A sustainability strategy for the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

A man in a white longsleeved shirt is writing on a post-it note, preparing to pin it to a whiteboard labeled with Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4.

Companies are a part of society and have a corresponding responsibility. In Germany, large and capital market-oriented companies are legally obligated to meet this responsibility to a quantifiable extent, including through the CSR Directive Implementation Act from 2014. Behind this bulky title hides legislation on the mandatory reporting of non-financial information – e.g. greenhouse gas emissions, occupational safety – for listed companies with more than 500 employees. While the law does not directly apply to smaller companies and foundations, these organisations are increasingly interested in the systematic measurement and reporting of their sustainability. They are not necessarily driven by fear of legal repercussions, but by a desire for more information about their sustainability on the part of existing and potential employees, business partners and customers. The sustainable development of an organisation represents one thing above all – the minimisation of future risks, which builds trust.

With its non-profit work, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung supports the basic values of social democracy: freedom, justice and solidarity. For the foundation, these fundamental values are meant to be lived not only in politics, but in daily life. To help the organisation meet this requirement, adelphi is supporting the development of its sustainability strategy by way of a participatory process.

The continuous involvement of the workforce helps improve the applicability and implementation of any sustainability strategy. adelphi contributes the required knowledge about national and international standards of sustainability reporting, as well as an understanding of in-person and digital moderation in participatory processes. After analysing the key sustainability issues, adelphi is working with the foundation’s sustainability team to develop a catalogue of indicators along with an implementation concept. Ongoing exchange across all departments in the foundation helps the implementation of the strategy and enables the continuous collection of data – because even the best sustainability strategy is of little use if it ignores the day-to-day work of employees.