German Sustainability Award Companies



The award aims to encourage companies to act sustainably and help to better anchor the principles of sustainable development in public perception. It aims to prove that responsible behaviour not only helps to solve social and ecological problems on a global or local scale but can also increase profitability and competitiveness.

The challenges of climate change, resource scarcity and species loss are intensifying. At the same time, the competences of the sustainable economy in Germany are growing. Pioneers from all sectors have long been demonstrating which solutions work and how practical transformation works. The task now is to disseminate their knowledge and experience. This is why the 17th GSA is honouring the pioneers of sustainability in 100 sectors.

The award is sponsored by the German Sustainability Award Foundation (Stiftung Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitspreis e. V.). To strengthen the project, the foundation cooperates with institutions, companies and organisations.
All partners and sponsors can be found here.

The German Sustainability Award highlights companies that operate in a particularly sustainable manner in 100 sectors. Nominees, finalists and a winner will be selected in each sector. The methodology reflects different company sizes and regional diversity. The development dynamics among established frontrunners, up-and-comers and newcomers are also reflected.

In addition to the industry pioneers, the GSA continues to recognise cross-sector companies that have made particularly important and exemplary contributions in the most important transformation fields. They serve as special examples in one field to spread the transformation. To this end, the winners in all sectors are considered together.

All sectors and industries can also be found here.

The GSA helps companies to accelerate their own transformation, differentiate themselves positively in the market and use sustainability reporting as a helpful tool. Since 2023, the GSA utilises a new methodology that focuses on industry-specific, material topics and is based on the new EU regulation CSRD and the EU reporting standards ESRS. With the new methodology companies can come into contact with ESRS reporting structures for the first time and utilise findings regarding fundamental topics for their own industry. The profile can also provide important information and discussion impetus for the company's own transformation.

The GSA facilitates the exchange of experience, transfer of expertise and in-depth insights into transformation in all sectors. The GSA's new formats bring together the industry winners, the frontrunners from all competitions, associations, the media, politics and society. The winners will each receive a free complimentary ticket to the German Sustainability Award ceremony on 28 November and the German Sustainability Day congress on 28 and 29 November 2024 at the MARITIM Hotel Düsseldorf (Maritim-Platz 1, 40468 Düsseldorf).
With the GSA seal, pioneers, nominees, finalists and winners can communicate their success for a licence fee based on company size

The seal of the German Sustainability Award documents an outstanding position in the field of sustainability - towards customers, suppliers, the media and the financial world.

The "Nominee"seal with the year can be used indefinitely in the context of the company, regardless of the further course of the competition.

The "Finalist"seal can be used for an unlimited period of time in the context of the company, regardless of the further course of the competition, stating the year.

If successful, it will be exchanged for the "Winner"-seal.

The licensing income ensures a broad appeal to participants, excellent assessments, jury work at the highest level and professional organisation of the events. They help to keep the participation fees for the competitions low and congress participation free of charge, e.g. for NGOs and students. The licence fees are staggered according to the possibilities of the applicants and set with a sense of proportion.

If you have general questions about the German Sustainability Award, please contact the German Sustainability Award office at or +49 211 5504-5510.


All companies offering products or services in Germany (except for the winners of the Company Award in the last three years).

The application phase runs from 11 March 2024 to 17 April 2024.

To take part in the GSA Company competition, you create a sustainability profile for your company in your sector via score4more, our research partner.

Yes, you can take part in several GSA competitions with your company. You can find an overview of our competitions here.

Applying for the GSA is free of charge..

Companies from all sectors and of all sizes (with the exception of the winners of the company award in the last three years) can still apply.

Based on the profiles, the score4more scoring system identifies companies with the most effective contributions to transformation - the pioneers in each industry. The profile data is categorised according to a 6-stage methodology analogous to the hotel star system. These scoring levels are applied to all criteria in the sustainability profile and are defined individually for each criterion.

The average scoring of the company is calculated from the individual scores. In addition, where relevant, the research partners provide publicly visible and relevant (media) reports on the company over the last 3 years. Researched profiles and profiles created by the company itself are treated equally in the evaluation. A ranking of the top companies is created on the basis of the evaluations.

Specialist juries for sectors or individual industries nominate the 10 pioneers from the top performers in each industry. In doing so, they take into account the scorings, but also different company sizes and development dynamics. Personal expertise and subjective assessments are taken into account here. Each sector is assessed by a panel of experts. It consists of around four experts. The jury members are independent and not bound by any particular interests. The jury evaluation in each sector takes place in a two-stage process. The first vote is to determine the 10 pioneers based on the sustainability profiles resulting from research and applications. The nominees/pioneers are informed of their success and can update or add to their profile. The industry jury will then use this (new) basis to decide on the top field in the second voting. The work of the specialist juries concludes with the top 3 (finalists) and one winner in each of 100 sectors.

