What is sustainability?

Kim Berrendorf
April 29, 2019
Responsibility, commitment, corporate social responsibility, corporate responsibility, total societal impact, corporate governance, ESG – all of these are part of the greater sustainability picture. But, given that the objective of this concept is the journey itself, the term generally used is sustainable development. This is an umbrella term for all activities aimed at enabling a form of development that serves the needs of the current generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Sustainability is more than just protecting the environment.

The concept of sustainability comes from forestry, but these days it is divided up into different dimensions: social, ecological and economic. The social dimension relates to society and the people who live in it; the ecological dimension relates to the environment, something we all need for survival; the economic dimension relates to a sustainable economic system that factors in limitations, such as the scarcity of resources. There are however additional dimensions that may be influenced by sustainability concepts. Recently emerging areas include political sustainability and digital sustainability.

Sustainability at the Baloise Group – simply responsible.

This concept features heavily across a variety of divisions of the Baloise Group. From asset management and logistics right through to commitment to the arts, the Baloise Group’s sustainable development activities span across a range of areas. Our website section Sustainability provides detailed information for each of these areas.

The concept as a whole is complex and multifaceted, but at the end of the day, all of our efforts are undertaken in pursuit of one common goal: sustainable development.

Sustainability is a must have.

For some, sustainable development is a must for ethical reasons or because they take climate change seriously. Others see it as a prerequisite for remaining competitive. Still others act in anticipation of state regulations or potential cost savings. Regardless of the reason – far from being a trend, this concept is slowly emerging as the standard.

Sustainability requires understanding and concerted action.

The issue must of course be fostered by management, otherwise there is the risk of efforts within the company amounting to nothing. Still, this is not something that can be dictated. Given the expansive and complex nature of the issue, the success of its implementation is heavily dependent on employee cooperation and collaboration. A fundamental requirement of this cooperation and collaboration is a common and mutual understanding. Furthermore, a certain degree of background knowledge is necessary when it comes to assessing measures and how these will impact sustainable development.

We want to use regular articles – among other things – to generate a broader and more general understanding of what sustainability is and offer background information to facilitate a common dialogue.