ESG / Sustainability

Whistleblower Protection Act (HinSchG) or Whistleblower Act

The HinSchG is the German implementation of the EU Whistleblower Directive - 2019/1937.

From 03 July 2023, the Whistleblower Protection Act (HinSchG) will apply in Germany to companies with 250 or more employees and from 17 December 2023 to all companies with 50 or more employees.

Our sister company CertLex AG offers fully comprehensive solutions with its digital whistleblower system "Nightingale".

Whistleblowing is the reporting of information about wrongdoing in companies and public institutions by employees, customers or suppliers as whistleblowers.

A grievance is defined as any activity that is undesirable, unlawful or immoral.

The aims of the HinSchG are to protect whistleblowers who report company-related violations of the law from reprisals and to support the transparency and detection of violations of the law.

Companies with 50 or more employees as well as public authorities, public institutions and municipalities are obliged to introduce a reporting system. The confidentiality of the whistleblower must be protected by the reporting system. The reporting system also protects whistleblowers from reprisals by shifting the burden of proof.

The protected persons include whistleblowers who work in the private or public sector and have obtained information about violations in a professional context: e.g. employees, self-employed persons, shareholders, members of executive bodies, persons who are in an instruction relationship with the client or supplier. Furthermore, it is regulated:

  • Protection of persons who are the subject of a report or disclosure (presumption of innocence).
  • Protection of persons affected by a report or disclosure (presumption of innocence).

The material scope of application includes the reporting and disclosure of information on violations that are subject to criminal penalties and fines, as well as other violations of federal and state legislation and directly applicable legal acts of the EU and the European Atomic Energy Community (minimum requirement EU RL 2019/1937).

Together with our sister company CertLex AG, our team tailors the reporting channel to your company, right up to complete outsourcing.

Our services:

  • Online reporting channel
  • Online administration platform
  • Compliance training & report
  • Telephone reporting channel
  • Case management level 1: Recording & logging
  • Case management level 2: Initial assessment & plausibility check
  • Case management level 3: Legal review
  • Ombudsman position
  • Individual additional advisory service
  • Full compliance with all requirements of the Whistleblower Protection Act (HinSchG)

Ihre Ansprechpartner an unseren Standorten

Kassel

Söhnke Salzmann
Telefon: +49 (0)561 96996-43
E-Mail: salzmann(at)bfu-ag.de

Aschaffenburg

Klaus Reibenspiess
Telefon: +49 (0)6021 582254-2
E-Mail: reibenspiess(at)bfu-ag.de

Halle

Marco Kühn
Telefon: +49 (0)345 686977-14
E-Mail: kuehn(at)bfu-ag.de

Hamburg

Dr. Antonia Goldner
Telefon: +49 (0)40 30238698-3
E-Mail: goldner(at)bfu-ag.de

Weinstadt

Hans-Ulrich Terme
Telefon: +49 (0)561 96996-14
E-Mail: terme(at)bfu-ag.de

Wetzlar

Stefan Bender
Telefon: +49 (0)6441 96305-12
E-Mail: bender(at)bfu-ag.de

Hans-Tobias Brenne
Telefon: +49 (0)6441 96305-13
E-Mail: brenne(at)bfu-ag.de

Wuppertal

Axel Dreyer
Telefon: +49 (0)202 3171-3274
E-Mail: dreyer(at)bfu-ag.de

Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz - LkSG)

On the 1st of January 2023, the Supply Chain Sourcing Obligations Act (LkSG) will come into force. The LkSG aims to improve the protection of human rights in global supply chains. For companies, this legally means that adaptation strategies must be developed in the area of compliance.

The Supply Chain Sorgfaltsgesetz affects all companies, regardless of their legal form, that have

  • have their head office, principal place of business, administrative headquarters, registered office or a branch office (§13d of the German Commercial Code) in Germany, and
  • have at least 3000 employees in Germany (or posted abroad);
  • from 1 January 2024: employ at least 1000 employees in Germany (or posted abroad).

