Pilot project: corsus prepares the first sustainability report for the city of Aschaffenburg according to the German reporting framework for sustainable municipalities (BNK)

The challenge

Municipalities are important drivers for the implementation of sustainable development as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To date, however, there is no uniform standard against which municipalities can evaluate and report on the implementation of their sustainability strategies and projects. That is why the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE), together with other stakeholders, has developed a German reporting framework for sustainable municipalities (BNK). The reporting framework is beeing tested since March 2021 in joint projects with the Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW) and many municipal partners of the Regional Network Units for Sustainability Strategies (RENN). The city of Aschaffenburg is expected to be one of 20 pilot municipalities from all over Germany to prepare its own sustainability report based on the BNK.

The approach

Funded by SKEW, Dr. Anke Butscher and Julius Wenzig from corsus, together with Julia Pfinder, are supporting the pilot project with process assistance and management, their technical expertise and the writing of the BNK. At the City of Aschaffenburg, the primary contact persons are from the Office for Environmental and Consumer Protection and the specialist departments. In addition, internal workshops with other people from the administration as well as external workshops with stakeholders from Aschaffenburg were designed and conducted to gather the most important sustainability aspects of the city. Since the BNK and the associated report template are still in the development phase, it is also necessary to develop a reporting form that is suitable for the city and at the same time complies with the BNK.

The outlook

Three workshops were held with employees and managers of the administration, selected city council members and civil society to compile the most important sustainability aspects of the city. The next step will be to discuss the resulting BNK with the Office for Environmental and Consumer Protection and with a steering committee of the administration. After approval by the committee, the report will be presented at the city council meeting and adjusted if necessary. By the end of March 2022, the preparation of the report is to be completed and the final report will be subsequently presented to the general public.

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