As of the fiscal year 2017, large companies and organisations in the EU are obliged to disclose information about the social and ecological aspects of their business operations. The Sustainability Code is a simple and effective tool that was initiated by the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) and already meets the EU’s reporting obligation. Users therefore fill out a declaration of conformity based on the 20 criteria of the Sustainability Code. The Code’s database assists with reporting and publishes completed declarations of conformity on the website. To minimise the amount of work and transaction costs for companies and to increase the initiative’s usefulness, RNE has now created interfaces within the system that facilitate both the import and export of data and information. The usage of the Sustainability Code is free of charge.
Making it easier to share information
With the help of application programming interfaces (API), data and content can be transferred between various websites, programmes or databases, simplifying the integration of information. The Sustainability Code Database now has an interface that can be used to import contents from other systems – such as management systems or software solutions for compiling sustainability reports. Users that have deposited information with compatible providers can now set up a company profile and reporting year in the database and the system then copies in their data at the push of a button.
Successful cooperation for data exports
Also with immediate effect, it is now possible to export declarations of conformity to other databases and thereby make use of the published content by rating agencies or by competitions on sustainable corporate practices. ‘In this way, we are creating added value for companies, because they only have to publish their data once – saving them time and money in future,’ says Yvonne Zwick, Manager of RNE’s Sustainability Code Office. ‘At the same time, we are increasing the market relevance and usefulness of declarations of conformity and generating greater coherence with other actors. ‘The first cooperation partner to have successfully integrated content from published declarations is CSRHub, a large international database for CSR information and sustainability ratings. Another partnership is planned with WikiRate.org, a global platform funded by the European Commission, aiming to illuminate the social and ecological impacts of corporations. Herewith, stakeholders have the possibility to not only read the data but also to analyse and comment on it.
Aiming to expand cooperation
The network of cooperation partners is set to continue growing in future in a bid to assist companies and organisations with the disclosure of non-financial information. Further avenues of cooperation are in the pipeline. If you are interested in becoming a partner, please contact the Sustainability Code Office of the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) (firstname.lastname@example.org)