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Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

Economic Sustainability


The creation of profit is no longer the ultimate goal of companies, but is becoming a condition for the realisation of a corporate project aimed at an enlarged audience of stakeholders (i.e. shareholders, but also employees, customers, suppliers and the community at large). The corporate purpose is the very reason why a company exists, its raison d'être and represents the role it plays in the world.  
For companies, the challenge is to develop a corporate culture capable of: first, understanding the trade-offs involved in pursuing sustainability strategies; then, resolving them with innovative solutions that simultaneously create economic value for the company and at the same time, at the very least, do no harm to other stakeholders. In fact, it is a matter of realising the insight of the Brundtland Commission, which defines sustainability as development that "ensures that the needs of the present generation are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". This mindset requires a long-term perspective and consideration for environmental impacts in business cost-benefit analyses, but achieving this alignment is an investment in a future economy in which businesses can thrive. 
Within this framework, it is crucial for the dissemination of sustainability principles to provide companies with managerial tools and sustainability performance measures that can demonstrate to entrepreneurs the impact that corporate strategies have on all stakeholders. 
For the Province, economic sustainability has a broader meaning: 

  • preparing for demographic change in terms of care, support and welfare needs 
  • providing economically sustainable solutions (town planning, mobility, energy, agriculture) that can promote the concept of sustainability by also considering changing values in the population 
  • increase economic resilience to deal with unforeseen challenges in the future (such as the recent pandemic)