CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY MANAGEMENT
PULLING TOGETHER TO FURTHER ENHANCE GIZ’S SUSTAINABILITY PERFORMANCE AND MINIMISE UNINTENDED NEGATIVE IMPACTS.
Environmental protection and climate change mitigation, human rights, gender equality, compliance and anti-corruption, and not forgetting security: in these and many other areas, GIZ sets itself specific, measurable targets in its Sustainability Programme. Action-oriented measures are specified for each target, and the targets themselves are incorporated into the GIZ Corporate Strategy. GIZ regularly publishes information on which targets have been achieved and any which may not have been achieved in full.
DIALOGUE WITH STAKEHOLDERS AND THE MATERIALITY MATRIX
In dialogue with stakeholders, GIZ decides which sustainability topics take precedence. These are thematic areas in which the company produces particularly positive or particularly negative impacts, and which are therefore strategically prioritised.
STAKEHOLDER DIALOGUE IN 2016
‘How would you rate GIZ in terms of sustainability? What other aspects should we be looking at?’ These were the kind of questions GIZ focused on in its first stakeholder dialogue.
In an online survey conducted in 2016, GIZ invited representatives of various bodies including German federal ministries, the private sector, civil society and partners from cooperation countries to provide their feedback on GIZ’s sustainability performance. This was the first time that GIZ had engaged in stakeholder dialogue of this kind. Building on this, a Stakeholders’ Day was held in December 2016. Participants included selected German actors as well as members of GIZ’s Sustainability Board and other representatives of GIZ. The purpose of the dialogue was to compare stakeholders’ expectations with GIZ’s objectives and to jointly develop fresh approaches to further elaborate GIZ’s sustainability management practices.
The results demonstrate that our stakeholders see the credibility of our actions and our communication as key to the work of GIZ. Stakeholders also expressed their appreciation of our work and encouraged us to continue such platforms for open dialogue. They were quite clear that GIZ should play a pioneering role as a sustainable enterprise. Measured by this yardstick, they rated our sustainability performance to date as moderate. With regard to GIZ’s cooperation with the private sector and civil society actors, stakeholders saw room for improvement in our liaison structures. It was also suggested that we should strengthen our culture of learning from mistakes, and communicate lessons learned more transparently.
As a result, GIZ decided to continue the dialogue and to enter into learning partnerships with individual stakeholders on specific themes. The results of the dialogue will also be used to guide GIZ’s future strategy.
MATERIALITY MATRIX 2016
In 2015, GIZ’s Sustainability Office drew on extensive internal and external data to update the thematic areas covered by the GIZ Materiality Matrix. In late 2016, the company presented these topics to its stakeholders for discussion as part of its first ever web dialogue. Just under 160 participants prioritised 24 key sustainability topics. One-on-one interviews were also conducted with partners from Ethiopia, Tunisia and Viet Nam.
Following in-depth discussions of the topics ranked as particularly important or controversial at the Stakeholders’ Day in Berlin in December 2016, the Materiality Matrix was updated by the Sustainability Board.
It now includes topics such as ‘communication’ and ‘culture of cooperation’ – because GIZ’s stakeholders consider these to be particularly important. The new Materiality Matrix adopted by the Sustainability Board covers a total of 23 thematic areas.
SUSTAINABILITY MANAGEMENT INSTRUMENTS
With its systematic sustainability management, aligned with national and international standards, GIZ works to achieve these objectives at its various locations. The Sustainability Board, deliberates on the objectives and supports their realisation. It comprises selected directors general of GIZ departments and directors of corporate units as well as the Director Corporate Sustainability and is chaired by the Chair of the Management Board.
CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY HANDPRINT® (CSH)
GIZ’s Corporate Sustainability Handprint® (CSH) also helps the company to promote its corporate sustainability performance around the globe. This management tool was introduced in over 90 per cent of country offices in 2015 and 2016. It enables teams in our partner countries to record their progress and set themselves new targets that relate to conditions on the ground.
SAFEGUARDS+GENDER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
GIZ’s Safeguards+Gender management system was established at the end of 2016. It comprises protective mechanisms for the fields of environment and climate, human rights, conflict and gender equality. It also ensures that both people and the environment benefit from all worldwide projects and programmes, rather than being negatively affected as a result of risks or unintended consequences of our actions The system is a mandatory minimum standard for GIZ’s projects and commissioning parties, and is taken into account from the inception of a project.