German Sustainability Action Days

The German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) established the German Sustainability Action Days (DAN) in 2012 on the occasion of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).

The aim of the Action Days is to enhance visibility throughout Germany of real commitment that sets an example to others, to foster public awareness of the topic of sustainability and to inspire more people to undertake a commitment to sustainability. Every individual can help change things for the better. The Sustainability Action Days are thus addressed at private individuals, clubs, associations, initiatives, foundations, nursery schools, universities, churches, companies, social institutions, environmental and development associations, communities, municipal utilities, authorities, public offices and ministries.

Since 2015 the Sustainability Action Days have been held as part of the European Sustainable Development Week, which is an initiative founded by Germany, France and Austria in which people from all over Europe can participate.

German Sustainability Action Days 2020

The German Sustainability Action Days 2020 were held from 20 to 26 September in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the difficult circumstances, a remarkable 2,150 events and initiatives were held. The state with the most of these this year was Baden-Württemberg, with 1,215. North Rhine-Westphalia came in second with 103, closely followed by Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein each with 98. This year again, it was especially pleasing to see all of the German federal states were represented. The lion’s share of events and initiatives was held by associations (317 events and initiatives), followed by businesses (161 events and initiatives) and educational institutions (77 events and initiatives).

The German Sustainability Action Days aim to heighten awareness for realisation of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A total of 921 events and initiatives aimed at SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) were held, followed by 584 for SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production) and 340 for SDG 10 (reduced inequalities).

A complete analysis of the German Sustainability Action Days 2020 is available for download as a PDF (German only): “Daten & Fakten DAN 2020” (613 KB).

Under the motto of #gemeinsamfuermorgen (together for tomorrow), a joint campaign was launched in 2020 together with other stakeholders involved in the topic of sustainability; this campaign also held events and initiatives in parallel with the German Sustainability Action Days.

The Sustainability Action Days thus joined forces with the civic engagement week, the intercultural week, the Hamburg climate week, the European Mobility Week, the fairness week, the ökoRAUSCH festival, Germany’s eliminate food waste week, World Cleanup Day and the “Frauen, wem gehört die Welt?” (Women, who owns the world?) week in order to together work towards achieving a more sustainable future.

Some 10,726 events were held under the umbrella of the #gemeinsamfuermorgen partner campaign. For more information on the partner campaign, click here (German only). A look back at the Sustainability Action Days 2020 themselves is available here (German only).

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