Sustainable, long-term thinking and acting is also becoming increasingly important for companies. The highlight: Companies also benefit financially from more Turnover. We'll show you how.

Sustainability makes profit in companies: Environmentally conscious working as a trend of the future?

How sustainability and profitability go together

As with the hero of the Shire in Lord of the Rings, our story begins with the healing Welt at. When I was on the ICE from Munich to Duisburg at the end of last year, I was able to use the travel time wonderfully to think. I love the quiet on the train and the free time from everyday work. However, I went to Duisburg to clear out my parents' household - a long process, because a new barrier-free household with a stair lift and outpatient care was needed in order to be able to live in Future to facilitate. When I thought of my parents - the older generation - I automatically had to think of my son - the younger generation. He is eleven years old and adopts our habits: he enjoys life to the fullest, being himself for sure and aware that it will remain so. So he leads a carefree life, because everything is there. The Christmas wish list is empty. No wishes still open.

I think about the future for him. However, I know that the CO2 budget for a livable planet Earth will be used up after 25 years. Then he is just 36 years old, is in the middle of his professional life and probably has one too Family: the next generation in turn. He can still move or influence little today. In 25 years it will be too late and he will tell his children that grandpa (aka me) would not have recognized the signs back then. Or even worse: that grandpa knew but didn't act. Because the facts from science were known - only the belief was missing.

Why it doesn't help to do the same thing over and over again

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I'm already sitting in the train and for the 600 kilometer journey I only use a tenth of the CO2 compared to driving a car. And yet I have more Quality of life. I'm sitting in the Deutsche Bahn on-board restaurant, having breakfast and writing this foreword. So there are no economic disadvantages. I paid 25 euros for the ticket (thanks to my Bahncard 50) compared to around 50 euros for petrol. The ICE is full, which means there is an increasing number Peoplewho see the same benefit. I wonder why the demand for Sustainability not recognized by other companies. The range of services on the train is limited.

There are two types of breakfast, two newspapers and two types of beer. The railway is becoming more attractive as a mobility solution. So why are there no business models or companies that offer other services on board the train? Do you want to make long-term profits and at the same time increase the attractiveness of sustainable mobility? Several different mobile services spontaneously come to mind: an Italian bistro, Greek restaurant, a bakery, kiosk services such as newspapers, lottery, books, etc. Or how about completely new mobility services such as a hairdresser, dental care, beauty salon? True to the keyword: Travel time is lifetime - and no stressful time like in your own car. In a traffic jam. The more I think about it, the more I believe that only business models that are based on this sustainable trend are successful in the long term. In other words: that make our planet earth more livable. At the same time I catch myself thinking: “Everything is fine. I'm sitting on the train, the train is full - it works! «And immediately afterwards I take my troubleebookto read about the development of the railway.

I am amazed to find that the railway lines and stations in Germany were much more densely structured 25 years ago. So it was easy to cover the last mile from the big city train station to the place of residence. Since 1994, however, 6.100 of the 44.600 kilometers of rail network in Germany have been shut down, which corresponds to a whopping 14 percent. At the same time, the number of registered cars grew by 18 percent. If sustainable mobility is a trend for the next 10 to 30 years, where are the companies that are involved in sustainable mobility offers? invest? Today we have two well-known national transport companies (Deutsche Bahn and Flixbus) as well as local public utilities with transport companies. The number of employees in this segment has stagnated at around 25 over the past 500 years (compared to around 000 employees in the automotive industry). If we take the trend seriously, the workforce in sustainable mobility should grow much faster. Also the expenditure for sustainable Solutions would have to increase significantly. The public sector gives twice as much Money for road construction and maintenance as well as for the railways and local public transport. Why? Do we need more surface sealing through streets and parking lots in the next 10 to 30 years? Shouldn't we rather demolish the roads and parking lots?

The working world of the future must become more sustainable

So what would I recommend to my son? "Go into the automotive industry."? ‒ »Do a bank apprenticeship.«? ‒ Or: »Look for companies or business models that develop sustainable solutions for our living space.«? At the moment it is still our task to leave the earth as a planet worth living on to our children and grandchildren. We can do that if customers and companies rethink when solutions and technologies are developed for instead of against our planet. We are convinced that companies can make a significant contribution to the sustainable development of our planet - and at the same time be financially very successful. We need this big, positive impulse - all of us!

