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KfW Sustainability Indicator 2015: Trend towards greater sustainability in Germany continues
Frankfurt am Main (ots) -
- Aggregate indicator still at high level from previous year - Environment as an increasingly dynamic dimension - progress with respect to climate protection and energy efficiency - Still substantial potential in investment, innovation and education - Germany on track for UN Sustainable Development Goals
In Germany, the trend towards greater sustainability continues. With an overall score of 0.5, the current KfW Sustainability Indicator is in line with the strong figure for the prior year. The aggregated value of the 24 basic indicators once again exceeds the average of the previous ten years. This is driven by positive trends in all three of the sustainability dimensions surveyed - the economy, the environment and social cohesion.
The German economy continued to develop in a sustainable manner in 2014, and is clearly exceeding the long-term average again at 0.6 points. Progress with respect to climate protection and an increase in energy efficiency are strengthening the environmental dimension, which has climbed to 0.3 points. Social cohesion also shows a positive development and reached an extremely positive level, despite stagnation in the fields of education as well as economic and political participation and empowerment.
"The KfW Sustainability Indicator shows that Germany is firmly on the path of sustainability," commented Dr Jörg Zeuner, KfW's Chief Economist. "However, this does not allow us to sit back and relax, especially as far as investment, innovation and education are concerned. We also have to maintain our efforts with regard to climate protection and the energy turnaround. The UN Sustainable Development Goals, which will officially be adopted in New York at the end of September, pose substantial challenges for Germany as well. But we are on the right track," said Dr Zeuner.
About the three sustainability dimensions
At 0.6 points, economic development outperformed the long-term average for the sixth year in a row in 2014. A high level of labour force participation is contributing to the positive trend. While investments have improved slightly, the backlog is still enormous, especially in the field of infrastructure investment. Traffic, energy, digitalisation, innovation and education - these are the areas in which Germany will have to invest to achieve sustainable economic development.
A marked decrease in greenhouse gas emissions of 4.3% and a clear increase in energy productivity of 6.7% led to an increase in the sustainability indicator for the environment from 0.0 to 0.3 points. Nevertheless, considerable effort is still needed if the energy efficiency and climate protection goals for 2020 are to be reached. The increase in air pollutant emissions and the decline in biological diversity are having a negative effect on the indicator.
At 0.8 points, the society dimension is in line with the high prior-year level of 0.9. The strong result is mainly driven by improvements in the key area of health, where a decrease in the incidence of sickness has come as positive news. The stagnating long-term unemployment rate, on the other hand, is having a negative effect. Moreover, the decrease in early school leavers has not yet led to a lower share of low-skilled workers.
The KfW Sustainability Indicator
KfW Research has been analysing the progress of sustainable development in Germany since 2007. It summarises the results annually in the KfW Sustainability Indicator. A total of 24 basic indicators are included in the survey, comprising the three sustainability dimensions economy, environment and social cohesion. The progress in the sustainability situation is measured using changes in the basic indicators over time. The common benchmark for all basic indicators is to at least reach if not outperform the average of the previous ten years (moving ten-year average). The individual information is consolidated into an overall value of the KfW Sustainability Indicator by applying a scoring method.
The full results and detailed information on how the KfW Sustainability Indicator is arrived at are available for download at www.kfw.de/nachhaltigkeitsindikator.