Being German myself, the whole topic of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Germany was and still is very interesting for me. Ever since I started working in the CSR field years ago I closely followed all the different developments in Germany regarding CSR. This is why I will have several posts on CSR in Germany over the coming weeks.
This first post today will list the three key developments in the last 5 years in Germany I have come across. The following posts will take a closer look at the current state of CSR in Germany followed by a future outlook and finally my very own opinion on CSR in Germany.
Before we go into more detail it needs to be said that CSR in Germany is not really comparable to CSR in the UK for example. CSR in Germany is still in its infancy when it comes to the adaption of CSR principles in businesses, individualisation of CSR campaigns and peer pressure to encourage more CSR work in German organisations.
Here are some recent developments that are worth mentioning in my opinion. I have chosen these three developments to show that there is a lot of positive movement in Germany regarding CSR and sustainable business practice.
A CSR Label will be introduced in order to reward good businesses practice
The German government plans to make the country’s first trademark for good business behaviour, as a complement to “Made in Germany” as a respected global brand. Germany is the world’s leading export nation but recognition of the need to combine business with corporate responsibility remains underdeveloped, especially among smaller companies.
Germany has its own CSR conference now.
The 3rd annual CSR conference in Berlin was the most recent one. The Humboldt University recently held the 3rd International CSR Conference in Berlin. The focus this year was on corporate social responsibility and global governance. A great development.
The first ever designated page from the German government on CSR
The German government has also recently shown an ever increasing interest in CSR by starting a complete website called “CSR in Germany”. The page provides information on fundamental aspects of CSR, international guidelines and tools, as well as on the areas of action and activities of the Federal Government in this context. www.csr-in-deutschland.de is a further step towards developing a national CSR Strategy.
These three examples in my opinion show that CSR in Germany is definitely moving in the right direction. So let’s keep up the good work. I especially like the role of the government in supporting responsible business practice.
This is all for now but the next CSR Germany post will take an even closer look at CSR in Germany and a list of resources on the German CSR community.