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If sustainability is more important to you than greed for profit, we will show you how you can be successful with the common good economy. Entrepreneurs feel better in their souls when they work in a way that is oriented towards the common good. They perceive classic market mechanisms as very violent and cynical. Public tenders increasingly give preference to companies that are oriented towards the common good.

This is how companies can determine how ecologically and socially sustainable they are and how they can improve.


What’s the idea?

Common good economics (GWÖ) is a model in which the economy is supposed to serve the well-being of nature and people rather than the multiplication of money. There are associations worldwide to promote the GWÖ. In Germany, about 500 businesses have joined the movement. The common good balance sheet is a measurement tool that shows how sustainable companies are and how they can develop further – unlike the sustainability report. There are different approaches to common good orientation, the GWÖ-Bilanz is particularly suitable for small and medium-sized companies.

What is examined?

The basis of the GWO balance is a matrix (downloadable at matrix). It contains 20 topic areas that need to be addressed. It examines how the company acts according to the four values of “human dignity”, “solidarity and justice”, “ecological sustainability” and “transparency and co-decision” in relation to each of these five groups: Suppliers, company owners and financial partners, employees, customers and the social environment. Example: Do your suppliers pay attention to sustainability? Are your salaries fairly distributed?

What can be deduced from this?

The result shows how their company can improve. Example: If you have only achieved a few points in the field of ownership and co-decision, you could improve by giving your team a financial share in the success.

How are they evaluated?

After the inventory, you assess what impact your activities have on the common good. Plus or minus points are awarded for each field. Example: If you invest money in energy-saving machines, you get plus points for environmental sustainability. If you use suppliers who produce goods that are harmful to the environment, you get minus points. All points are added up. Companies can receive a maximum of 1000 points and in the worst case minus 3600 points. The assessment is then checked and corrected by an auditor specialised in GWÖ balances: Companies that have no experience in preparing an GWÖ balance sheet often assess themselves incorrectly.

What does an GWÖ balance sheet cost?

Companies have to be members of a GWÖ association, the fee starts at 100 Euros per year and is calculated according to the team size. In addition, there are consulting costs of between 1000 euros for companies with up to 10 employees and just under 6ooo euros for 100 employees or more.

Who or what helps me?

You will have to do a lot of research in order to work on the topics. Involve your team and use the workbook of the your help.

Sustainability also includes social and economic issues. You can find more information and food for thought here:

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