Managing corporate sustainability

At GIZ, corporate sustainability is managed at the top echelon. Supported by the Sustainability Office, the Director Corporate Sustainability continuously develops our corporate sustainability regime, and reports directly to the Chair of the Management Board. Both are members of the Sustainability Board, as are various other top executives of the company. This body meets to discuss sustainability goals, and supports the implementation and ongoing development of GIZ's Sustainability Programme.

GIZ's key instrument for managing corporate sustainability is the Corporate Sustainability Handprint® (CSH). The CSH is a learning and management tool available to our almost 100 GIZ locations around the globe. The tool systematically measures GIZ's corporate sustainability performance, makes it transparent and fosters joint learning. This enables us to continuously develop and improve our innovations, approaches and strategies.

We have also made voluntary commitments. GIZ is a participant in the United Nations Global Compact, for instance, and committed to its ten principles on human rights, environment, labour and social standards, and anti-corruption. We report our progress on these principles on a yearly basis. Moreover, we are supporting the implementation of the Global Compact. Since 2001, GIZ has been running the Focal Point of the German Global Compact Network on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Other key voluntary commitments and standards that guide our work include:

  • The United Nations human rights covenants, the European human rights conventions, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the BMZ human rights strategy
  • The United Nations Women's Empowerment Principles
  • The International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-up
  • The EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS)
  • The German Association of Environmental Management’s (B.A.U.M. e.V.) code for environmental corporate governance
  • The 'Biodiversity in Good Company Initiative', through which companies voluntarily commit to step up their engagement and implement concrete activities to help preserve biological diversity
  • The anti-corruption strategy of BMZ and the German Government’s public corporate governance code, which also incorporates international and national standards for responsible corporate governance.