Mountains, money, machines
Liechtenstein, a principality that is 25 kilometers long, 12 kilometers wide and 160 square kilometers in size, is located in the middle of Europe, in the Alpine massif between Austria and Switzerland. While Liechtenstein was long known primarily for its financial center, it now views sustainability as its main economic goal. The companies that represent this transformation toward ecological and social sustainability include Hilti, Hilcona and Hoval.
Hilti: the tool and construction equipment manufacturer
With around 32,000 employees and 5.7 billion euros in sales in 2020, the group is one of the largest drilling and construction equipment manufacturers in the world. Global CO2 neutrality, a goal the construction group had originally envisaged for 2030, is now to be implemented as early as 2023. By now, all Hilti sites worldwide are supplied with electricity from renewable energy sources.
It must be noted that sustainability has many faces, from forward-looking, green technologies to social sustainability. Thus, in 1996 the Hilti Foundation was established with the aim of enabling disadvantaged people to lead independent and self-determined lives. The foundation supports various sustainable projects in different areas around the world that are supposed to be self-financing after a certain start-up period; in addition, they ought to be repeatable and deliver measurable results after a certain start-up period. The foundation is financially supported by the Martin Hilti Family Trust and the Hilti Group, which donate two percent of their annual profits directly to foundation projects.
In the Habitat for Humanity project, for example, Hilti employees leave their usual work environment for a few days and help with housing projects for the homeless. In Day of Caring, Hilti volunteers work at a food bank or an animal welfare center, deliver Meals on Wheels and participate in neighborhood clean-up campaigns. Furthermore, the BASE Builds project involves researching new construction techniques with the renewable raw material bamboo. In the Philippines, among other places, locals are being trained to apply these findings to the construction of new houses. "Fundamentally, we want to operate our business in a way that is more environmentally friendly and more positive regarding its contribution to society," says Hilti CEO Christoph Loos, summing up the sustainability strategy.