Sustainability as a precondition for future corporate success

Worldwide "Fridays for Future" demonstrations, the EU's Green Deal, the "Sustainability" slogan of the World Economic Forum in Davos and many other initiatives clearly indicated at the beginning of 2020 that sustainability had become the central issue. Then came COVID-19 with the question as to whether the priority could again be shifted to the disadvantage of sustainability. In the meantime, it's clear that this will not be the case. The reason is primarily that the realization has become established that sustainability is not an obstacle to successful future corporate development, but its precondition.

This insight can currently be seen in many places. Thus, BlackRock, as the world's biggest asset manager, has made good its threat and refused relief for the supervisory boards of over 50 companies because they have not achieved satisfactory progress on the environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria. BMW boss Oliver Zipse has made climate protection not only a core objective of the automobile company, but linked its achievement with the remuneration of the Board of Directors and top management. And the German government is planning, this year if possible, to pass a supplier chain law to ensure better protection of humans and the environment in the global economy. In this connection, social aspects such as child labor, exploitation and discrimination, as well as ecological aspects such as illegal deforestation, water and air pollution, will be taken into consideration. Despite criticism from individual business associations, the plan is supported by many renowned companies.

Digitalization is an important lever

Furthermore, the CEO initiative "Green Deal" should be especially emphasized, which, under the heading "Cooperation for a more resilient, prosperous and sustainable Europe", has expressly committed itself to the "Next Generation" project of the EU. The initiative is supported by companies that together have 1.7 million employees and over 600 billion Euro in turnover. Including Volkswagen AG. Basically, they want to support EU projects in four central areas – in the view of the CEOs, digitalization is the most important lever for the achievement of the specified objectives:

  • Decarbonization and CO2 pricing
  • Low-carbon and zero-emissions innovations
  • Recycling economy
  • Sustainable finance

These are just some examples of how, even in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis, the understanding and the will is there to strive for a "better tomorrow" by focusing on sustainability. Sustainability is and remains at the top of the agenda for the CEOs.

In my view, this is an excellent development. And, like the Green Deal initiative, I am firmly convinced that an important component of the "vaccine" for solving our ecological and social problems lies in innovative technologies and digitalization. But it is not enough just to have the necessary tools. We must also have the strong will to use them. It is therefore the entrepreneurial responsibility to look beyond short-term success and to ask questions about the aim and purpose of one's own company. At MHP, we have done this and want to take responsibility for shaping a better future. As a consulting company, our task is to accompany our customers on their journey into this future, and thus to jointly achieve sustainable success.

This is in line with our purpose: "Enabling you to shape a better tomorrow"

How we specifically envisage this will be the subject of future articles by our colleagues on the themes of sustainability and digital responsibility. I'm looking forward to this. And I'm sure that our new blog will provide several impulses for you.

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Published on: 24.09.2020
Author: Marcus Schüler

More about the author

Marcus Schüler
Associated Partner at MHP

A “Better Tomorrow” isn't possible without...:
the will to assume responsibility beyond what's necessary and the realization that there are no simple causal chains, but that we live in systems and must also think this way. A little less "I" and a little more "we"; a little less "now" and a little more "tomorrow"; a little less hedonism and a little more stoicism - and then the better tomorrow might also be possible.

My heart beats faster for…:
Home Sweet Home

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