ZNU Standard - driving sustainable change

Welcome to the ZNU Standard – driving sustainable change!

We highly appreciate your intention to improve your company’s sustainability and make an active and measurable contribution to sustained change in business and society.

Overview and Requirements

The requirements laid down in the ZNU Standard – driving sustainable change are subdivided into two parts: Sustainable Management ("How do you shape sustainable management?/ how do you manage sustainability? ") and Sustainability Issues ("What specific measures do you undertake?"). More information

Contents

The chapters of the ZNU Standard – driving sustainable change contain information about scope and certification process, rules of communication, multi-site certification and much more. More information

About the ZNU Standard - driving sustainable change

The ZNU Standard – driving sustainable change supports companies in becoming more sustainable step by step and demands continuous improvement. It is the only approved, tested and implemented standard for sustainable management in several branches. This standard integrates all three dimensions of environmental, economic and social issues, and it supports and promotes the development of an integrated management system for doing business in a more sustainable way. Doing so, companies or service providers succeed in being proactive instead of taking a defensive stance.

What are your advantages?

  • Consolidation and structural alignment of sustainability policies
  • Promotion of strategic and long-term orientation of sustainability activities
  • Dealing with hot spots before they turn into crises
  • Evaluation towards a more sustainable product portfolio
  • Increasing internal and external visibility of sustainability activities
  • Credible communication to stakeholders
  • Minimization of running reputational risks with critical stakeholders

More information

FAQs

Who is the standard setter?

The standard- setter is the ZNU – Center for Sustainable Leadership at the Faculty of Management and Economics, Witten/Herdecke University.

Who are the approved certification bodies?

For an overview of all contacts, please click here.

Why has the ZNU Standard - driving sustainable change been revised?

The ZNU Standard – driving sustainable change was developed for and together with the food industry in 2013 and has been tried and tested in practice for six years. As a result, enterprises along the value chain as well as other industries took notice of the ZNU Standard – driving sustainable change so that manufacturers of other consumer goods (e.g., cosmetics and pet food or logistics and food services) could be certified according to the ZNU Standard – driving sustainable change. Another objective was to make the standard more accessible: Now it is also applicable to companies with several sites – and on an international scale as well. Last but not least, the quality of a standard is about reviewing it on a regular basis and adapting its contents to current issues as well as to modifications of other standards and initiatives. The present ZNU Standard – driving sustainable change may therefore serve the business community as an instrument for implementing global sustainability goals.

If I am interested – how shall I proceed?

If you are interested in the ZNU Standard – driving sustainable change, please contact the ZNU – Center of Sustainable Leadership at +49 (0)2302 / 926-545, write an email to znu@uni-wh.de, or consult one of the approved certification bodies.

How much time will an audit take and for how long is a certivicate valid?

The duration of an audit depends on the number of employees, existing certifications and other criteria. You may quickly and roughly calculate expenses by using the calculation tool.

The certification body issues the ZNU Standard – driving sustainable change certificate for a period of three years. An annual review ensures that the company complies with and implements the requirements of the ZNU Standard – driving sustainable change. Before the certificate expires, it is possible to extend it for a further period of three years by passing a re-certification audit.

What do I have to consider as a certified company?

If your company has already been certified according to the preceding ZNU Standard - driving sustainable change, a three-year transitional period applies from the publication date of the revision (September 2018), during which the requirements of the 2013 version as well as the requirements of the 2018 revision apply. Only after this transitional period has elapsed, audits have to be conducted in accordance with the new requirements. Contact us for more information.

Does the 2018 revision deal with actual issues?

Yes – due to recent developments we have placed greater emphasis on current issues, such as innovations, personal contribution, sustainable consumption, and contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with the result that the present ZNU Standard – driving sustainable change may serve the business community as an instrument for implementing global sustainability goals as well.

Who may be certified according to the ZNU Standard – driving sustainable change?

All enterprises who aim at measurably progressing in improving business sustainability may take advantage of the ZNU Standard – driving sustainable change: From SMEs to large international groups, from manufacturers to service providers and (large) retailers. Please download the 2018 revision here. As of now, the ZNU Standard – driving sustainable change is no longer limited to the German market but is also applicable internationally.

What changes result from the revision?

The ZNU StandardFood turns into the ZNU Standard – driving sustainable change: open to all industries, to manufacturers as well as to service providers, and applicable on an international scale. In addition, the site-specific standard turns into a corporate standard facilitating multi-site certification, thus simplifying the certification process for large companies with several sites or branches.

The standard is subdivided into nine documents for a better overview:

Z 1 (Objectives and overview) and Z 2 (Requirements including compliance options) are the standard’s core documents. Documents Z 3 to Z 9 include further information on the standard and certification system. That way, the information is provided in a more targeted and clearer way.

Please refer to the download page for all ZNU Standard – driving sustainable change documents.

Who is entitled to audit the ZNU Standard – driving sustainable change?

General approval requirements apply to all auditors. Please download the detailed requirements for certification bodies and auditors here: Download


Certified Companies

Download the flyer to the ZNU Standard - driving sustainable change here