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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 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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