We have to – and want to – talk: More sustainability through dialogue
What do policy-makers, entrepreneurs and civil society expect of GIZ in terms of its corporate sustainability management? The second Stakeholders’ Day held yesterday in Berlin explored this question in-depth.
Environment and climate change, human rights, equality, compliance and anti-corruption as well as security: The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has set itself specific, measurable goals for these and many other topics in its Sustainability Programme. The federal enterprise determines the most important topics jointly with various stakeholders. These include representatives from politics, the private sector, the research community and civil society, as well as its own staff members.
GIZ regards systematic and intensive dialogue with commissioning parties, sub-contractors and cooperation partners as a key element of its corporate sustainability management. The first Stakeholders’ Day on corporate sustainability was held at the end of 2016. For the second round of feedback and dialogue on 12 June, around 70 participants came to Berlin to discuss topics such as sustainable procurement, sustainable mobility in Germany and abroad, human resources, cooperation and credibility.
In a web-based dialogue held in advance of the event, more than 1,700 external stakeholders and GIZ staff members rated GIZ's performance to date, specifying further topics and putting forward suggestions for improvement. The participants also engaged in intensive dialogue on these issues.
The next step involves comparing the stakeholders' expectations with GIZ’s own objectives. Specific results will then be integrated into the corporate strategy.
Looking back: The first Stakeholders’ Day on Sustainability
A key outcome of the first Stakeholders’ Day in December 2016 was that credibility – both with regard to action and communications – is seen as a central premise for GIZ's work. The rallying call for GIZ to lead the way forward as a sustainable company was also heard loud and clear.
Based on the results of the dialogue, the Sustainability Board – the committee responsible for advising on the long-term strategic orientation of sustainability within the company – adopted the Materiality Matrix in 2017, replete with 23 priority areas of activity. The matrix brings together the sustainability topics which the company and the various stakeholders consider to be relevant; for example, communications and a culture of cooperation.