Reiner Hoffmann

Chair of the Council

Former President German Trade Union Confederation; Member European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)


German trade unionist Reiner Hoffmann was born in Wuppertal in 1955. The economics graduate and qualified wholesale and export agent was President of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) from May 2014 to May 2022.

Hoffmann has been a member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) since 2019, and since the end of October 2022 an SDG ambassador for good work worldwide, appointed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). In December 2022 he also became Deputy Chair of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES).

In January 2023 Reiner Hoffmann was appointed by Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz to the German Council for Sustainable Development, whose members elected him Chair of the Council the following month.

Three questions for Reiner Hoffmann

Let’s get to it: What does sustainability mean to you? What do you associate with the term?

Reiner Hoffmann: For me, sustainability rests on three pillars: the environment, the economy and society. Sustainable economic reform must go hand in hand with decent work on a thriving planet.

What is your personal priority in your work as part of the Council for Sustainable Development?

More than ever in times of multiple crises, we have to ground sustainability as a driving principle in public discourse.

In the context of sustainability, what do you believe will pose the greatest challenge in the coming years?

Tackling human-induced climate change is a mammoth task for everyone in society. The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and 17 Sustainable Development Goals have set the course for a decade of sustainability. But to implement them, we need determination, a clear vision and real-world action to shape this broad-scale socio-ecological transition in keeping with the principles of social justice.

Curriculum vitae

Reiner Hoffmann detailed CV available to download (PDF, 83 KB)


“Sustainable economic reform must go hand in hand with decent work on a thriving planet.”

Press photos

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Photo: Andreas Weiss © RNE

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Reiner Hoffmann, Photo: © DGB


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