Foreword by the
By making goals a reality with the support of strong partners, we can make a real difference in the world. After all, we can achieve more together. The title of our report therefore reflects the ethos that guides GIZ’s daily work and is firmly anchored in our Corporate Strategy. It also echoes a key objective of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, which has provided the framework for our actions, as a service provider for the German Government, for over three years.
With global power shifts and natural disasters, the international community is facing challenges of an increasingly unpredictable nature. These can only be addressed by combining the strengths of various partners. At the same time, digital transformation is changing the way we work and presenting new opportunities in the field of international cooperation. We therefore believe that working together will play an ever more important role in future.
In our cooperation with Africa, for example: together with local and international businesses, we are providing impetus for the African economy through investments and education and employment initiatives. The aim is to enable young Africans in particular to build a future in their home countries. Education and training also play an important role in controlled migration – a topic to which we once again devoted a great deal of energy and commitment last year.
Successful engagement only possible through sustainability
The increasing number of crises and conflicts is also affecting development cooperation. In over half of our partner countries, people are currently living in fragile contexts, with weak state structures, economic uncertainty and specific threats. Climate change also calls for targeted measures in the area of environmental and resource protection. Examples of projects from the fields of climate and energy, security and stabilisation, and displacement and migration are therefore a key focus of this year’s Integrated Company Report.
However, our efforts will only be successful if they are sustainable. That is why we regularly review the global impact of our work in some 120 countries around the world. The result: together with our partners and commissioning parties, we created work for 970,000 people worldwide in the period from 2015 to 2017. That is almost equivalent to the population of a large German city such as Cologne. The number of people that have received a better school education with our support stands at 29 million, roughly the population of Ghana. In the area of environmental protection, too, we delivered tangible results. In the above period, we helped reduce global CO2 emissions by a total of 36 million tonnes. That is equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions of Berlin.
With global power shifts and natural disasters, the international community is facing challenges of an increasingly unpredictable nature. These can only be addressed by combining the strengths of various partners.
Effective work in the digital present and future
Of course, GIZ is also responsible for how it operates as a company. Sustainability is a central pillar of our corporate policy. As part of our sustainability strategy, we review our own value and supply chains in areas such as procurement for fairness and transparency on an ongoing basis, and monitor compliance with economic and environmental standards. In this connection, GIZ began implementing the German Government’s National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights last year. With our online report, we also met the requirements of the Global Reporting Initiative in 2018, and we reaffirmed our commitment to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact.
Another important issue for us in 2018 was how we plan to lay the foundations for working in the digital present and future. The aim is to introduce more flexible structures that strengthen ownership, with a view to facilitating networking in global teams, irrespective of time or location. The principles we apply to working with our partners therefore ultimately apply to us, too: only by working hand in hand and in a spirit of strong mutual trust can we shape a better future. GIZ’s HR officers are monitoring the changes closely, which is a necessary step in order to provide a duty of care for our staff. They are also committed to continuously strengthening expertise at GIZ – a central pillar of our Corporate Strategy. After all, the expertise of our 22,000 staff members, development workers and integrated and returning experts is our most important asset. In what can be difficult and often dangerous conditions in countries around the world, they go above and beyond. We would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank them sincerely.
For our work in the digital present and future, our aim is to create more flexible structures that strengthen ownership.
Development cooperation is an investment in the future
We would also like to thank our commissioning parties, our partners around the globe and our Shareholder, the German Government, for the trust they have placed in us. In 2018, GIZ achieved a business volume of just under EUR 3 billion, another record high. Together, we are guided by the conviction that development cooperation is an investment in the
future – for the people in the countries in which we work, and for us all.
We will continue to devote all our energy to these future challenges. From October, we will be aided in this task by our new Managing Director Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel, who was appointed by the Supervisory Board in April. My colleague Christoph Beier and I are already looking forward to working with him.
We hope you enjoy reading about the multifaceted world of international cooperation and GIZ.
Chair of the Management Board
Dr Christoph Beier
Vice-Chair of the Management Board