Developing implementation strategies for sustainable practices in businesses

Sustainability is long established in Germany as a fundamental principle in government policy. Equally, with its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 2030 Agenda, the United Nations also adheres to an ambitious plan to enshrine sustainability as a guiding principle in important areas of life, politics and business. The challenge now is to effectively implement such ambitious international and national sustainability goals. This requires a 'smart' mixture of policy tools. And that is precisely what this project intended to tackle.

The aim was to promote sustainable business practices by linking environmental management – in particular, EMAS – to an even greater extent with existing environmental and economic policy toolkits. This involved a focus on current policy initiatives to support circular economy, sustainability reporting and climate policy instruments. A comprehensive concept was developed and implemented in order to:

  • Highlight potentials for expanding or enhancing existing linkages, such as company certification and monitoring by authorities;
  • Demonstrate new ways to link environmental management with other instruments and measures;
  • Compile recommendations for action.

In addition, the project has initiated the implementation process for three selected potential linkages, and established a dialogue with relevant actors from politics and the business community. adelphi led the project and coordinated the work of the project partners. It was also responsible for analysing existing linkages as well as exploring new ones. Through expert dialogues and interviews, adelphi ensured a thorough exchange with experts and stakeholder groups.