Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


KfW Sustainability Indicator 2013: no more than limited progress

- Economy indicator continues to improve at a high level: labour force participation rate records new all-time high

- Environment indicator has declined: weather causes increase in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions

- Social cohesion indicator slightly improved: economic trend supports integration via the labour market

The KfW Sustainability Indicator 2013 is weaker than in the previous year and only just above the average value of the preceding ten years. While the "economy" and "social cohesion" dimensions continued to record positive figures, the environment dimension worsened substantially.

"Germany continues to report a sustained performance. The economic situation on the labour market, in particular, is leading to greater social cohesion, which is very positively reflected in our indicator. At the same time, however, higher energy consumption due to growth and the weather weigh on the environmental balance and mar the overall result. If growth in Germany continues to show increased momentum in 2014, it will once again be a challenge to keep the environment indicator above the 10-year average next year", said Dr Jörg Zeuner, Chief Economist of the KfW Group.

Economy: situation on the labour market leads to substantial increase

Germany was able in 2012 to keep private and state spending on research and development high. The labour participation rate rose to a fresh all-time high of 53.5%. This makes a key contribution to the good result of the economy dimension of the KfW Sustainability Indicator, which now exceeds the average for the preceding ten years by 0.6 points. By contrast, the persistently low level of investment activity by the state and by companies gives cause for concern.

"Despite good financing conditions, the net investment ratio stands at only 2.6%. This is too low for a sustained performance in Germany", said Dr Zeuner.

Environment: progress becoming more difficult

The environment dimension fell to an all-time low in 2012 (-0.5 points). The decline was due to the weather-related increase in energy consumption and to the pro rata increase in the use of brown coal and hard coal, which led to rising greenhouse gas emissions and lower energy productivity. The trend of raw material productivity recorded a deterioration for the first time in 2012. On a positive note, noise pollution was improved while land consumption was reduced. "As renewable energies continue to expand, the targeted objectives of the energy turnaround require, in particular, a faster pace in the improvement of energy efficiency", said Dr Zeuner.

Social cohesion: falling unemployment helping participation and integration

The social cohesion dimension continued the positive performance seen in previous years and at 0.4 remained only 0.1 points below the previous year's figure. Boosted by the good performance on the labour market the social participation of all population groups improved.

The percentage of the long-term unemployed was encouragingly low, and in 2012 people of foreign origin were better integrated into the labour market than in the previous years. Although the percentage of people with low qualifications (25 to 30 year olds without an educational qualification) has fallen further, it remains too high at just under one quarter. The ageing society is likely to have made a major contribution to the increase in the incidences of illness requiring hospital treatment.

The KfW Sustainability Indicator

The KfW Sustainability Indicator provides quantitative information on the progress made in the sustainable development in Germany. Appropriate key topics were identified for the areas of the economy, the environment and social cohesion and backed by the appropriate basic indicators. In total, three key topics with 24 basic indicators were selected.

The progress in the sustainability situation was measured using changes in these basic indicators over time. The common benchmark for all basic indicators is to be at least as good as or better than the average score of the more recent past, which is defined as a sliding ten-year period prior to the relevant reference year. The individual information is consolidated into an overall value of the KfW Sustainability Indicator by applying a scoring method.

The full results and information on the make-up of the KfW Sustainability Indicator 2013 are available for download at

Palmengartenstr. 5 - 9, 60325 Frankfurt
Kommunikation (KOM) Dr Charis Pöthig
Tel. +49 (0)69 7431 4400, Fax: +49 (0)69 7431 3266,
E-Mail:, Internet:

Dr Charis Pöthig | presseportal
Further information:

More articles from Business and Finance:

nachricht Blockchain Set to Transform the Financial Services Market
28.09.2016 | HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management

nachricht Paper or plastic?
08.07.2016 | University of Toronto

All articles from Business and Finance >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>