For the companies concerned, this means in concrete terms that the so-called "due diligence obligations" must be fulfilled within the framework of the supply chain. The supply chain refers to all steps that are necessary to manufacture the products or provide the services of the company. The due diligence obligations include, among other things, the performance of regular risk analyses, the establishment of a risk management system, the anchoring of preventive and remedial measures, the establishment of complaints procedures, the definition of internal responsibilities, the documentation of measures and strategies, the submission of a policy statement as well as a report on the fulfilment of the due diligence obligations.

In the event of violations of the complex due diligence obligations, companies face fines of up to 8 million euros and, if necessary, exclusion from public tenders for up to three years. If it becomes known, there is also the threat of considerable damage to the company's image.

Our services:

BfU AG has been supporting companies in complying with legal requirements in their business organisation for four decades now. Our team of economists, lawyers, engineers and scientists will be happy to assist you with all elements such as:

  • the establishment of an appropriate risk management system as well as the implementation of a risk analysis for the supply chains
  • preparing and issuing a policy statement
  • conducting training in the relevant business areas
  • implementing a complaints procedure
  • the preparation of the due diligence report

Ihre Ansprechpartner an unseren Standorten

Kassel

Söhnke Salzmann
Telefon: +49 (0)561 96996-43
E-Mail: salzmann(at)bfu-ag.de

Aschaffenburg

Klaus Reibenspiess
Telefon: +49 (0)6021 582254-2
E-Mail: reibenspiess(at)bfu-ag.de

Halle

Marco Kühn
Telefon: +49 (0)345 686977-14
E-Mail: kuehn(at)bfu-ag.de

Hamburg

Dr. Antonia Goldner
Telefon: +49 (0)40 30238698-3
E-Mail: goldner(at)bfu-ag.de

Weinstadt

Hans-Ulrich Terme
Telefon: +49 (0)561 96996-14
E-Mail: terme(at)bfu-ag.de

Wetzlar

Stefan Bender
Telefon: +49 (0)6441 96305-12
E-Mail: bender(at)bfu-ag.de

Hans-Tobias Brenne
Telefon: +49 (0)6441 96305-13
E-Mail: brenne(at)bfu-ag.de

Wuppertal

Axel Dreyer
Telefon: +49 (0)202 3171-3274
E-Mail: dreyer(at)bfu-ag.de

Corporate Carbon Footprint / CO2 Footprint

Current social and political demands for climate protection increase the pressure on companies to develop and implement climate protection concepts.

A comprehensive climate protection strategy will be an important factor for the competitiveness of companies in the future.

Strongly increasing demands for climate neutrality of products and companies play a decisive role in this. CO2 emissions are increasingly coming into the focus of major customers and the public. Reduction targets presuppose the correct recording of emissions.

The Corporate Carbon Footprint (CCF) is an instrument for companies that records the entire climate-impacting emissions of a company. The CCF expands energy management to include the components of greenhouse gas emissions and resource management and summarises the corresponding company information. This provides companies with a carbon footprint that is the starting point for CO2 emission reductions.

Another assessment tool is the Product Carbon Footprint (PCF), which refers to the climate impact of a specific product. The climate-relevant greenhouse gases produced are recorded and evaluated throughout the entire life cycle of a product. The consideration extends from the extraction of raw materials to disposal or, depending on the customer's needs, to a partial aspect of this cycle.

With a professional survey of your company's (or product's) carbon footprint, carried out according to GRI standards, you lay an important foundation for identifying and realising potential savings. In addition, you achieve positive effects for your external image and anticipate requirements from authorities, customers and other stakeholders.

In the automotive industry in particular, suppliers are required to take concrete measures to reduce CO2 emissions and even achieve climate neutrality.

We would be happy to support you in:

  • determining your CCF or PCF on the basis of the international GRI standards
  • fulfilling your reporting and information obligations towards your stakeholders
  • the creation of individual concepts for achieving climate neutrality or climate positivity in a scope tailored to your needs: from the required fulfilment of obligations to effective advertising concepts

With our headquarters in Kassel and our branches throughout Germany, our economists, engineers and lawyers are also active on site in your area of responsibility.

