The online platform
The online platform comprises two components, namely the indicator set of the German Sustainable Development Strategy (Deutsche Nachhaltigkeitsstrategie, DNS) and the German set of indicators for the global sustainability goals (Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. Since the German Sustainable Development Strategy is aimed at implementing the 2030 Agenda at the national level, indicators shared by both strategies are linked to each other on the platform.
The time series of the indicators of both online platforms are available for download.
Both sets of indicators are structured according to the 17 goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. Accordingly, the icons and the colours chosen for the 17 goals (Fig. 1 and Fig. 2) which are used here and on the SDG online platform correspond to those of the United Nations. The icons are protected by copyright.
Aim and background
The purpose of this national reporting platform is the presentation and explanation of the indicators of the German Sustainable Development Strategy (Deutsche Nachhaltigkeitsstrategie, DNS). In 2002 the first adoption of a German Sustainability Strategy was published. Since then it always consisted of own goals, indicator fields, and postulates.
2017 the national strategy was adjusted as a response to the Agenda 2030 of the United Nations and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The strategy is now called German Sustainable Development Strategy. As part of the adjustments at least one indicator for each of the 17 goals has been included. The Federal Government determined the target values, as well as the indicators, their database, and calculations.
Since 2006 the Federal Statistical Office is assigned by the Federal Government to report every two years about the target achievement of the German Sustainable Development Strategy. The information is published as indicator report. It is available in a printed and in a digital version. Since 2020 the development of the indicators is also published on this reporting platform.
Structure of the reporting platform
The platform is organised in goals, indicator fields and postulates, and their respective indicators (Fig. 1). Every four years the Federal Government reviews the strategy and its indicators. The strategy is modified if required, and indicators are i.e. replaced or new ones added.
Fig. 3: Example for the structure of the DNS based on goal 7 “Affordable and clean energy” (as of the indicator report 2018)
Each indicator of the DNS is presented individually or together with a closely related indicator on an own page. A chart visualizes the development of the indicator as well as - if possible - the goal to be reached. The definitions and intentions as well as the development of the indicators are explained. The information stem from the biennial published indicator report of the Federal Statistical Office.
For some indicators the data are displayed at Federal States level. However, the goal shown stays the goal for Germany. Most of the Federal States of Germany have own sustainability strategies and indicators. They are not displayed the DNS platform. Here you can find a compilation of sustainability strategies of the Federal States of Germany (also called “Länder”).
The symbols and choice of colour of the 17 goals (Fig. 1 and 2) which are used here and on the SDG-part of this reporting platform are copyright protected by the United Nations.
Weather symbols illustrate in an easy-to-understand way – from sunshine to thunderstorm (Fig. 4) - the course of development of most indicators. An explanation of the definition of the symbols is found here. Weather symbols of the last four years can be found behind the button “indicator status summary” on each respective indicator page. A rough estimation about how stable the development was is possible by using the weather symbols. However, the symbols cannot replace the explanatory texts with their background information.
On the top of the DNS page there is a button “evaluation”. If you choose in the following drop-down menu “summary”, the whole development of the weather symbols of all indicators over time is shown.
Comparison of DNS and SDG indicators
The United Nations SDG indicators and their numbering are not identical to the DNS indicators. If an SDG indicator is comparable to a DNS indicator, this is indicated by a button with a direct link to the respective indicator (Fig. 4).
Fig. 4: Button to related global indicator (highlighted) and an example for a weather symbol based on indicator 6.1.a “Phosphorous in flowing waters” (state of the indicator report 2018)
To present the data for each participating country in a formatted form, the open source project Open SDG offers a standardised template of an online platform on GitHub. More information can be found here: Technical instructions.