At the beginning of the 21st century, the linking of ethics, economics and sustainability is definitely the main corporate challenge, though the operational evaluation of these fields is not easily done. However, it is beyond all questions that sustainable activities reduce operational risks, participation is the reason for employees to operate on a more self dependent basis in daily business and the recruiting of well trained and full-fledged human resources becomes much easier if the company's ethical value is credibly documented.
All these soft facts are of course intangible assets. But in the long run, the sum of all these facts lead to operational effects on the company's market position, investor relations and economic success. Sustainability becomes more and more a strategic element which applies not only to stakeholder relations but to financial markets as well.
Export services are regarded to have the biggest sustainable impact of all services. Due to their business activities, export credit agencies such as Oesterreichische Kontrollbank are quite often operating in so-called emerging markets, whose social and environmental standards are quite different from European ones. Exports in these markets are usually major ones, so the sustainable impact can be significant. All projects are subject to the environmental assessment procedure.