Forbes Austria published this opinion piece by Antje von Dewitz and Lisa Fidler. The two authors are the CEO and the sustainability manager of Vaude, an outdoor clothing and gear manufacturer that has been an ECG company for many years.
The authors stress that the corona pandemic has upset our social life and is having a serious impact on the economy. Vaude has noticed the impact, but is recovering well and does not require any state assistance. They attribute that fact to their sustainable orientation, which makes the company crisis-proof.
Sustainability is a core value at Vaude and is fully integrated into its corporate strategy – from the company’s headquarter all the way through the supply chain. The implementation of this entrepreneurial understanding is challenging in our existing economic system. As they explain: “companies are evaluated solely on the basis of financial indicators, whether in the awarding of financial services or the calculation of taxation. Whether companies are environmentally friendly and fair is not taken into account. As a result, entrepreneurs generally focus on short-term profit maximization. In many cases, this is at the expense of people and the environment. It also means that there is a structural competitive disadvantage for sustainable companies. After all, companies that pay attention to the usage of sustainable materials and environmentally friendly manufacturing and ensure fair wages and working conditions in production facilities have to bear significantly higher costs than companies that do not pay attention to these aspects.”
The real costs are not incurred by the companies causing the damage, but by uninvolved parties, the general public and future generations. Vaude considers the Economy for the Common Good as the solution.
Especially now, after the lock down, as the economy is to be strengthened with stimulus packages, they consider it absolutely necessary to finally eliminate the structural competitive disadvantages for sustainable companies and to make our economic system fit for the future.
Here you can read the original Forbes article in German