Ihre Ansprechpartner an unseren Standorten

Kassel

Söhnke Salzmann
Telefon: +49 (0)561 96996-43
E-Mail: salzmann(at)bfu-ag.de

Aschaffenburg

Klaus Reibenspiess
Telefon: +49 (0)6021 582254-2
E-Mail: reibenspiess(at)bfu-ag.de

Halle

Marco Kühn
Telefon: +49 (0)345 686977-14
E-Mail: kuehn(at)bfu-ag.de

Susanne Hedicke
Telefon: +49 (0)345 686977-26
E-Mail: hedicke(at)bfu-ag.de

Hamburg

Dr. Antonia Goldner
Telefon: +49 (0)40 30238698-3
E-Mail: goldner(at)bfu-ag.de

Weinstadt

Hans-Ulrich Terme
Telefon: +49 (0)561 96996-14
E-Mail: terme(at)bfu-ag.de

Wetzlar

Stefan Bender
Telefon: +49 (0)6441 96305-12
E-Mail: bender(at)bfu-ag.de

Hans-Tobias Brenne
Telefon: +49 (0)6441 96305-13
E-Mail: brenne(at)bfu-ag.de

Wuppertal

Axel Dreyer
Telefon: +49 (0)202 3171-3274
E-Mail: dreyer(at)bfu-ag.de

Sustainability Report / NF Report

The European Commission prepared a draft in April 2021, which also contains the amendment of the NFRD (Non-Financial Reporting Directive) adopted in 2014. This directive on reporting on the sustainability of companies (CSRD - Corporate-Sustainability-Reporting-Directive) massively expands the circle of companies with an obligation to prepare the so-called sustainability report.

So far, only public interest entities (including listed companies) are covered by the NFRD. The new CSRD is currently being revised by the Council of Europe and the European Parliament. If adopted as planned, all companies, regardless of their legal form or stock exchange listing, are expected to fall under the reporting obligation from the 2023 annual report onwards. From 2026 onwards, medium-sized and small public interest entities will also be subject to the reporting obligation.

Moreover, only those companies that fulfil two of the three criteria listed in the table will be subject to the reporting obligation (current, 2023, 2026).

Currently valid legal situation:
NFRD
Expected to apply from reporting year 2023:
CSRD
Expected to apply from reporting year 2026:
CSRD
Companies of public interest

1. More than 500 employees

All companies without exception

1. More than 250 employees

All companies without exception

1. More than 10 employees

2. Balance sheet total greater than

20 Mio. €

2. Balance sheet total greater than

20 Mio. €

2. Balance sheet total greater than

350.000 €

3. Annual turnover greater than

40 Mio. €

3. Annual turnover greater than

40 Mio. €

3. Annual turnover greater than

700.000 €

In addition to this legal obligation, many companies have another need to prepare a sustainability report. Increasingly, major customers are demanding that their suppliers produce a sustainability report independently of any legal obligation. In the automotive industry in particular, expectations are currently rising sharply. Without a sustainability report, there is a risk of losing customer orders.

The requirements for non-financial reports are complex. They must be disclosed:

  1.  Environmental concerns
  2. Employee issues
  3. Social issues
  4. Respect for human rights
  5. Combating corruption and bribery

Various, extensive standards and guidelines for compiling them make this process even more difficult, unsettle companies and cost a considerable amount of time. The EU is expected to publish its own standards in the course of the CSRD.

Our services:

We are happy to support you in:

  • the legal determination of whether and to what extent your company is obliged to prepare a non-financial statement
  • the classification of the most established standards (e.g. GRI) and identification of the areas relevant to your company
  • the permanent updating and ongoing evaluation of new standards for the preparation of sustainability reports
  • the collection and evaluation of data using predefined procedures
  • the preparation of the NF Report / Sustainability Report in a scope that is individually tailored to your needs: from the statutory fulfilment of obligations to promotionally effective conceptualisation

Ihre Ansprechpartner an unseren Standorten

Kassel

Söhnke Salzmann
Telefon: +49 (0)561 96996-43
E-Mail: salzmann(at)bfu-ag.de

Aschaffenburg

Klaus Reibenspiess
Telefon: +49 (0)6021 582254-2
E-Mail: reibenspiess(at)bfu-ag.de

