What is "Gemeinwohl-Ökonomie"

"Gemeinwohl-Ökonomie" refers to an economic system that is built on values that promote the common good. It is a lever of change at the economic, political and social levels.

The "Gemeinwohl-Ökonomie" is

  • at the economic level, a viable, practical alternative for companies of different sizes and legal forms. The purpose of economic activity and the evaluation of business success are defined on the basis of values oriented towards the common good.
  • at the political level, a motor for legal change. The aim of the commitment is a good life for all living beings and the planet, supported by a common good-oriented economic system. Human dignity, solidarity, ecological sustainability, social justice and democratic co-determination are the central values.
  • at the social level, an initiative to raise awareness of systemic change, based on the joint, appreciative action of as many people as possible. The movement gives hope and courage and seeks networking with other initiatives.

It sees itself as an open-ended, participatory, locally growing process with global appeal - symbolically represented by the dandelion seeds in the logo.

 

Gemeinwohl-balance

The Gemeinwohl-balance measures success according to new standards: Not only the financial gain is the goal, but the increase of the common good.

The individual contribution to the common good is defined on the basis of the Gemeinwohl-Matrix and made asessable. This makes it possible to systematically view all activities from a 360° perspective and sharpens our focus on the essentials:

  • What effects do economic activities have on the general quality of life, today and tomorrow?
  • Is human dignity respected?
  • Is social justice promoted?
  • Is ecological sustainability ensured?
  • How transparent, supportive and democratic are corporate goals achieved?

 

Sotronik and Gemeinwohl

When Sotronik was founded in 2000, the idea of a cooperative engineering office was born. This did not come about, but the motivation behind it flowed into the business philosophy. The two founders were influenced by the movements of the 80s, which also looked for alternatives to today's capitalist economy. Thus the ideas and principles of the GWÖ are very close to the Sotronik spirit.

Sotronik commits itself since its beginning for the well-being of its coworkers and the environment and engages itself in various organizations. This is also anchored in the mission statement and is lived in everyday life.

Further on, Sotronik also pursues a zero growth strategy. It does not believe in the capitalist requirement of the necessity of growth for a functioning economy. Shortly after its foundation, Sotronik grew to its current size of about 8 employees. The shareholders of Sotronik are engineers and want to work mainly in this function in projects. The management expenditure of time amounts to about 3 weekdays, which the management board members divide among themselves. Because we do not invest in growth, we have time and resources for public welfare aspects.

«Why we as a company draw up the general interest balance sheet and what this process brings us»


Sotronik is committed to greater sustainability in business and society. We assume entrepreneurial responsibility for our products, services and actions. We want to be a "lighthouse" for future viability (suitability for grandchildren) in our industry and have decided to compile the public interest balance sheet according to the new matrix 5.0. We are broadening our horizons, gaining new ideas by working on the 20 criteria and developing measures in the peer group as well as in our company for further improvement in the direction of sustainability and orientation towards the common good.

What matters to us is not the points we get in the evaluation process, but the process and the charisma we can achieve through it - internally and externally. The Gemeinwohl balance sheet places very high demands on the sustainability of companies, which can be fulfilled differently from sector to sector in practice and from the point of view of cost-effectiveness - e.g. they are very dependent on the supply and value chain as well as the products and services.