Corporate Social Responsibility is voluntary but by no means arbitrary. To qualify as a CSR enterprise, a firm must prove and document a systematic and planned commitment to sustainability. This is becoming increasingly important for companies in the property business as their stakeholders’ expectations rise. The present analysis shows that German real estate companies compare well with their international counterparts, representing 15 per cent of all real estate firms reporting on the basis of the Global Reporting Initiative in 2012. Of the 135 companies in Germany surveyed, only a small proportion classify themselves as CSR enterprises, however. This number could be rapidly increased by better documentation of companies’ commitment to sustainability.
Many companies are voluntarily committed to CSR activities. Now, larger companies are required to publish sustainability reports. Whether these help to drive the commitment, however, is questionable, since conflicts of interest still remain.
Report for Bertelsmann Stiftung