Halle

Marco Kühn
Telefon: +49 (0)345 686977-14
E-Mail: kuehn(at)bfu-ag.de

Susanne Hedicke
Telefon: +49 (0)345 686977-26
E-Mail: hedicke(at)bfu-ag.de

Hamburg

Dr. Antonia Goldner
Telefon: +49 (0)40 30238698-3
E-Mail: goldner(at)bfu-ag.de

Weinstadt

Hans-Ulrich Terme
Telefon: +49 (0)561 96996-14
E-Mail: terme(at)bfu-ag.de

Wetzlar

Stefan Bender
Telefon: +49 (0)6441 96305-12
E-Mail: bender(at)bfu-ag.de

Hans-Tobias Brenne
Telefon: +49 (0)6441 96305-13
E-Mail: brenne(at)bfu-ag.de

Wuppertal

Axel Dreyer
Telefon: +49 (0)202 3171-3274
E-Mail: dreyer(at)bfu-ag.de

SURE RedCert sustainability certification

Biomass sustainability certification

Due to the European Sustainability Directive EU 2018/2001 and the German Biomass Electricity Sustainability Ordinance (BioSt-NachV) or Biofuel Sustainability Ordinance (Biokraft-NachV), there are now sustainability requirements for the use of biomass to generate electricity and heat and when used as fuel . This concerns e.g. B. also combined heat and power plants from 2 MW thermal output in the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) when using biogas or biomethane as well as biomass power plants from 20 MW thermal output (e.g. waste wood incineration plants).

Since January 1st, 2022, Art. 38 and 39 of the Monitoring Ordinance (MVO) have also imposed higher requirements on the sustainability or deductibility of the biomass used in stationary systems in the TEHG. For operators, this means in concrete terms that from the reporting year 2023 they may only apply an emission factor of zero for emissions originating from the use of biomass if the sustainability of the biomass corresponds to the criteria of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) is proven. Which criteria have to be met depends, among other things, on the type of biomass (e.g. waste, NaWa-Ro), must be checked on a case-by-case basis and within a recognized certification system (e.g. SURE, Redcert) by a testing body (e.g. ESC Cert GmbH). ) to be certified.

Similar requirements also exist in the Fuel Emissions Trading Act (BEHG) and in the Emissions Reporting Ordinance (EBeV 2030).

We are happy to answer any questions you may have on the subject of the national emissions trading system (nEHS) or BEHG, as well as on European emissions trading (EU-ETS) or TEHG.

Ihre Ansprechpartner an unseren Standorten

Kassel

Stefan Hüsemann
Telefon: +49 (0)561 96996-24
E-Mail: huesemann(at)bfu-ag.de

Laura Pagel
Telefon: +49 (0)561 96996-83
E-Mail: pagel(at)bfu-ag.de

Aschaffenburg

Klaus Reibenspiess
Telefon: +49 (0)6021 582254-2
E-Mail: reibenspiess(at)bfu-ag.de

Halle

Marco Kühn
Telefon: +49 (0)345 686977-14
E-Mail: kuehn(at)bfu-ag.de

Susanne Hedicke
Telefon: +49 (0)345 686977-26
E-Mail: hedicke(at)bfu-ag.de

Hamburg

Dr. Antonia Goldner
Telefon: +49 (0)40 30238698-3
E-Mail: goldner(at)bfu-ag.de

Weinstadt

Hans-Ulrich Terme
Telefon: +49 (0)561 96996-14
E-Mail: terme(at)bfu-ag.de

Wetzlar

Stefan Bender
Telefon: +49 (0)6441 96305-12
E-Mail: bender(at)bfu-ag.de

Hans-Tobias Brenne
Telefon: +49 (0)6441 96305-13
E-Mail: brenne(at)bfu-ag.de

Wuppertal

Axel Dreyer
Telefon: +49 (0)202 3171-3274
E-Mail: dreyer(at)bfu-ag.de

Any further questions?

E-Mail: info(at)bfu-ag.de
Tel.: +49 (0)561 96996-0