Last updated on:
Tuesday, 18 August 2020

In the reviews and updates of the Strategy, the German Government reported progress and remaining challenges.

In 2004, 2008, 2012, 2017, 2018 and 2021 Progress Reports and Updates were adopted by the Cabinet. All of them confirmed that SD remains a guiding principle for the concrete political activities of the federal government. The reports explain the governmental organisation in SD politics in detail and strengthen the management of SD in German policy making.

The sustainability management concept of the strategy comprises the following elements:

·      principles for sustainable development. The principles for sustainable development summarise the guiding principles of SD.

·      There are 75 indicators (formerly 66) with associated targets which allow for an objective check of the status of development.

·      Monitoring. Every four years a Progress Report (or updated strategy) presents in detail the status of SD in Germany. The Progress Reports or updated strategies are complemented by an indicator report, independently prepared by the Federal Statistical Office every two years.

To improve SD management, the State Secretaries’ Committee has gradually been strengthened over the past years.

International Peer Reviews

In 2009, 2013 and 2018 international experts  brought their experiences to bear on the opportunities and challenges for Germany's SD policies in an international context. In 2009 and again in 2013, the German Federal Government mandated Björn Stigson, the (former) President of the World Business Council for SD, and a group of peers to conduct a Peer Review of Germany's SD policies. The first Peer Review Report, organised by the Council for Sustainable Development on behalf of the government, was handed over to Chancellor Angela Merkel on November 23, 2009, the second Peer Review Report on September 25, 2013. A third Peer review has been published and handed over to the Chancellor on 4 June 2018. The group of experts was this time chaired by Helen Clark, former Administrator of UNDP.

All three reports acknowledged Germany´s potential key position to spearhead the transition to a more sustainable development and came up with a set of clear recommendations addressing politics, the parliament, the business community and civil society. The German Council for Sustainable Development facilitated all three reviewing processes.

Programme of Sustainability Measures

With the Programme of Sustainability Measures the German Government has, since 2010, set specific targets to ensure that its own administration acts sustainably. The programme was updated in 2021. The program addresses all agencies and institutions of the federal administration. Progress with the implementation of those measures is recorded annually and published in a monitoring report. Ten areas are addressed.

A particular challenge is to achieve the goal of organizing the federal administration in a climate-neutral manner by 2030. A number of measures contribute to this, including, for example, the building sector, mobility and events. Sustainability in these areas is much more than climate neutrality. Sustainable procurement is also to be strengthened. As a major client, the public administration can influence the range of products and services through the demand for sustainable services.