SUSTAINABILITY BECOMES THE GUIDING PRINCIPLE
At the first UN summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, more than 180 nations signed the guiding principle of sustainable development. Only a few months later, in the spring of 1993, Sabine Braun and Renate Volk founded the consulting firm akzente in Munich, Germany. Its objective: to build a bridge between business and society, and to support them in providing transparency and bringing about transformation.
GLOBALIZATION TAKES ITS TOLL
Globalization gained momentum, fueling fear all around the world. In 1999, UN General Secretary Kofi Annan initiated the Global Compact in Davos to give the world a humane face. On behalf of the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU), akzente experimented with ways of implementing sustainability in companies and published a guideline for this purpose.
EU HOLDS COMPANIES ACCOUNTABLE
With the EU Green Paper, corporate social responsibility became part of the political equation. Shortly after the corruption scandal at Siemens, akzente helped the company expand its sustainability reporting. Numerous other scandals proved just how important a new awareness for governance and compliance was.
THE WAKE-UP CALLS OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE FINANCIAL CRISIS
In the spring of 2008, the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) put out an urgent warning about climate change. Even the German tabloid BILD published an extensive report. In the fall of the same year, the collapse of the Lehman Brothers Bank triggered a global financial crisis. Sustainability gained a new meaning. At the time, akzente became involved in reporting, consulting and communication projects for Commerzbank, HypoVereinsbank and the KfW Banking Group.
SUSTAINABILITY GOES MAINSTREAM
The collapse of the Rana Plaza textile factory in Bangladesh pushed forward discussions about working conditions along supply chains. In Germany, the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles (Textilbündnis) and the German National Action Plan for Human Rights (NAP) were established. The European CSR guidelines obliged companies to become more transparent. akzente gained more and more B2C companies as its clients. In 2014, we developed a guideline for implementing the German Sustainability Codex in medium-sized companies.
THE FUTURE NEEDS AKZENTE
For our 25th anniversary, we’ve set our sights on the future. The opening of our Berlin office is bolstering the network linking the world of politics, associations and NGOs. Our 30-strong Munich-based team is more powerful than ever. In just ten weeks, akzente created the most comprehensive study on implementing the CSR reporting obligation on behalf of the German Global Compact Network and ecosense.
Sabine Braun Managing Partner
Dr. Thomas Melde Managing Partner
Jane Ehlers Director
Thomas Wagner Director
Philipp Dahl Director
Hendrikje Lehmann Senior Manager HR
Philipp Hofmann Senior Manager IT
Lisa Reichensperger Senior Expert Communication
Benno Kahrens Senior Consultant
Elisabeth Senger Senior Consultant
Paul Rieger Senior Editor
Sylvia Hofer-Jendros Senior Expert
Alice Gumppenberg Senior Expert
Thomas Loew Senior Expert
Marcus Blank Consultant
Simone Grill Consultant
Dr. Axel Klein Senior Editor
Katharina Schmid Consultant
Frederike Kouker Editor
Verena Lorenz Consultant
Johannes Fleischmann Editor
Clara Muth Editor
Phillip Kaeding Consultant
Karolina Krauss Consultant
Paula Schaudig Consultant
Felix Oelhaf Consultant
Clara Jensen Consultant
Silvia Liebermann Editor
Julia Frank Consultant
Felix Püplichhuisen Senior Expert
Frederik Kauling Consultant
Annabel Schickner Consultant
Jessica Schallock Editor
Johannes Ulbrich Senior Consultant
Pauline Vernimb Consultant
Katharina Müller Consultant
Gregor Rahn Consultant
Brigitte Rataj Office Manager
Angelika Thurner Accountant
Daniel Schwarz Art Director
Collaboration with our partners is what makes us strong. We successfully carry out many of our projects hand in hand with fors.earth and sustainable AG. Their expertise stems from the fields of strategic and organizational development, management systems, climate protection end emissions trade, among other areas.
Our agency partnerships ensure a lasting impression, above all with loveto, artelier and 3st. We collaborate with them to give striking visibility to our sustainability efforts. The process has always been smooth, as we look back on the long and successful collaborations we’ve shared.
We’re closely networked with many ministries, authorities, organizations, institutions, associations, universities and experts. We’re also involved in the development of sustainability standards—which is why we tend to enter the picture quite quickly and can always assess what’s important and what’s on the horizon.