Step into the sustainable future today

Werner Lapage, Partner BDO Belgium

Is sustainability the new Holy Grail? That’s how it seems. In the broadest sense of the word, that is. Sustainability goes far beyond environmentally-friendly business and is a story of values and norms. It offers “a format for a prosperous and resilient economy with long-term perspectives,” writes Peter Van Laer in his opinion piece. Companies without a vision that embraces sustainability will eventually put themselves out of business. In addition to the legislation – read the article ‘Green mobility’ and the fact sheet ‘Fiscality and mobility parafiscality’ – consumers are also demanding sustainable products and services. Employees, in turn, want to identify with an employer that adheres to sustainable values. And they are additionally motivated when they can contribute effectively to a better society. In other words, employee engagement is fundamental to a successful company. Marketing experts Inge van Belle and Klaus Lommatzsch have written a book detailing the motivations behind taking your engagement to the next level.

We’re also observing this sustainability attitude in our own up-and-coming talent, who united in ‘Young BDO’ to help ensure that the interests of our young professionals match  management’s strategic objectives, such as intrapreneurship, corporate social responsibility and mobility. Over time, Young BDO wants to have a positive impact on employee satisfaction, knowledge, retention and the profiling of BDO Belgium as ‘a fun place to work’. Admit it: that story deserves to be on the cover!

“Sustainability is a story of values and norms.”

In fact, daring to look far enough ahead is a quality that should, as it were, be embedded in every business plan. Such a plan is a dynamic event that stays in touch with, and responds to, the market evolution(s). That’s why we have committed to being an exclusive partner of the Living Tomorrow innovation campus for 5 years; it’s why we are developing BDO Advisory further with future-oriented expertise (e.g., data management); and it’s why we are strengthening our proximity to the customer by filling the last blind spot in our close-knit, flexible network in Belgium with our partnership with fiduciary Dekegeleer in Hainaut.

Focusing on the future also means continuing to invest in business as usual. And this is evident in the diverse range of other topics covered in this issue of To The Point.

I myself belong to Generation X – I’m nearing the end of my working life – but, thanks to our young people’s dedication and outlook on life, I look forward with confidence to the BDO of tomorrow.