Fields in sunlight

What is sustainability?

Carlowitz (1645-1714), chief mining officer of the city of Freiberg, Germany, was one of the first to define the concept of sustainability using forestry as an example: According to him, a forest should only be logged to the extent that it can regenerate naturally within a reasonable period of time. Sustainability should therefore ensure that the essential characteristics of a regenerative, natural ecosystem are preserved for future generations, even under permanent management.

In the meantime, the term has been further developed and expanded, but the principle remains unchanged: Sustainable management satisfies the needs of the present in such a way that future generations will be able to satisfy their needs equally.

Why is sustainability so important?

Two developments in particular are forcing us to change: global warming and global population growth. The study "Review on the Economics of Climate Change" by former World Bank chief economist Nicholas Stern states: "Climate change is the biggest and most far-reaching market failure in world history". We are already bearing the economic consequences today:

Globally, around one percent of the gross domestic product (approx. 270 billion euros) is spent annually to counteract climate change. At the same time, we urgently need a fairer distribution of growth and prosperity between North and South, between industrialized polluters and affected developing countries: 20 percent of the world's population cause a large part of the global environmental damage, the consequences of which are borne by the remaining 80 percent through no fault of their own.

Seedling in hand

Taking chances

We understand this global challenge as an opportunity: For us, sustainability means innovation, which picks up on a central problem and proposes a solution from which numerous commercial potentials arise. For example, it creates the opportunity to develop efficient new technologies, processes and process engineering.

Companies that have consistently integrated the idea of sustainability into their business processes already enjoy a number of advantages:

  • Innovative products and services strengthen market position
  • Improved customer and employee loyalty
  • Resource and efficiency gains with simultaneous cost savings
  • Higher social reputation, which favours higher demand
  • Strong partnerships and alliances within communities of values
  • Higher attractiveness for employees, particularly for high educational attainment
  • Opportunity to differentiate in competition
zusammen klettern

Applied sustainability

In the following, we would like to illustrate how sustainability is practically applied in our projects:

  • No lands are used that contain natural forests or that require extensive clearing
  • The selection of the planting material is verified to match local conditions and material requirements. It is also ensured that negative impacts on the local environment can be avoided. For example, no plants are used that have water requirements exceeding available extraction quantities
  • .
  • Only renewable raw material sources are used, which renew themselves, constantly and on their own. Resources are extracted in such a way that a constant and complete renewal can take place, while maintaining constant material quality
  • Ecologically harmless fertilization maintains long-term soil health, which is verified by regular tests (prevention of overfertilization and overacidification of the soil)
  • Sustainable water management includes resource-saving water use (e.g. through droplet irrigation) as well as measures to protect the groundwater level, local water resources and other supply sources
  • Waste from production is avoided or recycled as much as possible. Any residual waste produced is processed and disposed of in a strictly environmentally friendly manner, if possible in recycling yard facilities
  • .
  • We pay attention to an overall balance that is as climate-neutral as possible, in which the CO2 emissions caused by production and logistics are at least neutralized by the cultivated areas
  • If raw materials from third-party sources are used, origin and extraction method are verified and taken into account. Raw materials from doubtful or uncertain sources are not used for the production process