Liechtenstein has presented itself as a sustainable economic area at the Swiss Green Economy Symposium. Chief executives from companies such as Hilcona, Hilti and LGT offered specific examples of how they are contributing to sustainability both at home and around the world.
Liechtenstein has recorded some notable successes on its way to becoming a sustainable economic area. This was underlined by representatives from the worlds of business and politics at the Liechtenstein Innovation Forum, which took place on Thursday as part of the Swiss Green Economy Symposium in Winterthur. Doris Frick, Ambassador of the Principality of Liechtenstein to Switzerland, pointed out that Liechtenstein has the largest installed capacity of photovoltaics per capita worldwide, while all municipalities in the country are certified as energy cities. This is also a first in Europe.
Liechtenstein companies have integrated sustainability aspects into their daily operations. “For Hilti, sustainability means including not only economic factors but also ecological and social factors in corporate strategies, thereby ensuring long-term corporate success”, comments Peter Rupp, Head of Corporate Sustainability at Hilti. Measures to strengthen sustainability are implemented by the operational units themselves. Ultimately, sustainability pays off. “The bottom line is that sustainability earns us money”, Rupp explains.
From the perspective of Martin Henck, sustainability is not just about reducing or even eradicating the consumption of certain materials. “Sustainability opens up opportunities”, comments the CEO of the food processing company Hilcona. His company has launched around 100 products in this area, with sales of vegan products having doubled over the past year. The proprietary brand Green Mountain has capitalized on a cool trend and is regarded as highly promising. “I’ve worked in this industry for a long time, but I’ve never seen a movement like this”, says Henck.
Sustainability is also a core issue for the financial sector. In this regard, Liechtenstein’s largest bank, LGT, intends to operate on a climate-neutral basis by 2030. Olivier de Perregaux, CEO Private Banking at LGT, explained how the bank is working to integrate sustainability criteria in its asset management activities. All clients are granted access to what is known as the ESG Cockpit, via which they can find out all about the ecological, social and governance evaluation with regard to their investments. The important thing is for client advisors themselves to be convincing. Accordingly, they receive further training, including in locations such as Hong Kong and Singapore.
The sustainability credentials of the economic area can also leave a mark outside Liechtenstein. Doris Frick pointed out that the member companies of the Liechtenstein Chamber of Commerce and Industry employ a total of 56,700 people abroad, while Olivier de Perregaux advocated that Liechtenstein could exploit the theme of sustainability to position the itself on the international stage: “As a small country, we can also bring issues to the table that are uncomfortable”.