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There is a quote by Vincent van Gogh, which can make us to think about Sustainability: “Great things are not something accidental, but must certainly be willed.”

The “UN Brundtland Report” defines sustainability as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their one needs.” Seen as this, sustainability was interpreted from an economic point of view by Erich Gutenberg and his “principle of profit”, as corporations in a market-based system are striving for to maximize their profit, based on the used resources, on the long-run.

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Most companies understand this to use natural resources with care, so that they continue to exist also for tomorrow’s generations. Further its neighbors are important, as good citizens it is imperative to support the community. This is not limited to found schools or plant trees, but includes that the company is not just today working efficiently, but does the same tomorrow and beyond. With this it can continue to support the community, be a source for local tax-income and stay available to offer jobs for local people.

A long-term strategy based on the company’s vision and values is required! But this alone is not sufficient to ensure the future results. Guidelines and processes have to be implemented, if not it would be a pure accident to reach the company’s targets. Surely it is possible to find short-cuts and win projects with ignoring laws and regulations. But most of the times, there are just victories on the short run. Maybe not at once, but years later such deviations get discovered. The results are high fines, loss of reputation and can even include black-listing. Not to talk that the cost of corruption are paid by all. Corruption not only brings the company down, but with it the local community.

A company needs the will to accomplish its vision. For this all employees have to walk in the same direction to reach this goal. Compliance ensures that the company’s vision is lived and respected; it is the will to create great things together.

Values + Strategy + Compliance  = Sustainability

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