Dear participants of the first Chilean sustainability week,
dear members of the Corporación Ciudadana Diálogos del Presente,

I am very pleased about the opportunity to contribute to today’s event. As the chairman of the German Council for Sustainable Development, I am particularly happy to see such a wonderful and timely initiative being started in Chile. Let me congratulate you for this initiative to advocate for a whole-of-society approach for sustainability in Chile.

The German Council for Sustainable Development is a multi-stakeholder body composed of 15 members from politics, academia, the private sector and civil society appointed by Chancellor Angela Merkel to support the German government on sustainable policy making. The Council is primarily tasked with contributing to the German Sustainable Development Strategy, specifying concrete areas of action and making sustainability a public issue of vital importance.

Deliberating on critical topics and identifying policy-pathaways ahead across stakeholder groups on topics such as the protection of our climate and our natural resources but also social cohesion in our country and worldwide, is what we stand for. We try to provide innovative impulses for political and social dialogue around all aspects of sustainable development on the local, regional, national, continental and international level. Transformation is needed in the energy sector, the food sector, the housing sector, the mobility sector but also in sectors specifically important in your country like the mining sector. Even though we in Germany are in the privileged position to have a national sustainable development strategy to base our activities on, it is still a huge challenge to contribute to all 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda and to transform our society and industry to climate neutrality.

However, by piloting innovative and practical initiatives like our German Sustainability Code as a reporting tool for companies and by fostering networks across regions and across stakeholders like our RENN network of regional hubs, we can enhance peer to peer learning, raise more awareness and mobilize all citizens and businesses to collectively advance sustainability.

One of our projects at the German Council is quite similar to the Semana Chilena de la Sostenibilidad: The German Sustainability Action Days, during which we aim to enhance the visibility of activities that set an example to others throughout the country. In September 2020 around 2000 mainly virtual events (due to the Covid-19 pandemic) were part of our Sustainability
Action Days throughout our country, which are embedded in a European-wide Sustainable Development Week with over 4000 events.

Every individual, organization, company or institution can help change things for the better. Such action days therefore address the whole of society and represent a crucial tool in jointly accelerating the action and advocating for change that is so strongly needed.

I believe that strong and diverse networks represent one of the most fundamental aspects in achieving sustainable and inclusive development for all.

We, at the German Council, are therefore always glad when we can see like-minded organizations reaching out into their communities to create the momentum for change, we need.

I wish you a successful Semana Chilena de la Sostenibilidad which can further push the implementation of our common global agenda, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in your country.

Thank you very much.
Yours sincerely,

Werner Schnappauf
Chairman – German Council for Sustainable Development


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