We want to set goals we can actually reach.
Our actions are based on set values and clear rules. We are convinced that environmental laws and economic laws go hand in hand: they are two sides of the same coin. This belief feeds into our vision and gives rise to the goals we want to reach.
We also make sure nothing is lost in the process of reaching these goals. Waste is something we do not want, particularly in the midst of the bureaucratic pressure that comes in the wake of ever-increasing compliance requirements. We act carefully, precisely, truthfully and attentively, and create value. We accept responsibility towards our customers, partners, employees and the environment, and create value.
This country is surrounded by countries that are part of a politically motivated currency experiment that is divorced from reality. It takes just a few years for an indebted country to become a global export champion because the currency is weaker than its own. Plus, other countries from the south have to be ‘rescued’ with hefty transfer payments because the currency is stronger than it should be. At the same time, the money is too cheap, leading to debt. The European Central Bank is threatening additional ‘rescue measures whatever the cost’. Now, almost all central banks are shielding their respective domains with a version of the planned economy. This lowers the threshold to deny citizens the freedom of trade and commerce when a pandemic breaks out, and in turn, the public sector’s over-indebtedness spreads to the private sector. There is fear that the confusion between money and capital will continue until the capital is completely eaten up by a pension-consuming society when the financial floodgates are fully open. Societies that are damaged to this extent, or in other words parasitic societies incapable of learning, will see a desire for sustainability take root – and that is the reason for hope!
I work for a company that has been operating for 140 years, and this gives me a greater sense of commitment to sustainability than the (too loud) calls to issue a report. In short, I confess that I doubt the sustainability of an insistence on a sustainability report. Is not this precisely an issue we should set aside so we can focus on action, instead? Indeed, the truth will come out at some stage.
However, this presupposes a fundamental sense of trust, and in the present climate, this trust has been banished by fear. Simply speaking out in favour of silence is viewed with suspicion. The strange times in which we find ourselves are turning the saying ‘speech is silver, silence is golden on its head. With the increasing pressure to conjure up reports of any kind, are people really trying to say that silver is worth more than gold? I am delighted that the price signals from the global interplay of supply and demand shore up this ageless saying and not the zeitgeist!
This clamour for speech could also be fuelled by the fact that our mouths are constantly in a state of shock at being outnumbered by our two ears. They are more than happy to be lured towards a sense of equality, with the consequence that both sides suffer. Our mouths need to say more than they are predisposed to, so sounds emerge that are hollow, lacking in reflection, faltering, or sheathed in lies. Our ears then need to hear more than they can stand, and they start to switch off. A striking number of people look forward to the weekend, to working from home and to holidays, so they can ‘switch off’.
And here’s my last confession: I can write what I want here. I have yielded to the pressure to create a Sustainability Report primarily because I can be brief about it. We never stop turning old, used and discarded items into new, attractive and important ones, which exemplifies the process of sustainable value creation. It helps us appreciate our customers, employees and fellow humans; in fact, life, the world and creation overall. We believe that the economy and ecology belong to the same family.
Weinfelden in April, 2020
This Sustainability Report covers 2017 to 2020. It is our first in-depth report on the theme of sustainability.
This Sustainability Report encompasses all the activities and key figures of every company within the Model Group. Our reporting focuses on the steps taken by the Swiss organization Model AG, as the Model Group’s paper mills are located in Switzerland, and they have the biggest environmental impact on our activities.
This report has been drafted in compliance with the GRI standards, ‘Core’ version. The Sustainability Report itself has not been reviewed by an external expert.
Documentation of GRI indicators
This report complies with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards and aligns the key aspects of the GRI with the four pillars of the Model Group’s sustainability strategy.