SEKEM was founded with the idea of sustainable development and giving back to the community. The vision that brought Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish to dig the first well in the vast desert land still resounds in SEKEMs approach of conducting business. Like a compass, our vision, mission and values guide us in the everyday work in all SEKEM companies.
Sustainable development towards a future where every human being can unfold his or her individual potential; where mankind is living together in social forms reflecting human dignity; and where all economic activity is conducted in accordance with ecological and ethical principles.
Modern societies around the world are mainly characterized by the division of labor into economic activities. Through cooperation, values are created and then exchanged as products and services. In this exchange, it is essential that those creating the values be rewarded for their efforts with a fair income. This income must enable them, within their social environment, to achieve and to improve such results in the future, too. We are aware that we need for our ambitious targets reliable business partners, therefore the establishment of a worldwide cooperative network of value creation, accumulating values for fair interchange relations, is fundamental for a sustainable development of the economy.
Respect and dignity for every individual within our companies and in the broader community are the guiding principles that we use to create human relationships. The SEKEM Code of Conduct explicitly states our commitment to protect and advocate for human rights in all our activities and spheres of influence. In all the steps of our value chain, we strive to provide and support fair salaries, as well as healthy and safe work places. SEKEM is strongly committed to gender equality and the empowernment of women. A peaceful and sustainable society can only be build on equal rights and opportunities. Hence, SEKEM strengthens the integration of women in all parts of life.
Sustainable cultural development means individual human development. The people need to be guided to their individual inspirational sources, whether these are sciences, philosophy, religion, arts or beauty. This can only be achieved through freedom in cultural life through the establishment of connections with other local cultures through a global network. Therefore, free education and spiritual development of all human beings must be the highest priority. Through a holistic approach every individual is able to unfold his full potential and skills and enables himself to improve his own life and contribute to the development of the community and country.
All major religions share the idea that man is appointed as a steward on earth who has to sustain and develop it. In accordance with this approach, our governing principle is not only to reduce our ‘ecological footprint’, but to spread life and to contribute towards a better and healthier condition of the land and the people that we work with. This is the only way to create and sustain conditions for a planet with more than seven billion people, where resources run short and future generations will suffer from climate change. A responsible and holistic approach is necessary to face these problems. We thus commit ourselves to sustaining and further developing all ecological spheres for the future of coming generations.
Sustainable development is SEKEMs primary concern and we always try to take our business from a holistic perspective. To realize our vision, we measure our performance by the four pillars of sustainable development (Economic, Societal Life, Cultural Life and Ecology) which lead us to continuous improvement and sustain our path.
The Sustainability Flower represents a management, assessment and communication tool symbolizing the concept of sustainable development in its four dimensions. It was developed within a network of international organizations cooperating under the umbrella of the „International Association of Partnership for Ecology and Trade“ (IAP).
SEKEMs economic year 2017 was again strongly characterized by reliable partnerships and supporters. Since the Egyptian revolution SEKEMs companies face various challenges. But thanks to SEKEMs reliable and committed network of partners, who continuously supported SEKEM, even though they were aware of the difficulties, SEKEM is getting back on track.
The passing away of SEKEM Founder Ibrahim Abouleish in 2017 does of course show impacts especially in SEKEM’s societal and social structure. Ibrahim Abouleish was a very charismatic and strong leader, who kept the spiritual world and the earthly reality in harmonic balance. In June 2017, some SEKEM community members came together to draw a picture of how to create a resilient and agile governance structure for the future of SEKEM as a complex living ecosystem.
Supporting the potential and consciousness development of each individual in the community lies at SEKEM’s core. 2017 had been a year that was strongly determined by building new bases for human and cultural development for the future, including the inauguration of Space of Culture at the campus of Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development.
With applying biodynamic agriculture according to Rudolf Steiner everything started in 1977. In the past 40 years with this holistic agricultural practice many hectares of former desert lands have been reclaimed and thousands of people benefit from the advantages. Hence, also in 2017 progress in different ecological ways took place in SEKEM and Egypt.
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A complex thing to talk about as there is so much to say
From sustainable businesses, Organic agriculture, schools, medical health care to a university for sustainable development, SEKEM has become a very complex combination of economical, cultural, societal and ecological entities. We hope you’ll find the information we’ve collected helpful and we are happy to help you in any inquiry you might have.
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