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Sustainability requires that decisions be made - not in the distant future, but now.

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 is a key success factor to establish environment, social, and governance (ESG) issues in companies and on capital markets.

Prof. Dr. Alexander Bassen, Member of the Council

Prof. Dr. Alexander Bassen

A balance between economy, ecology, and social responsibility can only be achieved through cooperation between society, politics, the economy, and each individual.

Vera Gäde-Butzlaff, Member of the Council


Sustainability first and foremost means to go beyond immediate utility and think in the long term, which requires assuming responsibility for the future.

Alois Glück, Member of the Council

Alois Gück

Education is the basis for establishing sustainability as the guiding principle behind our activities, as are more action partnerships and practical examples at the local, regional and international level.

Walter Hirche, Member of the Council

Walter Hirche

To create quality of life and reduce the consumption of resources it involves requires that we take further steps in incorporating sustainability in everyday action as employees, consumers, and citizens.

Kathrin Menges, Member of the Council

Kathrin Menges

Sustainable development requires moving the fight against climate change to the center of social and economic transformation - not only in Germany but worldwide.

Jennifer Morgan, Member of the Council

Jennifer Morgan

The Energiewende has reduced the costs of green energy severely. It thus is competitive internationally and contributes to achieve global sustainability goals without additional CO2 emissions.

Alexander Müller, Member of the Council

Alexander Müller

Sustainable consumption behaviour will continue to be embraced merely by a dedicated minority for as long as the wrong incentives are provided and structures fail to support it.

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

Prof. Dr. Lucia A. Reisch

A balanced world has been a must for the Club of Rome since 1972– the challenge for our work at the German Council for Sustainable Development.

Max Schön, Member of the Council

Max Schön

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

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

Sustainability necessitates reason and responsibility in our social, ecological and economic actions.

Michael Vassiliadis, Member of the Council

Michael Vassiliadis

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

Without images of the future that allow us to imagine what the quality of life in a sustainable modernity might look like, we are neither able to conceive of an active role of politics in shaping it nor the role of civil society in a political process to that end.

Prof. Dr. Harald Welzer, Coopted member of the Council

Prof. Dr. Harald Welzer


German Sustainability Code: Rewe and TÜV Rheinland first movers to document their sustainability performance

Berlin, 15.02.2012 The retailer Rewe Group and the testing service provider TÜV Rheinland have provided as first companies their declarations of conformity to the German Sustainability Code (GSC). The GSC makes the sustainability performance of companies and organizations measurable and comparable. He will contribute to a stronger focus on sustainability on capital markets.

With declarations of conformity companies of all sizes and organizations of any kind can document how they meet the requirements of the Code. The GSC comprises 20 sustainability criteria with selected key performance indicators on ecology, social aspects and issues of corporate governance. Requested is information on sustainability strategies and objectives of the company, rules, processes and incentive systems that are installed to gradually develop the company operations sustainably. Particularly important is information on claimed natural resources and the respect of basic labor and human rights as well as environmental standards throughout the value chain. Companies disclose with their declarations of conformity similarities and differences to these criteria.

“We publish the declaration of conformity following the German Sustainability Code, because we accept our responsibility towards society and want to demonstrate transparency,” says Prof. Dr. Bruno O. Braun, CEO of TÜV Rheinland Berlin Brandenburg Pfalz e.V. “For 140 years the task and goal of our company is to protect life and ensure safety in cooperation with our customers.” In terms of sustainability performance of companies the Sustainability Code finally establishes orientation and comparability, he says. “I expect that more companies involve and apply the Code as an action orientation.”

Alain Caparros, CEO of Rewe Group looks upon the initiative for sustainable orientation on capital markets also favorably: “The German Sustainability Code provides companies with a powerful incentive for higher transparency and sustainable responsibility. The focus is now on consistently continuing this collaboration in order to ensure that as many companies as possible put the German Sustainability Code into practice. Especially in light of the current discussion on a European Sustainability Strategy, the REWE Group will continue its active involvement with emphasis on the principles of transparency, credibility, responsibility and voluntary participation.”

The German Council for Sustainable Development had begun in the wake of the financial and economic crisis in 2010 with company representatives, investors, financial analysts and academics a dialogue process, which, after half a year ago, raised the German Sustainability Code. Many companies have proofed the practical feasibility of the GSC. The Sustainability Council has adopted the Code in October 2011 and recommended its voluntary application. With the GSC the German Council for Sustainable Development is seeking a fundamental reorientation of the economy towards sustainable development. Marlehn Thieme, commissarial Chairman of the German Council for Sustainable Development: “Essential to the effectiveness of the Code is its practicality for companies and investors. Only when investment decisions take greater account of environmental, social and governance factors, capital may flow into enterprises that create solutions for the future instead of problems. Then the capital market rewards sustainable business activities, and punishes short-termism. “

The German Council for Sustainable Development publishes declarations of conformity online:

The German Sustainability Code is now available as a brochure.

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