Ladies and gentlemen,
If you are holding this issue of Kaleidoscope in your hands, then the first quarter of 2020 is already behind us, and we were right on track. What we were not expecting, or maybe what we hoped would not happen, was the coronavirus. With the fight against the coronavirus, we find ourselves in one of the biggest crises this world has faced since the end of World War II. We will only be able to overcome this crisis if we act as a community and if everyone plays their part in order to prevent the virus from spreading. For me, that is a consoling thought: The fact that maintaining our distance from one another will ultimately bring us closer together. For us as a company, everyone’s health is our top priority. We will do everything in our power to protect our employees, our customers and in so doing our families. Our Group’s mission is to secure jobs for the time after the coronavirus. As Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Würth Group’s Family Trusts, I am responsible for our more than 78,500 employees, and their well-being is my foremost duty.
This issue of Kaleidoscope is devoted to the common theme of “light”. Our most reliable source of light is the sun.
We have been able to count on it for millions of years, and this will continue to be the case for millions of years to come. Nevertheless, we have already made short work of tapping the “reserves” of coal, oil and gas created by the sun—and these sources of energy are certainly finite. Each liter of burnt diesel fuel, each ton of burnt coal, each cubic meter of burnt gas will never come back. If we follow this train of thought, promoting renewable energies on a large-scale basis will be imperative, although the subject of renewable energies here in Germany is addressed in a rather amateurish manner.
„OUR MOST RELIABLE SOURCE OF LIGHT
IS THE SUN.“
As disaster struck in Chernobyl and at the nuclear power plant in Japan, the government decided to shut down all nuclear power plants in Germany and replace this lacking power source with wind energy. In doing so, no consideration was given to the fact that wind is of course easier to obtain in the north than in the south of the Republic and that extra-high-voltage transmission lines from Northern Germany to Southern Germany were missing entirely. Citizens as a whole have an aversion to any type of technology that might lead to these high-voltage transmission lines actually being expanded. The electricity generated in Northern Germany often needs to be exported abroad at cutthroat prices. This results in a paradoxical situation because we in Germany have the highest electricity prices in all of Europe, which is not expected to change in the foreseeable future. In the end, a ludicrous situation will likely arise in which we will be forced to import nuclear energy from France or Scandinavia in order to cover our electricity needs. This is of course absolutely absurd in terms of environmental concerns: The environment does not care whether nuclear waste is produced in Germany or in France.
Crazily enough, nuclear energy is actually the most environmentally friendly, as it does not release any pollutants into the atmosphere. France and the Scandinavian countries are giving serious thought to constructing new nuclear power plants. How absurd!!
In fact, we need to make a great deal of effort to keep from being left behind on an international scale: With the Berlin Airport, which has been under construction for 14 years now, we are making a fool of ourselves the whole world over. China built a new airfield in Beijing, which is five times bigger than BER, in two and a half years and while the current corona epidemic swept the nation, they erected a fully functional hospital for 1,200 people in an unbelievable nine days. What are we doing?
During these unusual and challenging times, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to each and every employee, customer, supplier, business partner, and contact within the government authorities, who all continue to carry out their work under more difficult conditions. Together, we will navigate society, businesses, and the Würth Group through this crisis safe and sound. Many ideas are lying dormant in the heads of our colleagues and will reach fruition in the months to come so that we can surprise the market with several new innovations. Let us remain brave and optimistic!
I wish you, dear readers, the very best for the coming weeks and months, and I sincerely hope that our business relationship will continue in a pleasant atmosphere, with a spirit of collegiality and based on mutual trust and respect.