ABSTRACT

Europe’s recent CSR policy experiments are a relatively recent phenomenon, but they build on a long and rich tradition of responsibility in its member states, and this is especially true for Germany. My first visit to Germany was in 2002 when I was still Director of Sustainability Services at KPMG in South Africa. We were conducting a safety, health and environmental (SHE) corporate governance audit for a multinational chemical company and had site visits in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, United States and South Africa. I have two enduring impressions from that visit. First was the number of wind turbines I saw as we drove from Frankfurt to the chemical plant; and the second was how systems-driven the SHE team was – there were models and spreadsheets and management systems for everything. It was hard not to be impressed.