Promoting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

While Governments provide the framework for their operation, businesses, for their part, are expected to engage as reliable and consistent partners in the development process. We urge businesses to take into account not only the economic and financial but also the developmental, social, gender and environmental implications of their undertakings.
Monterrey Consensus

A muslim woman working in a factory for dressing material. Copyright: Photothek.netThrough its business activity any enterprise affects the conditions under which its staff live and work, as well as affecting its clients, the natural environment and the economic environment. In today's modern setting, the responsibility that goes along with this is an important corporate policy issue.

Corporate Social Responsibility forms part of the vision of sus­tain­able development on which German government policy is based. To build frameworks for action together with the private sector and improve people's lives in developing countries, BMZ supports private-sector engagement for sustainable development.

As markets continue to globalise, companies will increasingly need to practice Corporate Social Responsibility at the global level.

Almost all international corporations have formulated ethical principles, known as codes of conduct, which affect their business processes and their engagement in developing countries. Not least among the contributing factors to this development has been worldwide consumer pressure. That is why one of the tasks of German development cooperation is to raise consumer aware­ness on production conditions and the social situation in com­pa­nies. In addition, the BMZ supports fair trade and backs re­spon­sible, sustainable engagement by companies in developing countries, for example through programmes to support deve­lop­ment partnerships with the private sector such as

The BMZ is also committed to helping establish decent labour standards. Examples of these initiatives include the Voluntary Code of Conduct for the Coffee Sector, which the BMZ initiated in cooperation with the German Coffee Association and GIZ, as well as the Round Table Codes of Conduct, which draws up guidelines to apply to the activities of German enterprises in developing countries.

The BMZ also supports the Global Compact, an alliance between business, governments and civil society initiated by the United Nations in order to strengthen CSR. The Global Compact has become the world's largest and most important schemes of its kind.

BMZ glossary

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