Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 1: keine Armut. Menschen halten sich an den Händen.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 10: Weniger Ungleichheiten. Ein = Zeichen mit Pfeilen nach oben, unten, links und rechts.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 11: Nachhaltige Städte und Gemeinden. Mehrere Gebäude.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 12: Nachhaltiger Konsum und Produktion. Ein Unendlichkeitssymbol.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 13: Maßnahmen zum Klimaschutz. Ein Auge, dessen Pupille eine Weltkugel ist.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 14: Leben unter Wasser. Ein Fisch schwimmt unter Wellen.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 15: Leben an Land. Ein Baum und Vögel.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 16: Frieden, Gerechtigkeit und starke Institutionen. Eine Taube und ein Richterhammer.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 17: Partnerschaften zur Erreichung der Ziele. Sich überlappende Kreise.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 2: Kein Hunger. Aus einer Schüssel steigt Dampf auf.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 3: Gesundheit und Wohlergehen. Linie eines EKGs, die in einem Herz endet.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 4: Hochwertige Bildung. Ein aufgeschlagenes Buch und ein Stift.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 5: Geschlechtergleichheit. Eine Kombination aus den Symbolen für Männlichkeit und Weiblichkeit, mit einem = Zeichen in der Mitte.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 6: Sauberes Wasser und Sanitäreinrichtungen. Ein mit Wasser gefülltes Glas.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 7: Bezahlbare und saubere Energie. Eine Sonne mit einem An-/Aus-Zeichen in der Mitte.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 8: Menschenwürdige Arbeit und Wirtschaftswachstum. Ein Balkendiagramm mit Pfeil nach oben.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 9: Industrie, Innovation und Infrastruktur. Mehrere verschachtelte Würfel. Artboard 1

Sustainability management in Uganda: imitators welcome

In order to achieve their ambitious environmental and climate targets, all GIZ locations around the world need to pull in the same direction. Committed action can make a strong impression, as an electric car in Uganda proved.

Fifty-year-old John Nizeye works as a driver for the Uganda country office. He takes GIZ staff to appointments in the Ugandan capital Kampala and shuttles passengers between the country office and Entebbe International Airport, 50 kilometres away. John has been driving an electric car since May 2023. It has a special parking space in the shade beneath a solar roof, which charges the battery. So, when John gets an assignment, it is always ready. ‘The car runs almost exclusively on solar power,’ says John. But even when it is plugged into the mains, it is still climate-friendly, since 95 per cent of Uganda’s electricity is generated from renewable energy, mostly hydropower.

Porträtfoto: John Nizeye
Driver John Nizeye (50) has been working for GIZ for 15 years. He is one of the first people in his home country of Uganda to use an electric car.
Foto: Ein Mann lehnt an einem Elektro-SUV und schaut freundlich in die Kamera.
Driver John Nizeye in front of GIZ’s electric car. When he is out with the car, he comes into contact with many inquisitive people who ask him questions about it.

Joseline Namara Kwesiga was the person responsible for buying the car and the charging station. She is in charge of sustainability management at the country office and has initiated a range of improvements – from the electric car to low-emission air conditioning systems and the ‘green lunch,’ where staff learn more about eating a healthy and climate-friendly diet. As the Corporate Sustainability Handprint® (CSH) officer, her job is not just to reduce GIZ’s ecological footprint in Uganda. She is also expected to stimulate climate-smart and environmentally friendly practices that are effective and resonate more widely.

To achieve this, Joseline and her colleagues work at other GIZ sites with the Corporate Sustainability Handprint®. The CSH is a tool designed to manage GIZ’s sustainability efforts outside Germany. In order to improve efficiency even more, the CSH team in Germany is continuously working to standardise its processes. This may sound theoretical, but in reality, it is extremely practical: since 2023, for example, CSH officers have had a calculator at their disposal that makes it easier for them to calculate the CO2 emissions of taxi journeys. In addition, there is a tool that they can use to convert sustainability activities into concrete figures and so see how their office is doing compared with the previous year or with other locations.

What is the Corporate Sustainability Handprint® (CSH)?

The CSH is GIZ’s key sustainability management tool for locations outside Germany. While the environmental footprint measures things like water consumption and CO2 emissions, the handprint documents active contributions towards sustainability.

Every year, GIZ offices worldwide gather together key data about their footprint, for example their consumption of energy, water and materials or their CO2 emissions from business trips. Based on this data, every two years the country offices develop ideas on how they can act more sustainably, thereby doing their bit to ensure that GIZ has a positive handprint. Over the long term, these measures are intended to help permanently reduce GIZ’s environmental footprint worldwide.

They include climate change mitigation measures such as sustainable procurement or the replacement of generators with solar panels. Action on social sustainability also counts – for instance through health education or information about ethical conduct in conflict situations.

Trailblazers in the use of electric vehicles in Uganda

Buying the electric car for GIZ’s company fleet is a good example of a new step that is making waves. John attracts plenty of attention with his vehicle: ‘When I pull up in front of Parliament, the MPs ask me where the car is from. If I stop in a part of town, people on the street bombard me with questions. They can barely believe that a car can go without petrol!’ It’s no wonder that the car stands out: electric vehicles are still a rarity in Uganda.

