Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH
GTZ is a federal enterprise based in Eschborn near Frankfurt am Main. It was founded in 1975 as a company under private law. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is its major client. The company also operates on behalf of other German ministries, the governments of other countries and international clients, such as the European Commission, the United Nations and the World Bank, as well as on behalf of private enterprises. GTZ works on a public-benefit basis. All surpluses generated are channeled back into its own international cooperation projects for sustainable development.
GTZ and CSR
The issue of corporate social responsibility (CSR)– once a special field for business ethicists – is today on the agendas of businesses, ministries and international organisations. The adoption of social and ecological responsibility is increasingly recognised as the foundation for sustainable corporate management: that is, CSR not as charity but as a strategic competitive advantage.
The central argument for CSR is, in addition to ethical considerations, the "business argument" – raising corporate economic performance levels through socially and ecologically sustainable corporate policy.
There are many advantages: proactive risk prevention, investment in the future, and a good reputation with employees, customers, investors, policy-makers and the public. In addition, CSR strategies are often accompanied by increases in quality and productivity.
For GTZ, CSR is an important issue, because the spectrum of responsible and sustainable corporate policy includes a number of areas relevant to development policy:
- guarantees of human rights
- the introduction of social standards
- prevention of HIV/AIDS
- supplier certification
- safety at work
- consumer protection
- climate protection
- caring for the environment and
- the sustainable management of natural resources
GTZ and Gender
GTZ and BMZ are co-funding a project to improve the coverage of gender issues in sustainability reporting by building dialogue around the issue and identifying ways to improve its coverage in the GRI Sustainability Reporting Framework. This dialogue will take place during a number of multi-stakeholder consultative workshops.
The project, which is jointly implemented by IFC and GRI with additional funding from the Icelandic and Swiss governments, initiates a process that will - as part of a wider project - lead to the development of a Gender Resource Document, which will support future expert groups working on the refinement of GRI performance indicators for the next generation of Guidelines and development of Sector Supplements.