German Sustainability Code: Rewe and TÜV Rheinland first movers to document their sustainability performance
REWE Group and the testing service provider TÜV Rheinland have provided as first companies their declarations of conformity to the German Sustainability Code (GSC). The GSC makes the sustainability performance of companies and organizations measurable and comparable. He will contribute to a stronger focus on sustainability on capital markets.
With declarations of conformity companies of all sizes and organizations of any kind can document how they meet the requirements of the Code. The GSC comprises 20 sustainability criteria with selected key performance indicators on ecology, social aspects and issues of corporate governance. Requested is information on sustainability strategies and objectives of the company, rules, processes and incentive systems that are installed to gradually develop the company operations sustainably. Particularly important is information on claimed natural resources and the respect of basic labor and human rights as well as environmental standards throughout the value chain. Companies disclose with their declarations of conformity similarities and differences to these criteria.
Alain Caparros, CEO of Rewe Group looks upon the initiative for sustainable orientation on capital markets also favorably: “The German Sustainability Code provides companies with a powerful incentive for higher transparency and sustainable responsibility. The focus is now on consistently continuing this collaboration in order to ensure that as many companies as possible put the German Sustainability Code into practice. Especially in light of the current discussion on a European Sustainability Strategy, the REWE Group will continue its active involvement with emphasis on the principles of transparency, credibility, responsibility and voluntary participation.”
“We publish the declaration of conformity following the German Sustainability Code, because we accept our responsibility towards society and want to demonstrate transparency,” says Prof. Dr. Bruno O. Braun, CEO of TÜV Rheinland Berlin Brandenburg Pfalz e.V. “For 140 years the task and goal of our company is to protect life and ensure safety in cooperation with our customers.” In terms of sustainability performance of companies the Sustainability Code finally establishes orientation and comparability, he says. “I expect that more companies involve and apply the Code as an action orientation.”
The German Council for Sustainable Development had begun in the wake of the financial and economic crisis in 2010 with company representatives, investors, financial analysts and academics a dialogue process, which, after half a year ago, raised the German Sustainability Code. Many companies have proofed the practical feasibility of the GSC. The Sustainability Council has adopted the Code in October 2011 and recommended its voluntary application. With the GSC the German Council for Sustainable Development is seeking a fundamental reorientation of the economy towards sustainable development. Marlehn Thieme, commissarial Chairman of the German Council for Sustainable Development: “Essential to the effectiveness of the Code is its practicality for companies and investors. Only when investment decisions take greater account of environmental, social and governance factors, capital may flow into enterprises that create solutions for the future instead of problems. Then the capital market rewards sustainable business activities, and punishes short-termism. “
The German Council for Sustainable Development consists of 15 public figures, appointed by the Federal Chancellor for a term of office of three years. The tasks of the Council include the development of contributions to the national sustainability strategy, the designation of specific areas of action and projects and contributions to make sustainability a major public concern. In his choice of topics and forms of action, the Council is independent. Results from the current work are for example the German Sustainability Code, a future dialogue_Vision2050, opinions on the raw material policy, the fiscal sustainability and organic farming, the award of exemplary projects with the label “Werkstatt N”, a strategic dialogue with mayors, as well as contributions to the “green economy” and contributions in the preparation of the Rio Conference in June 2012.
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