Sustainable development worldwide – and within the company
24.02.2017 – Sustainability is GIZ’s core business – not only in its projects worldwide. A key element is its ongoing dialogue with clients and partners.
Economic capability, ecological balance, social responsibility and political participation: for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, sustainability consists of these four dimensions, and it is only through their interaction that lasting solutions can be achieved. However, sustainable development is not only the goal in GIZ’s projects worldwide – it is also a key objective within the company itself. GIZ therefore engages in regular dialogue with its clients and partners – in other words, with its stakeholders.
At GIZ’s first Stakeholders’ Day on corporate sustainability at the end of last year, around 50 participants, including representatives from politics, the private sector, the research community and civil society, joined Tanja Gönner, Chair of the Management Board, and other senior staff from GIZ to discuss key topics on the corporate sustainability agenda, including the environment, climate and sustainable procurement.
The Stakeholder Dialogue also explored issues which had aroused particular interest at a webinar hosted by GIZ in advance of the event. The 160 webinar participants had been asked to rate GIZ’s performance in the context of its corporate sustainability regime. They also had an opportunity to suggest further topics and potential improvements.
The stakeholders were particularly satisfied with the company’s performance in two dimensions of sustainability – ecological balance and social responsibility. Among other things, they praised GIZ’s offsetting scheme for domestic emissions and its efforts to reduce per capita resource consumption, and welcomed the rollout of the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) to more GIZ sites in Germany.
At the Stakeholder Dialogue, participants also developed joint strategies for further progress. Increasing the involvement of civil society in GIZ’s work and utilising the potential of digitalisation in the context of international cooperation were among the topics explored in this context. GIZ’s Corporate Sustainability Manager Elke Siehl is positive about the outcomes: ‘This open-ended dialogue with our stakeholders helps us to continuously improve corporate sustainability management at GIZ.’
An update on progress with the implementation of the recommendations will be published in the Integrated Company Report in mid-2017. The next Stakeholder Dialogue on corporate sustainability will take place in summer 2018.