Ensuring sustainable consumption and production

Project description

Title: Sector project: Sustainability Standards and Public-Private Responsibility
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Germany
Overall term: 2017 to 2022


Sustainable consumption und sustainable production are key objectives of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. The international community including the German Government have committed themselves to making the production and consumption of products and services sustainable. To achieve this, government, industry and consumers must act together.


Public and private stakeholders take on more responsibility in ensuring sustainable production and consumption.


On behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the project addresses four thematic areas:

  • corporate responsibility
  • sustainable public procurement
  • sustainability standards and sustainable consumption
  • operation of the Secretariat of the Global Compact Network Germany (DGCN)

The project advises BMZ on current political topics such as the German National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (NAP), possibilities for implementing legally binding measures to achieve more sustainability in global supply chains, as well as the step-by-step plan for the sustainable public procurement of textiles.

The consumer portal Siegelklarheit benchmarks sustainability standards (labels) from different product groups in terms of credibility and content. This makes it easier for consumers to discern which standards meets their requirements.

The Sustainability Compass addresses procurement officers working in the public sector, such as in town halls or federal ministries. The portal provides important information on sustainable procurement, for example on which quality labels correspond to which sustainability criteria.

Other projects include a Sustainability Compass for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME Compass) and cooperation with relevant organisations such as the Business & Human Rights Resource Center (BHRRC), the International Trade Center (ITC), the Diakonie and the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling Alliance (ISEAL Alliance).


  • The Sustainability Compass website underwent further development and distribution. At the end of 2018, responsibility for the portal was handed over to the independent organisation Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW).
  • The Siegelklarheit portal reaches an ever-expanding group of interested users; content continues to be expanded.
  • Stakeholders were successfully involved in the development of the SME Compass. The project surveyed companies about their needs and brought them on board for the project.
  • The number of members in DGCN continues to climb. The broad range of information makes it easier for members to learn more about sustainability, for example, through events held on topics such as business and human rights; the environment and climate; and the prevention of corruption.
  • The DGCN Secretariat organises regular learning and discussion forums. In this way, it strengthens knowledge-sharing and cooperation in the field of sustainability between the more than 550 participants in the DGCN. 500 companies of various sizes and some 60 stakeholders from civil society, science and politics are represented.

Additional information