Task 1: SME in focus
A strategy for small and medium-sized enterprises should enable SME and non-reporters to begin using the Sustainability Code. In conjunction with the Bertelsmann Foundation, the Council has developed a guide to the Code for SME in consultation with small and medium-sized enterprises. The guide is available as a brochure and can be downloaded here. The tips have also been incorporated into the online tool used to prepare declarations of conformity. A printed copy of the brochure can be requested by sending an email to: dialog-dnk(at)nachhaltigkeitsrat.de
Task 2: Creating added value
The Office of the German Council for Sustainable Development takes the Sustainability Code declarations of conformity into account when awarding contracts to service providers. This serves as a practical test for recognizing declarations of conformity as verification of qualified sustainability references and their aptness for the reliable provision of services, and for taking them into account for public contracts.
Here, too, focus rests on financial market players as users of the declarations of conformity. The Code provides an answer to the discussion on integrated reporting and implementation of the EU directive on the reporting of non-financial information.
With a view to entrenching the Sustainability Code on the international stage, the Council is in talks intensly with other European actors. They serve to explore concrete cooperation opportunities with international actors. Against this backdrop, the office of the Council is working on scenarios for international partnerships, possible governance structure and generally the further development of The Sustainability Code. These are expected to be put forward for public discussion in a multi-stakeholder forum in the second half of 2015.
Task 3: Increasing visibility
The logo, name and content have created a strong brand. A dedicated project homepage provides a sufficient degree of space for content, instruments and declarations of conformity, and also to present the cooperation partners. This will raise public awareness of the Sustainability Code and specifically channel project information to relevant target groups. Both the revision of the Code in 2014 and the SME guide also served to further expand the initiative’s reach. The mid-term aim is to turn the homepage into a platform offering a variety of services, including those of our partners.