Porträtfoto: John Nizeye

»When I pull up in front of Parliament, the MPs ask me where the car is from.«

John Nizeye, a driver with GIZ Uganda

As Joseline reports, the car also attracted interest among representatives of other organisations such as the European Union and the United Nations: ‘They approached us and asked us about our experience with the electric car. We were happy to share our knowledge and show others how they can make the switch to climate-friendly means of transport,’ Joseline explains. Given that electromobility in Uganda is still in its infancy, procurement of the car and charging system was not exactly easy. Moreover, no guidelines for the taxation of electric vehicles were in place. Now other organisations such as the Belgian development agency Enabel and the energy company TotalEnergies Uganda have acquired electric cars, following GIZ’s example.

Porträtfoto: Joseline Namara Kwesiga

»We want to use our electric car to show people that new options are available for climate action in Uganda – especially in a country where plenty of electricity is generated from renewable energy. The amount of attention that we are getting confirms that. We are working on installing charging stations in the project offices in Uganda, too. Then we will be able to use the car beyond Kampala and the surrounding area and more people will see it.«

Joseline Namara Kwesiga, Corporate Sustainability Handprint Officer until November 2023, Uganda Country Office
© Abbas Mulengi
Uganda on course to becoming a climate-neutral country office
Foto: Ein Tiny-House steht leicht erhöht auf Stützen über Baumwurzeln. Rechts daneben steht ein Baum.

A GIZ meeting room at the Uganda country office built using root-friendly methods.

Foto: Ein Mann reinigt mit einem Teleskopstab eine Photovoltaikanlage.

Cleaning the photovoltaic system.

Foto: Ein Elektroauto beim Laden

A car from GIZ’s vehicle fleet beneath the solar charging station at the country office in Kampala.

Foto: Ein Backsteingebäude von außen mit Klimaanlagen

New air conditioning systems at the country office in Kampala. They use environmentally friendly propane instead of climate-damaging gases.

An excellent model for others to follow

At the Energy Efficiency and Electric Mobility Conference in November 2023, Uganda’s Ministry of Energy presented the electric car to a wider public. The government is investing in establishing an electric vehicle (EV) industry of its own, and has also set clear climate targets. The country is already feeling the impacts of climate change to a significant extent: ‘Uganda always used to have stable rainy seasons. The weather has become more extreme because of climate change. We have more flooding, alternating with longer periods of drought. That is a threat to our agriculture,’ says Joseline. The country office’s efforts are having an effect not only outside the organisation but also within GIZ itself. GIZ is currently combining several smaller project offices in Uganda to form one main campus.

The plan is for the solar panels, environmentally friendly air conditioning systems and recycling processes that have been tried out at the country office to be installed and used there too. Thanks to its commitment to sustainability, the country office is now almost climate neutral and serves as a model for others.

Sustainability at the Uganda country office in 2023

7 tonnes

of CO2 avoided with a photovoltaic system

1.5 tonnes

of CO2 avoided by using an EV instead of a petrol model


highly efficient A+++-rated air conditioning systems installed

Our staff’s commitment to sustainability worldwide

Foto: Zwei Männer leeren einen Container mit Plastikpfandflaschen.
© Wonder Woman Nigeria
On plastic waste and period poverty

Since June 2023, GIZ Nigeria has been supporting the Plastics for Pads project in order to increase awareness of menstrual hygiene and health. In cooperation with the non-governmental organisation Wonder Woman Nigeria, staff from GIZ Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) collect plastics in a large container at the country office. Wonder Woman sells the collected plastic to recyclers and uses the proceeds to provide girls with reusable menstrual pads. It also runs awareness-raising courses about personal hygiene and sexuality. Within just six months, around 283.5 tonnes of PET plastic was recycled thanks to the collection campaign. Besides being good for the environment, the campaign is benefiting over 30 adolescent women.

Foto: Ein Mann wirft etwas in einen von vier verschiedenen Mülleimern.
© GIZ / Natalia Romero
Sustainable lunch break in Central America

Two or three times a year, staff from GIZ Central America and the regional organisation Central American Integration System (SICA) arrange to meet for a joint learning session over lunch. At these brown bag lunches in late 2023, the topic on the agenda was environmental sustainability. The participants exchanged views on how they each deal responsibly with the environment and climate. The activities that they presented ranged from recycling and waste separation to composting and horticulture, but also climate-friendly travel and sustainable event management.

Foto: Gruppenbild von etwa dreißig Menschen rund um zwei gelbe Mülltonnen
© GIZ / Vishakha Jha
Sort, compost, fertilise

GIZ staff in India have been composting organic waste on their office premises since October 2023. They use the resulting compost for the herb garden that they have created. In a pilot phase at the New Delhi office, staff have already sorted, separated and made use of 160 kilos of waste that would previously have ended up in landfills, contaminating recyclable waste. The successful initiative is now being rolled out to all GIZ offices in India. You can find out more about our partners’ perspectives on sustainability in India here:

Learn more
Foto: Vier Menschen stehen vor einem Plakat, eine Frau zeigt drauf und spricht.
© GIZ / Jasmin Sina
Highlighting our commitment to sustainability

As part of the German Sustainability Action Days in late 2023, staff around the world organised a variety of events to do with sustainability. These ranged from talks on sustainability at the office to practical activities such as campaigns to collect waste. GIZ staff in Bangladesh used this as an opportunity to offer a gallery tour, presenting photographs and posters from their projects. These showed visitors how important high-quality education and lifelong learning are to changing the world in a positive and sustainable way.

Below you will find information about the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) sustainability standards:

Material topic 2: Protection of natural resources

Learn more about our sustainability management here: