Monthly Archives: February 2016

High tide

Background story: The majority of our blog posts deals with CSR topics; we write about the latest developments in this field and try to relate it to a company’s daily business. Our background stories have a different perspective: Here, we explain trends, scientific background and societal implications of corporate sustainability – sometimes with a personal touch.

What do the cities of Hamburg (Germany) and Lagos (Nigeria) have in common? Not much, one might think. However, they share a property which makes them both vulnerable to climate change: they both lie at a height of only five meters above sea level – and the sea level rises every year.

How would it look like, a world with six-meter higher sea levels? You can now find it out yourself at

A natural phenomenon which has been increasing in the 20th century
Trends_in_global_average_absolute_sea_level,_1880-2013 croppedData from sediments, tide gauge records and satellites show that sea levels changed only little between 0 AD and 1900, but began rising in the 20th century[1]. Two main mechanisms have been identified to be responsible for this, both related to climate change:

  • Water expands along with temperature; as global temperatures are rising, the water body’s volume is expanding
  • Warmer temperatures initiate a thawing of the polar ice caps. The resulting melting water leads to higher sea levels

The average change rate was at about 1.7 mm per year in the last century, which amounts to a total difference of about 19 cm over the last 110 years. 19 cm – this is far from the five meters of Hamburg and Lagos, so no reason to worry? Well, far from it, unfortunately.

At the one hand, the increase rate is accelerating: between 1993 and 2010, it amounted already to 3.2 mm per year[2], which is a drastic increase compared to the values for the preceding century. Researchers from several universities just published a study stating that the 20th-century rise happened faster than any of the previous 27 centuries[3].

And secondly, we haven’t talked about tipping points yet.

Tipping points: when changes become rapid

Tipping points are maybe the biggest headache of climate scientists. This notion refers to a moment when the earth’s entire climatic system changes rapidly and irreversibly into a new state, triggered by a preceding constant change of an input variable (like the atmospheric CO2 level). Regarding sea level rise, such a tipping point might be reached once the Greenland ice sheet begins to thaw – research suggests that this could happen already with a global warming of about 1.6 degrees[4]. Greenland’s ice sheet is 3.000 meters thick; its melting would contribute to a total sea level rise of about 6 meters[5], with the well-known consequences not only for Hamburg or Lagos: About 10% of the world population live in low-lying areas, and 30% live in areas impacted by extreme flooding events. The majority of megacities is located in coastal areas[6].

On a human timescale, processes like the Greenland melting would still happen slowly, taking several thousand years. But if greenhouse gas emissions are not effectively limited, these processes are likely to accelerate. Due to a combination with increasingly frequent and severe rainstorms (also a consequence of climate change) huge investments into coastal protection will be necessary in the coming decades[7].

Thus, sea level rise does not just concern some lost islands somewhere in the ocean – it concerns the livelihoods of a substantial part of the world population. A worldwide and concerted action to mitigate climate change is crucial, if we want to ensure that our coastal areas can stay habitable for future generations. The UN Climate Conference in Paris 2015 has shown that a lot of governmental and private actors are willing to combat climate change – now the decisions made have to come into action.

DFGE can assist also your organization in quantifying your carbon emissions, and to establish a strategy to tackle them. Contact us at or +49.8192.99733-20 for more information.









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EcoVadis Partnerschaft mit DFGE: Neuer Schwung für nachhaltige Beschaffung in der DACH-Region


DFGE wird der erste Consulting Partner in der DACH-Region von EcoVadis, dem Experten für Nachhaltigkeit in der Lieferkette. Diese Zusammenarbeit wird es Unternehmen künftig ermöglichen, besser auf die Anfragen ihrer Kunden bei einem EcoVadis-Assessment einzugehen und ihre CSR-Performance zu verbessern.

EcoVadis, eine kollaborative Plattform für Nachhaltigkeitsbewertung

EcoVadis betreibt die erste kollaborative Plattform, die Supplier Sustainability Ratings für globale Lieferketten bereitstellt. Über 25 000 Unternehmen nutzen das Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)-Assessment von EcoVadis, darunter mehrere Tausend in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz. Sie erhalten darüber eine Bewertung und Scorecard ihrer Leistungen in den Bereichen Umwelt, Soziales, Ethik, und Lieferkette.

EcoVadis bietet eine konkrete Lösung, die Transparenz zu CSR in der Zulieferkette schafft. Unternehmen treten der EcoVadis-Plattform bei und fordern ihre Zulieferer dazu auf, deren Nachhaltigkeits-Management von EcoVadis beurteilen zu lassen. Diese Analyse wird von EcoVadis-Experten durchgeführt; die Ergebnisse werden auf der gemeinschaftlichen Plattform in Form einer Scorecard veröffentlicht, zugänglich für sowohl Einkäufer als auch für Zuliefere.

DFGE bietet verschiedene Dienstleistungen an

DFGE ist jetzt offizieller EcoVadis Consulting-Partner, der Zulieferern dabei hilft, diese Komplexität zu verstehen und die Anforderungen zu erfüllen. EcoVadis vertraut der DFGE entsprechende Trainings und Überprüfungen der ausgefüllten Fragebögen an.

Trainings werden für das Ausfüllen des Fragebogens und den Umgang mit der Plattform angeboten. Sie zielen darauf ab, es den Zulieferern zu ermöglichen, den Fragebogen selbstständig auszufüllen und die Anfragen ihrer Kunden zu beantworten. DFGE wird auch ausgefüllte Fragebögen überprüfen, um sicherzustellen, dass die Antworten den EcoVadis-Anforderungen und der Methodik entsprechen.

Mit mehr als 15 Jahren Erfahrung im Bereich der Nachhaltigkeits-Datenverwaltung kann die DFGE Zulieferern dabei helfen, die richtige Dokumentation zu finden und zu verbessern. Die DFGE bietet auch Komplettpakete an, die dabei helfen, die eingesetzte Zeit und Ressourcen bei einer EcoVadis-Teilnahme zu minimieren.

Darüber hinaus kann die DFGE unter anderem auch dabei beraten, die erzielten Ergebnisse zu verstehen, einen Verbesserungsplan aufzustellen, das Nachhaltigkeitsmanagement durch Erstellung beispielsweise eines Carbon Footprints zu verbessern oder einen CSR-Bericht nach GRI-Richtlinien aufzustellen.

Zusammenfassend können EcoVadis-Teilnehmer also von Beratung und Unterstützung durch die DFGE profitieren, und zwar in ihrer jeweiligen Landessprache. Die DFGE wurde durch EcoVadis geschult, um die offiziellen Produkte anbieten zu können.

Die ganze Pressemeldung lesen:

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Companies are key to the success of the Sustainable Development Goals


DFGE recently co-animated a webinar organized by the World Environment Center on how Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be implemented at corporate level. Here is the short summary of what was discussed there.

SDGs are the world’s new sustainability agenda

The Sustainable Development Goals were defined by the United Nations to set the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. They build on the Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015) to extend them. The 17 goals cover the three dimensions of sustainable development (Environment, Social, Economic) and targets have been defined to reach them. All countries and all stakeholders agreed to strive to implement them.

SDGs are a reference for organizations

The partnership between stakeholders and companies is key to ensure the achievement of the SDGs. In this sense, companies can use the SDGs as a reference to showcase how their actions impact the global picture: it is a way to ensure better transparency.

Like many other frameworks, it does not compete with existing standards, but companies can build upon them. For instance, answering to CDP will enable to tackle SDG 13 on climate action.

SDGs are also a framework where companies can understand the needs of the stakeholders like local institutions and communities. Dialogue with stakeholders enable companies to identify topics which are material for them, and to align it with the CSR strategy.

CSR management and reporting can help address the goals

CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is a way for companies to tackle these global challenges.

With CSR reporting, companies inform the stakeholders they previously consulted and engaged, and can show how their projects are reducing environmental, social and governance impacts.

With a CSR management system, a continuous improvement is fostered. Indeed, impacts are identified and targets are set accordingly. Then actions are implemented to reach these objectives. KPIs enable to measure the success of these actions, and a review leads to new actions.

Below you will find a list of examples of corporate actions that can be implemented.

Examples of corporate actions for each goal

  1. No poverty: labor management relations with a notice before changes, alternative solutions to lay-offs fostered through social dialogue, clear rules for remuneration
  2. Zero hunger: ensuring no poverty (SDG1) leads to less hunger. Partnerships with local community and NGOs on food topics (donation, training, volunteering,)
  3. Good health and well-being: health and safety program including stress prevention plan, ergonomics in the workplace, work-life balance measures
  4. Quality education: training plan for skills enhancement and implementation
  5. Gender equality: equal remuneration, rules for hiring, training of HR and managers on discrimination, whistle-blowing system
  6. Clean water and sanitation: water reduction project, wastewater treatment equipment
  7. Affordable and clean energy: resort to sustainable energy sources, energy reduction program
  8. Decent work and economic growth: rules for hiring, training of HR and managers on identification and prevention of child labor, forced labor, whistle-blowing system… Implementation of shared value initiatives including valorization of the value chain (for example by training a supplier, which then delivers a better product)
  9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure: participation in industry initiatives, like the EICC and the EICC code of conduct for Telecommunications sector
  10. Reduced inequalities: diversity program, non-discrimination training and whistle-blowing
  11. Sustainable cities and communities: stakeholder engagement program, shared value initiatives, community involvement program, community development program (donations, volunteering,)
  12. Responsible consumption and production: sustainable procurement program (risk-assessment, code of conduct, performance assessment, improvement actions, responsible sourcing) and promotion of sustainable consumption (eco-labels, information to customers about sourcing)
  13. Climate action: carbon footprint calculation, energy-efficient materials and measures
  14. Life below water: prevention of water pollution (waste water treatment), partnership with a dedicated NGO
  15. Life on land: natural habitats restoration, assessment of risks linked to biodiversity before construction, partnership with a dedicated NGOs
  16. Peace, justice and strong institutions: Ethics and compliance program, featuring a whistle-blowing line to report such cases, and adequate treatment
  17. Partnerships for the goals: stakeholder engagement program, partnerships on dedicated topics material for the company

If your company would like to know more about how these actions can be quickly implemented, we remain at your entire disposal at You can also visit our website: . To know more about the goals:


EcoVadis and DFGE partnership: boosting sustainable procurement in the German-speaking region

ecovadis-logo01DFGE becomes the first Consulting Partner in the German-speaking region of EcoVadis, the leader in supply chain sustainability ratings. This partnership will help companies to better answer their clients’ requests for an EcoVadis assessment, as well as to improve CSR performance.

EcoVadis, a collaborative sustainability rating platform

EcoVadis operates the first collaborative platform providing Supplier Sustainability Ratings for global supply chains. More than 25,000 companies use EcoVadis’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) assessment, including thousands in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, which provides a rating and scorecard on their environmental, social/labor, and ethical practices.

EcoVadis provides a concrete solution enabling CSR transparency in the supply chain. Companies subscribe to EcoVadis and require their suppliers to be assessed by EcoVadis on their sustainability management. This analysis is carried out by EcoVadis experts and the results are then published on a collaborative platform, accessible by both buyers and suppliers, in the shape of a scorecard.

DFGE will offer various services

EcoVadis trusts DFGE in providing trainings and pre-checks of responses. Trainings are about EcoVadis principles, the questionnaire and platform management. They aim at empowering suppliers in completing the questionnaire and responding to clients’ requests. DFGE will also provide response checks to make sure that the answers are aligned with EcoVadis requirements and methodology. With more than 15 years of experience in sustainability data management and reporting, DFGE can help suppliers to find and improve the right documentation. DFGE also offers complete service packages that reduce company’s investment in time and resources and prepare all requested information to submit to EcoVadis.

On top of that, DFGE can also provide guidance to explain the results of the scorecard, conduct an improvement plan, consolidate the sustainability management system by providing dedicated documents such as the carbon footprint, a CSR report based on GRI guidelines, among other services.

As a consequence, EcoVadis users can benefit from guidance and dedicated feedback, in their own speaking language. DFGE has been trained by EcoVadis to provide the official products.

To read the full PR:

To learn more about EcoVadis: or DFGE:

Or contact us at for any question or information.

Science Based Targets / Sectoral Decarbonization Approach: veröffentlicht Info-Papier auf Deutsch

Science Based Targets Initiative Logo (source:

Science Based Targets Initiative (source:

Die Debatte um die sogenannten “Science-based Targets” hat weiter Fahrt aufgenommen, seitdem sich zum COP21-Gipfel 2015 in Paris zahlreiche große Firmen auf konkrete, wissenschaftlich ermittelte Reduktionsziele festgelegt haben (siehe

Die deutsche Initiative “” , getragen von CDP und WWF, hat nun ein praxisorientiertes Themenpapier für Unternehmen veröffentlicht. Zum Dokument.

Darin wird der Ansatz der Science-based Targets allgemein erläutert, und besonders der “Sectoral Decarbonization Approach” genauer ausgeführt. Dies ist eine vom CDP mitentwickelte Methode zur Ermittlung, wieviel Emissionen ein bestimmtes Unternehmen z.B. bis 2050 einsparen muss, um in der Summe der Gesamtwirtschaft das Ziel von max. 2°C Erderwärmung erreichen zu können.

Dazu werden Annahmen getroffen, welches Potential zur Emissionsreduzierung in jedem Sektor zu wirtschaftlich vertretbaren Kosten erschliessbar ist. Daraus ergeben sich dann gewisse “Emissions-Budgets”, die jedem Sektor zur Verfügung stehen.

Mithilfe weiterer Eckdaten können Unternehmen in Folge ihren Status quo ermitteln und, unter Berücksichtigung wirtschaftlicher Prognosen, ihren individuellen Zielkorridor zur Reduzierung ermittlen. Hierzu ist auch ein Online-Tool verfügbar.

Der Report fordert Unternehmen, auch Mittelständler, auf, sich bereits heute mit der Thematik zu beschäftigen.

Die DFGE, als Experten im Bereich Emissions-Management und Reporting und offizieller CDP Silver Climate Change Consultancy Partner, bietet umfassende Unterstützung in diesem Bereich an. Sprechen Sie uns an unter oder +49.8192.99733-20.







We just released our sustainability report – what about you?

Endorser Logo_gradient_blue_RGB


DFGE – Institute for Energy, Ecology and Economy is happy to share its second CSR/sustainability report, which takes the shape of a Communication On Progress (COP).

What is a Communication On Progress (COP)?

In 2015, DFGE produced its first Communication On Progress, a document showing the targets, the actions implemented to reach the targets and the measurement of outcomes for four sustainability issues: Human rights, Labor Practices, Environment and Anti-corruption.

These issues are listed under the 10 United Nations Global Compact principles.

Companies who commit to the United Nations Global Compact need to issue this Communication on Progress on a yearly basis. This document can be considered as the CSR or Sustainability report of the company.


What can be the main highlights?

For each topic, companies can explain which risks they have identified and on which basis, set related targets and formalize commitments in this sense. For instance, DFGE committed to promote UNGC and CSR even more, hoping to have at least one additional partner taking part in this international initiative.

Then, organizations can describe their actions and specify their scope of application, their purpose, etc. For instance, DFGE of course assessed its own carbon footprint to identify sources of emissions that lead to take new commitments and set new targets.

Finally, a measurement of outcomes enables stakeholders to understand the progress of the organization in each domain. For example, DFGE committed in 2015 to formalize hiring processes and to implement appraisal interviews, and in 2016 it was reported that these targets were met.


What are the benefits of such submission?

As a sustainability solution provider, DFGE wants to uphold and support CSR/sustainability international standards. For any company, it is an internationally recognized tool that can help disclose information to stakeholders in an easy way. Indeed, the Communication On Progress offers flexibility as the principles can be adapted to any company according to its size, sector, location, corporate culture. It is also a tool that helps improving sustainability management thanks to the goal-setting and reviewing.

You can consult DFGE’s COP on the UN Global Compact database. Further information on our website: or on the UN Global Compact portal