time.
Sustainable companies must be honest and transparent - because sustainability is only credible in the short term, even if all the suppliers, customers and employees associated with the company feel that every decision was made in terms of sustainability. How many emissions are generated by this? How many "meaningless" kilometers are caused by this? Do we help to make the lives of our colleagues, our suppliers and our customers more sustainable?
What I mean by that is simply: "Honesty is the longest and sustainable is only the one who considers as many aspects of sustainability in the supposedly simple decision - and for all decisions that are not yet economically viable, in other areas "Too sustainable" decides.
Lukas Hader, Multikraft
#4 Respect for people and the environment
Sustainable companies respect human rights and environmental protection, including in their global supply chains. They actively implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and support binding rules of due diligence for businesses.
Juliane Kippenberg, Human Rights Watch
#5 role models
Sustainable companies are role models for others, and as a corporate goal, they focus on the preservation of a livable future for all, conserve resources and, with their sustained commitment, make a voluntary positive contribution to society and the environment. The main focus should be on thinking globally, acting regionally and maintaining or restoring the ecological balance.
Uli Retter, Hotel Retter
#6 resource consumption
It is about the attempt to minimize the amounts of non-renewable resources and production resources with the same product quality as far as possible. The second, important area concerns processing at an industrial company like Baumit. The main aim here is to produce as few waste materials as possible and to use them as far as possible for further use. For years, Baumit has been promoting the principle of circular economy here. The third aspect relates to the handling and motivation of the employees and / or the fair pay and the personal opportunity for personal development. The fact that Baumit is on the right path here proves the extremely low employee turnover for years.
Manfred Tisch, Managing Director Baumit
#7 Long-term measures
In sustainable companies, not only short-term economic success is important, but also measures for medium and long-term developments. From an ecological point of view, this includes the reduction of energy and resource consumption, the best possible waste prevention, a nature-friendly design of the company premises and ideally also the support of voluntary sustainability measures by employees or sponsoring of nature and environmental NGOs.
Dagmar Breschar, Nature Conservation Union
#8 Acting with responsibility
Sustainable for me are companies that are aware of their corporate responsibility and their responsibility to incorporate in their business decisions. Our vision is a society where companies naturally assume this responsibility - along their entire supply chain. That will not work overnight, especially in a world of complicated value chains and complex trade flows. However, Fairtrade can already provide support for the transition to fair supply chains, more transparency and risk management. Sustainable economic activity is already possible today, as many successful partner companies show. There are enough role models!
Hartwig Kirner, Fairtrade Austria
#9 Living sustainability
Companies are sustainable if they follow the golden rules of sustainability, namely
- Develop economic benefits
- exercise social responsibility
- To fully integrate the environment into their work.
The will to do so must be developed and lived in the upper leadership. Sustainability needs a clear strategy and compliance, a strategy that is timely adapted to changing conditions. Special attention is to be paid to customer relations, employees and suppliers.
With this attitude and attitude, during my time as an active member, I have successfully led various companies and in my third stage of life, I have founded a charitable foundation that I have been leading with great success since 19 years.
Kurt Pfister, President Green Ethiopia
#10 common sense
Sustainability is for me to turn his head. Use the so-called "common sense". Because then it is completely clear to you that a bio product from Argentina can not be sustainable. If you think logically, you know that value creation should stay in the region and not Dubai. This is how sustainability starts with the basic things: electricity, heating and water or tap water. Only then will food, clothing and "nice to haves" come.
Magdalena Kessler, nature hotel Chesa Valisa
#11 Fair & transparent
For sustainable companies and NGOs like us, accountability standards are just as necessary as gender, transparency and environmental policies. Our supporters look to us for being sustainable, fair and transparent. With our programs and projects, we always think about the effects on the environment. Companies and NGOs have to weigh up which measures are environmentally and socially compatible. This applies to actions in our project countries as well as in our offices in Europe and Africa. Awareness raising is very important here - from the separation of waste through the selection of partner organizations to the recording of the CO2 balance sheet and its compensation.
Sabine Prenn, Managing Director Light for the World Austria
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