The concept of sustainability has its origins in forest management. Hans Carl von Carlowitz, founder of sustainability, advocated in 1713 that trees should only be felled at the rate they could be replaced. Professor Klaus Josef Lutz, Chairman of the Board of Management of BayWa AG, explains why sustainability has always been an integral part of BayWa's corporate philosophy.
As a company operating internationally in the energy, agriculture and building materials sectors, we have responsibilities to our customers, employees, investors, suppliers, the environment and the climate. With its objectives for the Group, our sustainability strategy provides the fundamental direction: "Sustainable business practices", "Conserving resources", "Working in partnership" and "Creating quality of life".
This is not possible without long-standing relationships with our customers and employees that are based on trust. They provide the foundation for sustainable business. Satisfied employees and fair working conditions are important to us, and are firmly anchored in the BayWa sustainability strategy.
The principle of sustainability in forest management from 1713 was initially based on purely economic considerations. It can take up to a hundred years for trees to be ready for felling. Clear-cutting without restraint means there will be nothing left to fell in decades to come, ruining any forestry business. And that’s precisely the point. Businesses that don’t manage their resources sustainably are being more than just ecologically irresponsible; they are also depriving themselves sooner or later of economic success.
The fact that conserving resources today is more important than ever, is also clear from climate change. To stop global warming, all operators have to reconsider the way they currently do things and make adjustments. The motto of our sustainability report this year is "Acting responsibly means living the change". And that’s what we’ve been working on. We’ve been able to make considerable progress towards achieving our goal of climate neutral operations by 2030. Since 2020, 100 per cent of the electricity we need has come from renewable sources – a commitment we have underlined with our membership of the international RE100 initiative. Bloomberg and the United Nations have also chosen us as one of their 50 Sustainability & Climate Leaders in the "Traditional conglomerate" category.