You are not holding a strictly scientific text in your hands here. Rather, he wants entrepreneurs, Adviser, Executives, specialists, Employees, women and men invite sustainable Strategies to develop the procedure, to use the findings of recent trend research, to choose clever product designs, to pursue and implement the circular economy (cradle to cradle) step by step - and there will be recommendations for action. This text is in the context of a passionate dialogue. We have been conducting this dialogue in the interdisciplinary Alpha mal Anders consulting group for over a year. In this joint reflection process, we have created an innovative management approach that combines sustainable strategy, social and ecological responsibility, New Leadership, potential development and contemporary Organization merges. Some passages in this book refer to it. For practitioners, we describe the path using a fictitious case study, a book within a book, so to speak. It's a story in its own right. But it would be a shame if you left out the rest.

For ecological change, we have to think and act strategically

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I was an early reader of the magazine natur, founded by Horst Stern at the time. I remember one Article, which warned about global warming at least 25 years ago, well scientifically justified, with the prospect of more frequent storms and floods. At the same time, I was a frequent flyer as a consultant, even became a pilot myself and had a (more than) sufficiently motorized Volvo V70. After an extremely strenuous ten-day workshop near Chicago, I came back to Munich and wanted to work differently, live differently. I then dealt with new topics, with nutrition, yoga, music and neuroscience. i like mine Job as organizational psychologist, Training and implementers, because I like people. I am concerned with how we manage to approach the new and preserve our spaceship Earth, this "blue jewel", as Alexander Gerst said on the ISS.

We have extremely competent people in organizations, good engineers, good researchers, good managers. The children of the board members go to the FFF demonstration on Fridays, talk to their parents and ask them why they are acting this way and not otherwise, whether they are not interested in saving and maintaining this spaceship and repairing the damage it has already suffered . It is a complex task that now has to be tackled. Gaining knowledge has always been my aim, and my concern that we might be too slow is my engine, mine Motivation. My preoccupation with neurosearch has changed my view of people and psychological phenomena. I know that we have to take other aspects into account in our approach today and act strategically.

But we're fine ...?

The “Corona-Zeit «was a time to slow down for many people. However, some people used the time to think about the issues that really mattered to us in life and to put them on paper. 2019 was a successful year for most companies. The business models worked.

Our fictional case study is about an automotive company. The chairman of the board of management, Mr. Dr. Movinger (45) is extreme satisfied with his company. He has been there for six years and has pushed things forward, at the same time he has himself Respect worked out in the workforce. His sales colleague Mr. Schulz (55) has been working for Mobility GmbH for 25 years. For him it is important that the company culture is right and that the focus is on people. The chief financial officer mr Dr. Unger (50) has only been there for a year, is highly intelligent and is still in the role of observer. The manager for Technology & development, sir Dr. Welfare (64), going in next year pension. A successor is already in the starting blocks: the young and eloquent engineer Ms. bird (39). She was employed at an electric car start-up in California in the previous years.

Case study Mobility GmbH

Dr. Movinger leans back proudly. He has just presented the annual financial statements of Mobilitäts-GmbH to his shareholders. His company was able to increase sales by another 3 percent last year and thus closed the year for the fourth time in a row with a record result. The share of luxury cars (SUVs) could be increased significantly, which led to a strong overall margin of 10 percent. Dr. Movinger joined the company six years ago as chairman of the management board and also took over the production department. He had been poached by a competitor with whom he had held many different positions, most recently where he was responsible for the US business. During the years at Mobility GmbH he was able to implement some important projects that are now paying off. With the workforce - initially skeptical about the "foreign" newcomer - he has now earned the respect he deserves, because he lends a hand and keeps the company on a short leash. The shareholders are also more than satisfied: the company is on a profitable growth path. The outlook is Dr. However, mover a little more cautious. The trade dispute and Covid-19 are uncertainties that negative can affect sales, if necessary this will be done growth thereby limited in the medium term. For Dr. Movinger is clearthat he will stick to the previously successful business model. The Company is, after all, the market leader in the luxury segment and will continue to build on its strength. risks will be cushioned by a new cost-cutting program. A reduction in overhead capacities would have been a next step anyway and is therefore definitely pending.

In the first management meeting after the shareholders' meeting, Sales Director Mr. Scholz presented a new study on the subject of "mobility habits of the next generation". Initial surveys show that the Significance of their own car for the younger generation is declining and losing relevance. The first sales statistics in the customer segment of 18 to 25 year olds also confirm this trend in Germany. Dr. Movinger dismisses this as irrelevant and instead refers to the international business and sales potential in the luxury segment. His Opinions According to Mr. Scholz it would be better to concentrate on this segment. Mr. Scholz is an old hand. He has been with the company for 25 years and therefore knows almost everyone both in the company and in the Industry. He has worked his way up to the top of sales and has a good nose for customer trends and sales potential. He has a passion for automobiles – a real car guy. He sees the company as his family and is happy about it Guide of the strong Dr. Mover at the top of the Company. So he likes to follow him. He wipes away his original concerns about the new buying behavior of young people Dr. Mover's comments away, he is ultimately right: The products and technology of the mobility GmbH are so outstanding that sales will continue to function in the future. SUVs offer enormous driving pleasure with maximum comfort. And which Customer will want to do without it voluntarily?

