29 Nov 2021, 13:24
Charlotte Nijhuis

Sustainability increasingly important for German companies – survey

Sustainability is becoming increasingly important for German companies, according to a survey conducted by the Bertelsmann Foundation, the Peer School for Sustainable Development and the Chair for Sustainable Management at the University of Mannheim. Of the 51 sustainability managers surveyed, three-quarters say the topic has become “much more important” in their company. In 55 percent of the companies surveyed, sustainability is now a direct responsibility of the board of directors. More than three-quarters of sustainability managers report that the issue is being pushed strongly from the outside, with the influence of customers being “rather significant” or “very significant”. Political regulation is also a sustainability driver for the majority of companies (70%). "If some large companies are subject to certain transparency obligations, these standards are also passed on within the value chain," said Jakob Kunzlmann, economic expert at the Bertelsmann Stiftung. Managers surveyed mention the EU taxonomy and the German Supply Chain Act as important sustainability drivers, while also fearing the additional costs and bureaucracy that regulation brings.

Despite the growing awareness among company executives to do more, climate protection proponents say German corporations are not doing enough and have argued they should invest more in sustainability instead of paying out increasing amounts of profits to shareholders.

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