The consideration of sustainability aspects in policy impact assessment in international comparison

Type of practice:

On behalf of the Bertelsmann Foundation the Environmental Policy Research Centre examined options for the implementation of a sustainability impact assessment within the German legislative process. The federal cabinet decided the introduction of such an instrument within the 2008 Progress Report of the German Sustainability Strategy The resulting study aims to assist its implementation .
On the basis of a comparative analysis of other countries’ experiences with sustainability assessments, literature reviews, and interviews with practitioners in Germany, a set of options and recommendations was compiled for the implementation of a both ambitious and practical sustainability assessment in Germany. The proposed version of sustainability assessment conceives the instrument not only as a tool for analysis, but also for communication between ministries, non-governmental organisations and experts. The German Parliament will be involved in the sustainability appraisal. This would be unique in international perspective and could strengthen the role of sustainability in the process of preparing a law.
The Chancellor’s Office or possibly the Normenkontrollrat shall guarantee the compliance with process standards, and the whole assessment process is supposed to be regulated legally. Such a design would be able to strengthen the role of sustainability in the decision-making processes.


Jacob, Klaus; Veit, Sylvia; Hertin, Julia (2009): Gestaltung einer Nachhaltigkeitsprüfung im Rahmen der Gesetzesfolgenabschätzung. Studie im Auftrag der Bertelsmann-Stiftung

Company organisation which conducted the project


Client/Sponsor of the project

Bertelsmann Stiftung


Year of IA Practice:

2010 to 2011