Also the last new addition, Dr. Unger as CFO is satisfied. He had switched from a supplier to the mobility GmbH the previous year. The supplier's liquidity situation was extremely tight. With new, innovative orders, they were less and less used and in the old "diesel segment" they had to struggle with overcapacities. So the move to Mobility GmbH came at just the right time. Everything was in here Order ‒ a financially sound company with growth potential. For him, the profitability of a company is the most important aspect. In it he agrees Dr. Movinger agree. They are continuing the achieved EBIT margin of over 10 percent as the minimum target for the next few years. They even see possible increases in this margin through growth in further luxury segments. Investments in engine technology and new SUV vehicle models are paying off, which is particularly popular in the luxury segment. Sales there are growing in double digits and they will expand their market share. Especially in China, where the class of the wealthy is growing and more and more people are developing an appetite for luxury goods. The shareholders like that too, for them Dr. Unger now compiles a monthly overview of the company figures. He makes sure that profitability is right and that the actual figures are within the planning corridor. This, in turn, pleases the owners. To minimize risk, he proposed the cost savings program. He brings experience from his old company with him. When benchmarking the numbers, he found early on that the expense ratio SG&A (Sales, General & Administration = administration) is significantly higher at the mobility GmbH than at his old employer. He therefore sees great potential here.

Dr. Wohlfahrt's thoughts are already on his second life: in the quiet mountain hut on Lake Tegernsee. From next year he will finally have more time for his family and his grandchildren. He is proud of his life's work, because he made a significant contribution to mobility GmbH becoming a leader in diesel technology. The new engine generation has a sensationally low Consumption and the 2-litre engine needs just five liters per 100 kilometers when driving calmly, so in practice that is a range of 1.200 kilometers with a full 60-litre tank. In addition, there is no shortage of driving fun: the 4L model does it from 6 to 0 km/h in 100 seconds. He just doesn't understand this whole environmental discussion - but he doesn't have to anymore. He is skeptical about his successor. This is not a real car guy - but some shareholders had insisted that someone with experience in electromobility join the GF-Team should be fetched, and so had Dr. Let Movinger persuade him, even if he is not really convinced. With the last fiscal year is Dr. Wohlfahrt highly satisfied - a grand finale to his career.

The discrepancy between public perception and customer opinion

Mr. Dr. Movinger from our case study looks back proudly on the successful business last year. He wants to do everything possible to repeat this in the coming year. He knows that they build the best cars with engineering from Germany - despite the many pessimistic voices that their business model is at an end. Technologically, they are still superior to the competition. As they are leaders in diesel generator set technology, this lead would be even greater without the diesel crisis.

The increasing (Choice-)Success environmental parties is viewed with skepticism by many companies. The environmental activists have identified motorized private transport as the main reason for environmental pollution and climate change. Therefore, they propagate alternative concepts, especially in the cities. In contrast to commercial companies: In surveys by market research institutes, customers tend towards sustainable products, while in car dealerships they choose highly motorized vehicles. A total of 15,3 million passenger cars were registered in the EU last year, 1,2 percent more than in the previous year - and that despite the introduction of new emission and fuel consumption tests (WLTP). Germany, the largest EU car market, showed an increase of 2019 percent in 5. Here too, for the first time, more than a million SUVs and off-road vehicles were newly registered - now with a market share of over 30 percent. (VDA, 2020)

So there is a big discrepancy in public perception and consumer behavior. Businesses will continue to do whatever it takes to keep their customers happy. Recent customer satisfaction surveys show good to very good grades for the companies. Many entrepreneurs see this Problem much more so with the environmental activists with their horror scenarios: they block the streets and send the children to demonstrations during school hours. In her opinion, cars only contribute 10 percent to CO2 emissions and work is also being done on optimizing combustion engines. German diesel technology is a role model in terms of efficiency and CO2 emissions. However, the technology is badmouthed and not politically supported.

