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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



UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to receive German Sustainability Award Honorary Award

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to receive German Sustainability Award Honorary Award - © Loesch DNP

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to receive German Sustainability Award Honorary Award - © Loesch DNP

Berlin, 29 September 2016 – Incumbent Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, is to be honoured with the German Sustainability Award Honorary Award. In doing so, the German Sustainability Award Foundation is recognising the work of the UN Secretary-General who has made sustainable development and the fight against climate change the focal points of his mandate.

The award will be presented by Stefan Schulze-Hausmann, the initiator of the German Sustainability Award. The German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) and the German Sustainability Award Foundation will be co-hosting the awards ceremony in Hamburg on 7 October 2016. Federal environmental minister Barbara Hendricks as well as Michael Otto, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Otto Group, will be holding the honorary speeches.

Günther Bachmann, Secretary-General of RNE and Chairman of the Jury of the German Sustainability Award, explains the reasons for awarding the accolade: “The 2030 Agenda marks a departure, and Ban Ki-moon has been very instrumental in its emergence. The accolade is for him but also for the notion of multilateral cooperation. Under Ban Ki-moon’s leadership, the United Nations is entering a new phase that also requires the organisation itself to undergo a substantial transformation.”

The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, along with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, are a statement against war, terror and irresponsibility, says Bachmann. They fuel the hope that the international community of states will find common responses to fundamental challenges.

Every nation in the world has adopted the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Responsibility for its implementation resides with the individual states and is a task for all of society there, which must also be supported by business, academic and civil society actors. The German government is currently working on a new draft of its National Sustainability Strategy, which is designed to act as the main instrument for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.

. . .

The German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) was first called into being in April 2001 by the German government of that time under Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. RNE comprises 15 public figures. Its tasks are to generate contributions for implementing the National Sustainability Strategy, to specify concrete fields of activity and projects and also to make sustainability a public issue of vital importance. RNE independently chooses its array of topics and actions. Examples of the outcomes of its current work include the Sustainability Code, statements on the government’s National Sustainability Strategy draft, on the Sustainable Development Goals, on climate policy, raw material policy and fiscal sustainability as well as on organic farming. It also includes the civil society initiatives of the sustainability project, the strategy dialogue with lord mayors on sustainable urban development, impulses from youths and young adults for municipal sustainability and German sustainability policy as well as RNE’s contributions towards the green economy.

Media Relations RNE

Katja Tamchina
German Council for Sustainable Development
Office c/o GIZ GmbH
Potsdamer Platz 10
D-10785 Berlin
Telephone: +49 (0)30/338424-233

Media Relations GSA + Accreditation for Awards Ceremony

Sebastian Klement
German Sustainability Award Office
Neuer Zollhof 3
D-40221 Düsseldorf
Telephone: +49 (0)211/ 5504 5511

Video: Highlights

Start video in a player (Duration: 5:22, in German)


Secretary-General’s remarks upon receiving the National German Sustainability Award (PDF, 35 KB)

Laudatio von Bundesumweltministerin Dr. Barbara Hendricks (PDF, 33 KB, in German)

Laudatio von Dr. Michael Otto, Aufsichtsratsvorsitzender der Otto Group (PDF, 20 KB, in German)

Begründung für die Auszeichnung Ban Ki-moons mit dem Ehrenpreis des Deutschen Nachhaltigkeitspreises (PDF, 179 KB, in German)

Download this press release as a pdf file (PDF, 48 KB)

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