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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


RWE signs German Sustainability Code

Berlin, 21 May 2012 – The Essen energy group RWE has become the first publicly traded company to declare its conformity with the German Sustainability Code (GSC).

Peter Terium, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board and Head of Corporate Responsibility with RWE AG, stresses: ‘The theme of sustainability has very high priority for RWE and for me personally. I support the German Sustainability Code because it presents performance in the area of sustainability in a transparent and comparable way. One would now wish to see this information being taken into account by the capital market when making investment decisions.’

The German investor network of the Principles for Responsible Investment of the United Nations (UN PRI) recently recommended its signatories to apply the Sustainability Code in investment decisions and when documenting the fulfilment of the principles in their core business activity.

Dr. Wolfgang Engshuber, Chairman of the UN PRI, emphasises the global importance of the instrument: ‘International investors are increasingly taking sustainability criteria into consideration in their investment decisions. However, there is still a lack of transparency and international standards in reporting. The German Sustainability Code is an important milestone and could also set standards for Europe.’ According to Dr. Engshuber, the issue is also what significance the Sustainability Code has for the international discussion on integrated reporting and what should be done to repair the obvious damage suffered by the financial system.

According to Marlehn Thieme, Chairwoman of the Council for Sustainable Development: ‘With the first visible pledges by major companies, we have taken a decisive step in the direction of effectiveness and greater accountability. With the aid of standardised information, the importance attached to sustainability within a company will rapidly become apparent. It is not enough to offer green products – the processes behind products and services are no less important for the sustainability debate.’

In 2010, in the light of the financial and economic crisis, the Council for Sustainable Development began a consultation with representatives of business, investors, financial analysts and researchers from which the German Sustainability Code has now emerged. This advisory body of the German Federal Government passed the Sustainability Code in October 2011 and recommended that it be used as a voluntary instrument. In doing so, it aspires to bring about a fundamental reorientation of business and society towards sustainable development.

Additional information and declarations of conformity that have been submitted can be found on the project website

Media contact:

Rat für Nachhaltige Entwicklung, Office c/o GIZ
Katja Tamchina
Potsdamer Platz 10
D-10785 Berlin
Ph.: +49 (0)30 408190-233
Fax: +49 (0)30 408190-22233

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