The normal state is still the goal

From today's perspective, they are probably right, because in 2019 many companies achieved record results. Car sales have increased and the tourism industry also had a record year in 2019. Airline traffic grew by 4,2 percent worldwide. The German airlines were also able to increase their traffic by 1,3 percent light increase. In total, there were more than 248 million arriving and departing passengers at German airports. The demand for the products and services has increased! If we look at these numbers: What is the need for action for a radical Change? A question that many entrepreneurs answer to us with the fact that you stop should always badmouth everything. Germany is on the right track and should continue on this path. There's just no reason to panic. But of course one would be vigilant and react to the changes, especially in the international context. At the moment (June 2020) we are in the middle of the corona crisis. And nothing is good. But after all, we have a solid culprit: Covid-19! A stroke of luck for many company leaders, because at the supervisory board meetings they can now blame the negative developments in 2020 on the corona virus. You don't have to explain it in detail. There is no comparison and no reference values. The previous year is not comparable and the Planning obsolete - a new plan is also impossible. No one knows when we will get back to normal.

And here is the crux: Unfortunately, the old normal state is again that Objective. Because in the normal state, entrepreneurs can practice the old, "successful" business model again and thus continue to be successful. Even if not immediately with record sales, but perhaps with higher margins in the luxury segment. It is unimportant whether a V- or U-shaped development occurs, the old state is sought. One thing is certain in the uncertainty: there will be strong growth in 2021. According to an old management rule: After a downturn, there is another upswing with attractive growth rates. The stock exchange has already anticipated this. After the initially violent drop of almost 40 percent in February and March 2020, it went up again by more than 25 percent in spring. The next upswing is sure to come. We have learned from previous stock market crises: Black Thursday 1929 (-85 percent), the 1973 oil crisis (-45 percent), Black Monday 1987 (-36 percent), the dot-com bubble 2001 (-38 percent) and the 2008 financial crisis ( -54 percent)

4 business models that could be obsolete tomorrow

  1. After the crises, things have always gone up. The stock exchange is already pricing in future developments. So everything's going to be fine now, isn't it? At the moment we see little concrete plans from companies. However, there are increasing signs that companies want to continue on their successful course from 2019, which is why there are some capacity adjustments to personnel and machines. But the business models that were successful in 2019 will be continued. Here are a few current examples of business models that could be out of date tomorrow.
  2. In 2019, BMW achieved sales of more than 100 billion euros for the first time - 7 billion euros more than in the previous year. After the corona crisis, before the corona crisis: more luxury, SUVs and electric drives. In the luxury segment, BMW reactivated the 8 Series for the first time, and in 2019 the giant SUV X7 was launched. Overall, BMW wants to double its sales in the luxury class to 2020 cars in 140.000. The X7 sold almost 2019 times in 40.000. Accordingly, the CO2 value for the new vehicle fleet, which is decisive for the EU Commission, hardly drops. In 2019 the value was 128 grams, one gram less than in the previous year. BMW must reduce this result by around 2021 percent by 20, otherwise severe penalties are imminent.
  3. The turnover of the Lufthansa Group rose by 2019 percent in 2,5, i.e. by almost 900 million euros. The market was characterized by high competitive pressure, especially from low-cost airlines. After the corona crisis, about a tenth less of the current fleet will be needed for Lufthansa in the future. Accordingly, AirlineChef Carsten Spohr announced in April that “the aviation industry is not expected to return quickly to pre-crisis levels” and that it could take months “for global travel restrictions to be lifted and years for global demand for air travel to return Pre-crisis level corresponds to «.2
  4. Nestlé was able to increase sales in 2019 by 1,2 percent to 93 billion Swiss francs. Nestlé also grew by more than 2020 percent in the first quarter of 4. In the corona crisis, the company is temporarily sticking to the original outlook for 2020 as a whole. A further improvement in organic sales growth and the underlying operating profit margin is expected.
  5. Bayer AG's sales rose by 2019 percent to 3,5 billion euros in 43,5, and adjusted profit rose by 28 percent to 11,5 billion euros. In the coming year 2020, adjusted profit is expected to increase by at least 7 percent. Bayer sees the planning as realistic even in corona times. Sales should increase by 3 to 4 percent to up to 45 billion euros. In addition to the medical division, the agricultural business also met expectations after the takeover of Monsanto, making a profit jump to 4,8 billion euros - glyphosate made a significant contribution to this, despite all its negative effects on the environment.

Conclusion: sustainability can be tough, but it's worth it

We know: Sustainability can sometimes be exhausting, but we want to develop the missing operating instructions for Spaceship Earth with your support and your actions. Deal? Then on, it's worth it!

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