Business for development

Theme pack for journalists: examples of GIZ’s work in partnership with the private sector

Eschborn/Bonn. An increasing number of consumers now base their purchasing decision on where a product comes from and the conditions under which it was manufactured. This is a major reason why companies are increasingly integrating social and environmental aspects into their corporate strategy and aligning production and sales with the principles of sustainability. On behalf of the German Government, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH helps companies to organise their operations in a way that marries business success with improved living conditions for local people.

In India and Bangladesh, for example, GIZ is working with the C&A Foundation to finance improvements in working conditions in eight factories supplying the C&A clothing company. These vital changes are being driven by newly formed working groups comprised of management and workforce representatives. GIZ is coaching the groups over a period of 18 months on topics such as workplace safety, quality management and higher productivity. In one factory operated by the Indian textile company Color Lines, for example, workers’ overtime has been cut by 90 per cent – while wage packets have actually gone up. This is because higher productivity means increased turnover which, to a certain extent, is passed on by the management to workers in the form of bonus payments. Prior to the launch of the programme, a Color Lines worker typically earned USD 70 per month; today, that figure is USD 105.

The partnership with C&A is just one example from the latest GIZ Theme Pack on Corporate Social Responsibility. In addition, you will also find a profile of GIZ employee Magnus Schmid, who is working to improve environmental and social standards in Bangladesh’s textile sector. Other examples include the recently established Forum for Sustainable Palm Oil, which seeks to increase the volume of certified palm oil used in Germany to 100 per cent as soon as possible, and an initiative to promote coffee from sustainable sources, which currently benefits around 800,000 farmers in 21 countries.

The GIZ Press Office can provide journalists with interview partners on all of the above topics.

The texts and photographic material contained in this theme pack are available free of charge to editorial departments. You can access the latest issue by clicking on the adjacent link. Journalists can also subscribe to the Theme Pack. Published three to four times annually, each pack contains information on a specific topic of international cooperation.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a federal enterprise with worldwide operations. We support the German Government in the fields of international cooperation for sustainable development and international education. Through our work we assist people and societies in shaping their own future and improving living conditions.