In addition to the industry winners, the GSA recognises those companies across all sectors that have made particularly important and exemplary contributions in the most important areas of transformation. They serve as special examples that spread motivation across the board. The assessment partners from PwC Germany and CSM Lüneburg only look at the sector winners. Each of the 100 companies is assigned to the most relevant transformation field for its industry: Climate, Resources, Nature, Society or Value Chain; the additional GSA can be awarded in this field. For each transformation field, the assessment partners use the available data to determine which of the companies demonstrate particularly effective and exemplary sustainability performance across all sectors. The assessment partners determine the top group in each of the five transformation fields. In doing so, they aim to achieve a balanced plateau per transformation field, taking into account as many large, medium-sized and small/medium-sized companies as possible, a variety of sectors and maturity levels from newcomers to established companies.

The decision on the winners in each transformation field is made by the interdisciplinary jury of the German Sustainability Award for Companies. It differs from the specialist juries. In accordance with the statutes of the GSA, the panel of approximately 16 people is appointed annually by the Board of Trustees, which takes into account the personal and professional suitability of the individual jurors as well as a balanced representation of different stakeholder interests in the jury as a whole. The rules for jury work in specialist juries and the company jury are basically identical. The jury evaluation in each transformation field takes place in a multi-stage process. The jury decides by simple majority in a secret ballot. It selects the finalists and the winner in each transformation field, who are informed of their good performance and invited to the award ceremony. The winners will only be announced at the 17th German Sustainability Award ceremony on 28 November 2024 in Düsseldorf.

You can find out more about the methodology here.

No, only the nominees, top 3 and winners in each sector will be announced.

The congress (German Sustainability Day) will take place on 28 and 29 November 2024 at the MARITIM Hotel in Düsseldorf. The German Sustainability Award for Companies will be presented on the evening of 28 November.

Sustainability profile - content-related questions

The sustainability profiles reflect the GSA 's previous methodology, which is based on the most important transformation fields. These fields are derived from the United Nations 2030 Agenda, the goals of the EU Green Deal and the German government's sustainability strategy. The sub-themes also reflect the requirements of the EU taxonomy and the new EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and the corresponding European Sustainability Reporting Standard (ESRS) as the new European reporting standard.

The transformation fields with sub-topics are (based on ESRS with ESRS ID):

- Climate (esp. climate change mitigation and adaptation; E1),
- Resources (esp. circular economy and water; E5/E3),
- Nature (esp. pollutants and biodiversity; E2/E4),
- Value chain (esp. employees and supply chain; S1/S2) and
- Society (esp. communities and consumers; S3/S4)

Each company is assessed based on its sustainability profile. The profiles are sector-specific and reflect key sustainability issues for the sector in question. The profile includes:

- Industry classification sector and industry according to GSA
- Company data / business size data
- Contact person from published data / application
- URL link to the report / published sustainability achievements
- Abstract of the company's sustainability story

- 1st transformation field (highest materiality in the industry; four criteria relating to measures and solutions)
- 2nd transformation field (materiality in the industry; one criterion relating to measures and solutions)
- 3rd transformation field (materiality in the sector; one criterion relating to measures and solutions)
- One indicator CO2e emissions of the last 3 years (Scope 1, 2 and 3)
- Further measures/solutions of the company
- Upload option for additional information

You can find out more about the methodology here.

The information in the sustainability profile is based on a source document in which the company has published the information, e.g. a sustainability report, a declaration of compliance with the German Sustainability Code (DNK) or published information on the company's website. Other content that companies wish to add to their application can be added if it has also been published. This mirrors developments in EU regulation and rating agencies: the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) will further increase transparency and the importance of published sustainability performance for the EU Green Deal and Sustainable Finance across the economy through mandatory reporting. Rating agencies are also increasingly only evaluating published performance and not exclusively internally communicated performance. In this way, the GSA aims to provide a positive incentive for greater transparency towards stakeholders and the public.

Key sustainability issues vary from sector to sector. In the social sector, social sustainability issues are material, while in energy-intensive industries, climate and energy issues are important. These industry specifics are mapped via the sustainability profile and the industry-specific selection of fields, sub-topics and criteria.

You select the sector in which your company is predominantly active, i.e. in which it generates most of its turnover or added value.

If you are unsure which sector is the right one in your case: As part of the registration process, once you have selected a sector, you will be shown examples of which sectors a sector comprises. You can already find an overview of all sectors and industries on our methodology page. If in doubt, please contact score4more's methodological support team at or by telephone on 030 57712661 for assistance with sector selection.

If your company has different divisions or sub-companies that operate in different sectors, one division can also create its own profile in a different sector. The prerequisite is that there is a delimitable sub-company, and that the sustainability performance of the sub-company is published independently, e.g. via a separate sustainability report for the sub-company or independent descriptions in the report of the main company. The profile for the sub-company is created by a separate user and with a different company name.

