Impact of German Companies on Reaching Sustainable Development Goals

What Measurable Impact Do German Companies Have on Reaching the Sustainable Development Goals?

The Dr. Werner Jackstädt Chair of Economic and Business Ethics in cooperation with the Bertelsmann Foundation conducted a field project this year on the “measurable impact of medium-sized companies in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”. The SDGs of the United Nations are the replacement for the Millennium Development Goals and consist of 17  global (sustainability) goals.

They include, for example, the elimination of poverty and hunger, the improvement of health and education and the protection of the environment. Over the course of the project, it became apparent that companies already take many steps that help achieve the SDGs. The federal government of Germany wants to
measure these contributions in the context of its sustainability strategy. However, companies use different and varying indicators in their sustainability reports which makes consistent and comparable measurement almost impossible. The field project team, which consists of six HHL MBA students from Latin America and Asia, analyzed the sustainability programs of all SDAX and MDAX companies and translated the political language of the SDGs and the German sustainability Strategy into an economic language. This made it possible to critically question existing sustainability strategies and to recommend an adjusted
set of indicators for the SDGs. In addition to the Bertelsmann Foundation, the results were also presented to political and civil representatives.


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