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Origin of the concept of sustainability

The term "sustainability" was originally not of an ethical nature. It comes from forestry. He has been imprinted by

a man named Hans Carl von Carlowitz (1645 -1714), a Saxon nobleman's offspring, who cared for the native forests as chief mountain governor of the Ore Mountains. In his guide "Sylvicultura oeconomica", he calls for "a continuous and sustainable use" of wood resources, which basically consists of cutting down no more trees than can regrow. The aim is to preserve the forests and supply the population with fuel and building materials in the long term. Carlowitz reacted to the fact that the supply of wood became increasingly scarce in his time. But he was not only interested in satisfying the demand. He also considered it morally imperative not to exploit the earth's raw materials to the point of exhaustion, but to establish a symbiotic relationship between man and the environment. Carlowitz was thus a pioneer of our modern concept of sustainability


18th Century

Extended meaning by the World Commission

In the report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, the so-called Brundtland Report

from 1987, the term sustainability is used. It states that sustainable development is a development, "that meets the needs of today's generation, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs and choose their lifestyle."



Todays meaning

There are now many different definitions of the term sustainability, probably the most common one is the

and the most frequently used model is the so-called 3-pillar model, according to which sustainability is composed of three different equally weighted dimensions.



Climate conference in Paris

What is the most important message for companies through the Climate Change Agreement of Paris?
  • Companies have the security they need for their long-term investments
  • The aim is to shift long-term investment towards a low-carbon production method.
    • Infrastructure
    • Energy supply
    • Product development

According to Goldman Sachs, Barclays and Bank of America, which sectors can benefit the most?
  • renewable energies, for instance wind, solar
  • LED
  • Energy efficiency
  • Electro mobility
  • Energy storage
With our fund "green benefit Nachhaltigkeit Plus we are already well invested in these fields
December 2015

Future significance

Dealing with resources in a sustainable manner does not mean, first and foremost, that future generations will not be better off - but rather, above all, that they will not be put at a disadvantage. Many philosophers therefore believe that we must at least offer the people to come the same conditions as ours, at least if they are to be equal to them.


Ethics and Sustainability

Since 1979, when the philosopher Hans Jonas (1903 -1993 ) wrote the draft "Ethics for the Technological Civilization", the question concerning the key issues of contemporary ethics persits:
Why only suggesting economic and not also moral reasons for a sustainable way of life? According to Jonas, our responsibility for the future is based on the fact that the consequences of operations concerning time and space are more far-reaching than just to our direct surroundings. Under the sign of the technology, ethics has to deal with actions that have an unprecedented causal reach in the future. If we use up all the raw materials, poison the water and bury nuclear waste in the ground, where it will remain for thousands of years still radiating, this will affect future life to the highest degree. Thus we leave a bunch of problems to our descendants, without having a chance to defend themselves against it. "The Non- Existent has no lobby, and the unborn are powerless", Jonas summarizes the adverse situation of future generations.