To change your company to another sector, please contact score4more support at or 030 57712661.

The profile focusses on a few key topics for your company's chosen sector and is based on the EU regulation ESRS. This makes it easier to compare industry-specific, material issues across different companies. If your company has provided and published sustainability services that are not queried in the profile, but you would like to communicate these to the GSA for the competition, additional input fields and an optional upload option for an additional document are available under the "German Sustainability Award" tab.

Many companies, especially small, sustainability-orientated SMEs, do not yet have a sustainability report or a declaration on the German Sustainability Code. Companies without a report can still create a profile and alternatively provide a URL link to the best possible published source where the information provided in the profile can be found. This can be, for example, sustainability descriptions on the company's website.

The sustainability profile is only visible to you and the score4more team, which analyses the services described. As part of the cooperation with the German Sustainability Award, the information in the profile is made available to the GSA in order to determine nominees, finalists and winners. In the future, registered company representatives will be able to control the visibility of their profile and decide for themselves whether they want to make their profile public or share it with their business partners, for example.

Sustainability profile - technical/organisational issues

Yes, the sustainability profile can only be edited online via the score4more platform.

In principle, you can access and edit your profile permanently and at any time. However, please note that - in the event of an application - only data entered by 7 April 2024 can be considered for this year's call for applications for the German Sustainability Award. You will still have access to your profile after this date. However, changes after this period will only be considered in the 2025 competition.

Yes, under the "German Sustainability Award" tab in your profile screen, you have the option of adding a limited amount of additional text and uploads (please note the information on file size and format) that emphasise the sustainability quality of your company. Please note the information on file size and format. External references and web links to further documents, Internet pages or to documents mentioned in the upload or questionnaire cannot be considered by the jury.

In the interests of sustainability, please refrain from sending supplementary materials by post.

You can use the browser function to print the profile or save it as a PDF.

Please check your spam folder, the e-mail may have ended up there. If this is not the case, please contact score4more support at or 030 5771266.

If you have forgotten your password, you can have a new one sent to you in the score4more registration area under "Forgot password".

Yes, you can continue to access and edit your profile after the application phase (11 March – 7 May 2024). However, the information will not be used to determine this year's award winners outside of this period. They will be considered in next year's evaluation for the GMA Company.

If you have any further technical or organisational questions about the sustainability profile, please contact score4more support at or 030 57712661.

Data protection

The results of the evaluation are treated confidentially - with the exception of the publication of the nominees, finalists and winners. The data will only be viewed by a small group of people who are directly involved in collecting and analysing the data and preparing the jury meetings; these are employees of the German Sustainability Award office and the assessment partners. The jury members are also bound to secrecy. Evaluations that are published are exclusively anonymised in the form of statistical averages and/or trend curves. Participants will only be published if they are honoured (as nominees, finalists or winners).

Your personal data is collected for the following purposes:
- Participation of your company in the competition for the German Sustainability Award
- Evaluation of the application documents in the event of your company's participation
- In the event that your company is nominated:
- To coordinate the joint communication work
- If applicable, for the licensing of the seal
- If your company is selected as one of the finalists:
- to coordinate the joint communication work
- if applicable, for licensing the seal
- if applicable, for participation and involvement in the German Sustainability Day events
- Information about competitions in subsequent years
- Your data will be processed on the basis of Art. 6 para. 1, sentence 1 lit. a GDPR.

Personal data is passed on to the members of the evaluation team and the jury.

Once your data has been collected by the controller, it will be stored for as long as is necessary to fulfil the purpose for which it was collected.

We always delete or block your personal data when the purpose of storage no longer applies. However, data may be stored beyond this point if this is provided for by legal requirements to which we are subject, for example with regard to statutory retention and documentation obligations. In such a case, we delete or block your personal data after the end of the corresponding requirements.

According to the General Data Protection Regulation, you have the following rights:
If your personal data is processed, you have the right to obtain information from the controller about the personal data stored about you (Art. 15 GDPR). If incorrect personal data is processed, you have the right to rectification (Art. 16 GDPR).

If the legal requirements are met, you can request the erasure or restriction of processing and object to processing (Art. 17, 18 and 21 GDPR).

If you have consented to the data processing or a contract for data processing exists and the data processing is carried out using automated procedures, you may have a right to data portability (Art. 20 GDPR).

You also have the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority (Art. 77 GDPR).

If you have consented to the processing by the responsible party by means of a corresponding declaration, you can revoke your consent at any time for the future. This does not affect the legality of the data processing carried out on the basis of the consent until the revocation.

For data protection questions, please contact the German Sustainability Award office at or +49 211 5504-5510.