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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


National Sustainability Strategy

In April 2002, the German Government has adopted the National Sustainability Strategy. Since then, it has been updated three times. In view of the UN Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development the German government has decided to make its National Sustainable Development Strategy a key framework for achieving the SDGs in Germany. Work on revising it in the light of Agenda 2030’s ambition and goal structure is scheduled to be completed by autumn 2016.

Germany has presented its national voluntary review at the meeting of the High Level Political Forum in July 2016.

Please find the report here: Report of the German Government to the High-Level Political Forum in July 2016


In April 2002, the German Government adopted the national Sustainability Strategy. The results of consultations with social groups and the proposals of the Council for Sustainable Development were incorporated into this document. For more detailed information, see section Strategy 2002.

In the following years, the German Sustainability Strategy was repeatedly refined with the input of so-called Progress Reports. In November 2004, the Federal Government presented the first revision of its Sustainability Strategy with the 2004 Progress Report. Aside from the results of a public consultation process, the report included the Council’s verdicts on sustainable development, which had previously been published under the title of “Nachhaltigkeit im Visier” (Targeting Sustainability). Additionally, the results of a dialogue project organised by the Council on minimising land consumption were included in the report. For more information, see Strategy 2004.

In its "Wegweiser Nachhaltigkeit 2005", the Federal Government described its current sustainability policy at the national and international level. The German Council for Sustainable Development contributed two independent chapters to the document. Read more about it in Landmark Sustainability 2005.

In 2008, the Federal Cabinet presented the next Progress Report. Prior to this, engaged citizens, associations and institutions were able to participate in a consultation process and assist in appraising the current state of affairs and in further developing the Sustainability Strategy. For more detailed information, see Strategy 2008.

In the Progress Report 2012 the Federal Government placed emphasis on sustainable economy, climate and energy as well as sustainable water policy. More information can be found under Strategy 2012 (in German).

The next Progress Report is due in 2016. Relevant to the report will be the post-2015 agenda for sustainable development that is to be determined by the international community in September 2015. From autumn 2015 a dialogue process on the continuation of the strategy will be provided.

Since 2006, by order of the Federal Government, the Federal Statistical Office tracks the course of sustainable development in Germany. The agency presented its first so-called Indicator Report in 2006, followed by further reports in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014.

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