- Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
- Stakeholder type: Major Group
- Name: Rat für Nachhaltige Entwicklung
- Submission Document: Download
The German Sustainability Code is a standard offering transparency as to a company?s sustainability performance. It creates a scope of validity by applying benchmarking to corporate social responsibility. Its application is voluntary. The commentary provides details on the application of the GSC.
The German Council for Sustainable Development strives to see the German Sustainability Code applied well beyond the group of companies already actively engaged in sustainability reporting. It will critically monitor the application of the GSC.
The German Sustainability Code arose during a dialogue process involving numerous stakeholders. Representatives from the financial markets, businesses and civil society actively participated in the dialogue process. Businesses have field-tested the German Sustainability Code and found it to be highly practicable.
Content of the German Sustainability Code
Strategic Analysis, Strategy and Goals
1 The company discloses how, for its main activities, it analyses the opportunities and risks related to sustainable development. The company outlines what measures it is taking in order to operate in line with the main and recognised sector-specific, national and international standards.
2 The company discloses how the strategy devised for its main activities and the systematic implementation of the strategy takes into account all aspects of sustainability which have a substantial impact on the company, for example strategic competition-based positioning, innovation management, business activities that conserve the climate, environment and resources; demographic developments, the value-added chain, the product life cycle, the product portfolio, etc.
3 The company discloses what qualitative and/or quantitative as well as temporal sustainability goals are set and operationalised, and how their level of achievement is monitored. The company discloses how the main suppliers, employees, capital markets, customers and main stakeholder groups are included on a regular basis.
4 The company states how deep into the value-added chain the sustainability criteria are verified and what significance sustainability has for added value.
Key performance indicators (KPI) GRI 1,2 Description of key impacts, risks, and opportunities
EFFAS 1.5.1. The company should outline the importance of ESG for the corporate strategy and explain how ESG aspects are taken into account when implementing the strategy.
Rules and Processes
1 Within the company, accountability for the sustainability of the company is specified in corporate management.
2 The company discloses whether the sustainability strategy is implemented using rules and processes. The company depicts specific circumstances from purchasing, production, services, human resources, investment, research and development as well as logistics/transport and marketing and describes how suppliers, customers as well as other stakeholder groups (e.g. employees) are taken into account.
3 The company discloses how, along the lines of financial parameters, key performance indicators on sustainability are integrated into periodical internal planning and control and how the reliability, comparability and consistency of data applied to internal controls and external communication are safeguarded through appropriate processes.
Incentive Schemes8. The company discloses how target agreements and remuneration schemes for executives are also geared to achieving the sustainability goals and how these are geared towards lasting value creation. It discloses the extent to which sustainability performance forms part of the evaluation of the top management (board/managing directors) conducted by the monitoring body (supervisory board/advisory board).
Stakeholder Engagement9. The company discloses how the relevant stakeholders are identified, how a dialogue takes place with them on a regular basis and how they are systematically integrated into the sustainability process.
place with them on a regular basis and how they are systematically integrated into the sustainability process.Innovation and Product Management 10.The company discloses how innovations in products and services are enhanced through processes which improve sustainability with respect to the company?s utilisation of resources and to the user. A further statement is made as to whether the economic, social and ecological effects of the company?s main products and services are currently or will be assessed and improved through its value-added chain and product life cycle.
Key performance indicators (KPI)
GRI EN6 Initiatives to provide energy-efficient or renewable energy based products and services, and reductions in energy requirements as a result of these initiatives.
GRI EN26 Initiatives to mitigate environmental impacts of products and services, and extent of impact mitigation.
GRI FS11 Percentage of assets subject to positive and negative environmental or social screening.
EFFAS E13-01 Improvement rate of product energy efficiency compared to previous year.
EFFAS V04-12 Total investments in research on ESG-relevant aspects of business such as
e.g. eco-design, eco-efficient production processes, decreasing impact on biodiversity, improving health and safety conditions of employees or supply chain partners, consulting on integration of ESG aspects in change management, development of products to exploit ESG opportunities etc. in monetary terms
i.e. currency as a percentage of revenue.
EFFAS V04-13 Percentage of products or services for -increasing eco-efficiency of client applications or operations, -developing and using clean technologies, -increasing fuel-efficiency, -offsetting climate change, carbon emissions, resource depletion, -making ESG-relevant products operable, -financing of ESG-relevant products or services.
Usage of natural resources
11.The company discloses the extent to which natural resources are used for the company?s business activities (input and output of e.g. materials, water, soil, waste, energy, emissions, land, biodiversity). It discloses in what way the sustainability management system incorporates the entire product life cycle into the analysis.
12.The company discloses what qualitative and quantitative goals it has set itself with respect to the efficient use of resources, the use of renewable energy sources, the increase in raw material productivity and the reduction in the usage of natural resources and how these goals have been met.