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Future peace and prosperity will no longer be within our reach, if we in Germany do not commit more resolutely to greater sustainability and channel all our energy into making it happen – be it in politics, business, science or civil society.

Marlehn Thieme, Chairwoman of the Council

Marlehn Thieme

The principle of sustainability is the only option for responsible global action; it protects our eco-systems and thus ensures the survival of generations to come.

Olaf Tschimpke, Deputy Chairman of the Council

Olaf Tschimpke

Measuring sustainability and identifying interrelationships are major success factors for anchoring this topic in companies and on capital markets.

Prof. Dr. Alexander Bassen, Member of the Council

Prof. Dr. Alexander Bassen

Avoiding past mistakes means pointing progress in the right direction: the principle of sustainable development is a good compass for technical and social innovations at local, national and global level.

Ulla Burchardt, Member of the Council

Ulla Burchardt

The global sustainability and climate protection goals are the long-term milestones. Now we have to engage in an honest discussion about what the state, private sector and citizens can and must do to achieve them.

Kathrin Menges, Member of the Council

Kathrin Menges

The energy revolution has greatly reduced the costs of green electricity, so it is competitive at international level and helps to achieve the global sustainability goals without additional CO2 emissions.

Alexander Müller, Member of the Council

Alexander Müller

The idea of sustainability is at the core of a viable, innovative economy and is vital for a society that aims to safeguard quality of life in the long term. That is why the three pillars of sustainability – economic, environmental and social – must be considered together.

Katherina Reiche, Member of the Council

Katherina Reiche

Make the sustainable choice the easy choice.

Prof. Dr. Lucia A. Reisch, Member of the Council

Prof. Dr. Lucia A. Reisch

Sustainable development requires to find as much common ground as possible but also to accept differences.

Dr. Werner Schnappauf, Member of the Council

Dr. Werner Schnappauf

Today, sustainable development requires an agenda which explicitly links global and national goals and policies and thus gives global cooperation a strong push forward.

Dr. Imme Scholz, Member of the Council

Dr. Imme Scholz

In forest science, we learned how important the sustainable management of natural resources is centuries ago. Empirical knowledge, openness to new things and humility in the face of nature can help other sectors, too.

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schraml, Member of the Council

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schraml

Cities, even more so than today, will become hubs of technological and social development in the future. All the more important are efforts to encourage the sustainable development of our cities.

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schuster, Member of the Council

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schuster

We need to make bold political decisions that reward growth less and sustainability more and that encourage the common good instead of profit-seeking.

Prof. Dr. Hubert Weiger, Member of the Council

Prof. Dr. Hubert Weiger

The UN Sustainable Development Goals present the vision of a fundamental socio-ecological transformation. They are not a specialist task for development or environmental policy, but are binding for all cabinet members.

Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, Member of the Council

Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul



German Sustainability: 150 experts from economy and society discuss new approaches to attain corporate transparency

German Sustainability: 150 experts from economy and society discuss new approaches to attain corporate transparency - Photo: Thomas Tratnik Photography, © The German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE)

Photo: Thomas Tratnik Photography, © The German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE)

Berlin, 19 April 2016 - 150 leading German and European experts from economy, civil society, science and politics met up in Frankfurt to debate the chances of new sustainability dynamics – strengthened by the UN climate agreement from Paris, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the national implementation of the EU-CSR reporting obligation.

During a two-day forum, the experts spoke about disclosing information with regard to environment, society and governance. In nine workshops, they worked out which requirements market participants apply to quality and content of information and how precisely the Sustainability Code (Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitskodex (DNK)) can be advanced in order to promote a sustainable development. The key appears to be an increase in market relevance; thereby unfolding added value for companies and other users.

In addition, requirements and ways were evaluated as to how sustainability codes can also be initiated in other European countries. For example, the Greek Sustainability Code, which was developed and published based on the Sustainability Code.

The experts recommend: the Sustainability Code allows companies to efficiently manage and disclose the effects their business have on environment and society – under the condition that data and information are credible and comparable. The Code is ideal for medium-sized enterprises to get started in sustainability reporting. The “Guideline for the German Sustainability Code” is frequently used to jump-start. Medium-sized companies can use the Sustainability Code to show how they assume responsibility and better manage risks as a supplier in value chains. 

Engaging in one’s own sustainability performance can furthermore have positive effects on innovations within the company and can motivate the staff. Companies should leverage these potentials by collecting and preparing information to reflect on their own core business. With a compliance statement according to the Sustainability Code companies can comprehensively describe their responsible management to their clients and staff as well as towards the public and financial market players.

Marlehn Thieme, Chairwoman of the Council for Sustainable Development sums up: „The competency of specialists from economy and society is indispensable for our work in the Sustainability Board. We actively call for these valuable experiences in our dialogues and gratefully include them in our specific projects. In Frankfurt we succeeded together in bringing relevant players into contact with each other and setting impulses for more and better information. “

The Sustainability Code promotes corporate and social responsibility. Using 20 criteria, it measures the sustainability performance of national and international organizations and companies regardless of their size and legal structure. As of 2017, capital-market-oriented companies with more than 500 employees will be required to report on their sustainability activities. The EU Commission has praised the Code as a suitable standard for fulfilling the reporting obligation. Its area of focus and uncomplicated handling also make the Code an ideal tool for small and medium-sized enterprises.

The German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) was first called into being by the German government in April 2001. The Council consists of 15 public figures. Its tasks comprise developing contributions to implement the National Sustainability Strategy, specifying concrete areas for action and projects, as well as making sustainability an important public issue. Federal Chancellor, Dr. Angela Merkel, is continuing the National Sustainability Strategy and appointed RNE for a further three years on 1 July 2013.

Press Contact for any information regarding the event

Mathias Pianowski
Head of Sustainability and Innovation
BCC Business Communications Consulting GmbH
Rembrandtstraße 13
60596 Frankfurt/Main
Tel: +49 (0)69 9002888 10
Fax +49 (0)69 9002888 20
Mobil: +49 (0)151 142 16 678

Press Contact

Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitskodex
c/o Scholz & Friends Reputation
Litfaß-Platz 1
10178 Berlin
Telefon: 030 / 700 186 974

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