12.6 Responsible companies 12.6 Responsible companies

12.6 Responsible companies
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Sub-goal 12.6 encourages businesses, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle.

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Sustainability reporting is currently taking place on a voluntary basis. There are a number of corresponding tools available for this purpose. Legal regulations exist in the context of accounting. The CSR Directive Implementation Act 2017, based on the so-called CSR Directive of the EU from 2014, created a statutory obligation to report non-financial information in Germany. In particular, listed companies with more than 500 employees must prepare a non-financial statement on environmental, labour and social issues, respect for human rights and combating corruption and bribery if other conditions are met (Section 289c HGB). Some 520 companies and organisations are affected. The existing voluntary frameworks can be used to implement this reporting obligation. Established reporting frameworks include the standards of the Global Reporting Initiative and the German Sustainability Code. There is a database for the latter: https://www.deutscher-nachhaltigkeitskodex.de/de-DE/Home/Database.

The Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is available to companies in the environmental sector. Established in 1995, it helps companies introduce and report on sustainable practices. Here, too, there is a database of registered companies and organisations, all of which are subject to environmental reporting obligations (www.emas-register.de). In consultation with the member states, the EU Commission revised the reporting requirements of the EMAS Regulation in early 2019. 

There has been increasing focus on corporate responsibility when it comes to the sustainable design of supply and value chains in recent years. This topic is of great relevance due to German companies, given their often globally networked supply and value-added chains. The National CSR Forum of the Federal Government adopted the ‘Berlin CSR Consensus’ in 2018. The purpose of this policy paper is to give companies a cross-industry orientation on how to exercise entrepreneurial diligence in terms of social, environmental and human rights diligence. Further activities, in particular in the field of human rights due diligence (under the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights), are currently taking place.

Sub-goal 12.6 does not formulate quantitative targets. The National Reporting Platform (NRP) specifies the following as an indicator for 12.6: ‘Number of companies publishing sustainability reports’. The number of locations that are EMAS-registered is currently being recorded, because they must produce a certified environmental statement on the environmental aspects that concern them. Since the German National Sustainability Strategy has set the target of increasing the share of EMAS-registered sites and organisations to 5,000 by 2030 (indicator 12.2 in the German National Sustainability Strategy), this also applies to the number of environmental declarations. In addition to the environmental declarations, the number of declarations according to the German Sustainability Code is being recorded based on the availability of corresponding data in the DNK database.

Bundesregierung
CSR Directive Implementation Act (CSR-RUG)

In 2014, the European Parliament and the member states of the EU adopted a directive to extend reporting of large capital market-oriented companies, credit institutions, financial services institutions and insurance companies (the so-called CSR directive). The aim of the directive is to increase the transparency of ecological and social aspects in companies in the EU.
Germany has transposed the Directive into national law (CSR Directive Implementation Act). The CSR Directive Implementation Act came into force on 19 April 2017.

Unterziele
12.6 Responsible companies
Ziele
SDG 8 SDG 9
BMZ; UN Global Compact Netzwerk Deutschland
Global Compact Network Germany (DGCN)

The United Nations Global Compact is the world's largest initiative for responsible corporate governance. Based on ten universal principles and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it pursues the vision of an inclusive and sustainable global economy for the benefit of all people today and in the future. In national networks, participating stakeholders develop concrete approaches to solutions and thus contribute to the global vision of the UN Global Compact.

The UN Global Compact Network Germany (UN GCD) brings together the German participants of the UN Global Compact: Currently, these are around 810 companies - ranging from DAX corporations to medium-sized and small enterprises - and almost 60 organizations from civil society, academia and the public sector. In the network, they can find out about various corporate responsibility issues, exchange ideas and work together on practical solutions. The UN GCD was created at the initiative of German companies in 2000 as one of the first national networks.

Unterziele
12.6 Responsible companies 12.B Sustainable tourism
Ziele
SDG 8 SDG 9
Bundesregierung; Federführung: AA
National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights

In 2016, the Federal Government adopted the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights in the Federal Cabinet. In the action plan, the Federal Government for the first time anchors the responsibility German enterprises have for observing human rights in a clear framework. Companies are expected to comply with the human rights due diligence obligation and respect human rights along their supply and value chains. With the National Action Plan, the Federal Government aims to improve the global human rights situation and to shape globalization in a socially responsible way.

Unterziele
12.6 Responsible companies
Ziele
SDG 8
BMZ
The Green Button

The Green Button is a government seal for sustainable textiles. 
Since 2019, the seal shows which companies fulfill their human rights and ecological due diligence obligations along the entire supply chain. In addition, it must be proven by recognized seals that the respective product has been produced socially and ecologically. 
The inspection is carried out by independent inspection bodies. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development is the seal provider. The Green Button offers orientation when buying socially and ecologically produced textiles. In this way, it is intended to raise awareness among companies and consumers on the subject of sustainable textile production and supply chains. The Green Button criteria have recently been further developed with the help of an independent advisory board. The new standard version Green Button 2.0 will be introduced in the summer of 2022. 

Unterziele
12.1 Sustainable consumption and production patterns 12.4 Environmentally sound management of chemicals 12.6 Responsible companies 12.8 Information and awareness for sustainable development
Ziele
SDG 8 SDG 9 SDG 10
Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales
CSR Award of the Federal Government

The CSR Award of the Federal Government is intended to honour outstanding examples of social responsibility and motivate imitation: The prize is awarded to companies that implement exemplary fair business practices and employee-oriented human resources policies, use natural resources sparingly, protect the climate and the environment, get involved locally and also assume responsibility in the supply chain.

Companies based in Germany were able to apply in three different size categories and two special award categories for the 2020 round of the competition. Each participating company receives an individual evaluation for the continuous improvement of its own CSR commitment. The CSR Award of the Federal Government is an essential measure of the National CSR Strategy of the Federal Government. Within the Federal Government, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) is in charge.

Unterziele
12.1 Sustainable consumption and production patterns 12.2 Sustainable management of natural resources 12.6 Responsible companies 12.8 Information and awareness for sustainable development
Ziele
SDG 8