German Sustainability Code, 2011.

Germany Current 2011

The German Council for Sustainable Development passed the German Sustainability Code (GSC), which was sent to the German Federal Government with a recommendation for implementation. The GSC is the result of a biennial consultation process between representatives of financial markets, various enterprises and civil society. It was drafted by the German Council for Sustainable Development, which provides the government with recommendations and information on their sustainability strategy and policy. The code addresses companies of every size and legal form and is recommended to be used as a voluntary instrument. It features 20 indicators of sustainability performance that are aligned with the GRI Guidelines, the UNGC principles, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Companies and the ISO 26000 Guidelines. The disclosures regard strategic analysis and measures, process management, environment, and society. For companies reporting according to GRI G4 or EFFAS (Level III) a reference can be made to the respective content in order to avoid double reporting. Application of the GSC occurs at the companies’ discretion and they declare whether and to what extent they are in accordance with the Code (‘comply or explain’) within a declaration of conformity, which can be furnished using a template.


General sustainability/ESG/non-financial

Industry sectors covered by the instrument

All/none specified

Organizations covered by the instrument

All organizations

Issuer type

No specific ministry. The council has a mandate given by the government and it consists of 15 public members.

Type of instrument

Code of conduct or guideline

Mandatory or voluntary


The geographical scope


Project Partners