What does it mean?

There are several definitions and interpretations of the much-used term sustainability. We at GfaW focus on sustainability in companies and understand it as a way of doing business that is fit for the future, suitable for grandchildren and beneficial to our planet. Our CSE standard provides a definition of sustainability that ensures our demand on this way of doing business. The CSE criteria have been developed through practical development and are based on what is known as a strong sustainability understanding. A strong understanding of sustainability assumes that natural and artificial resources are not interchangeable. Therefore, the total amount of natural resources and their composition should not only be preserved, but increased if possible.

In sum, the criteria we defined in the CSE standard are our understanding of sustainability.

“I have children and I want them and my grandchildren, as well as their children, their friends and so on to be allowed to grow up in a healthy environment. That´s why I founded GfaW and why I am putting my energy into it."

Sophie von Lilienfeld-Toal
Executive Director and Founder of GfaW

Why focusing on sustainability in companies?

The current economic system is characterized by market failure. All companies find themselves in unfair market conditions. Internalizing costs is becoming an important demand. Society no longer wants to pay for the negative effects of companies that don´t act sustainably. They call for true prices for true costs, calculate correctly and to make the perpetrators of climate change pay. But how can companies that are already sustainable make their performance visible and thus distance and position themselves clearly? How can individuals recognize and reward if companies put extra effort into sustainability measures?

Our approach to a solution:
getting certified according to the Latest CSE Standard and labeling your products for better visibility at the point of sale/ POS.

What are the criteria to define sustainability?

Sustainability is often compared to permanence or seen as a form of risk management. This definition is not sufficient for us. According to our understanding, a sustainable company lives up to several aspects from the three sustainability dimensions (environmental, social, economic) with the environmental one having the strongest impact. It aims not only to preserve ecosystems but also to repair them. Only a healthy, reliable and intact environment is one, in which human beings can live.

The wheel does not have to be reinvented. That is why we are pleased if you see and use our standard = our definition as an impulse.

The following categories are part of the CSE certification:

Business Model (QM System)

Environmental Protection


Supply Chain

Work Environment

Market and Ethics

Sustainability Objectives

Platform of Certified Sustainable Companies

These companies are already certified and use the CSE certification to make their outstanding pioneering in sustainable business visible and thus position themselves clearly.

Do the Test:


Companies are the interface between economy and individuals. Sustainability in the economic life; that might sound unusual and complex. Luckily, with our expertise and our products we support and monitor your way towards sustainability, e. g. with this mini sustainability check.

With it you can check how sustainable your company already is and find out for yourself that the next step will be easy with the right guidance.

Für Unternehmen:


Um den Zertifizierungsprozess machbar, effizient und übersichtlich zu gestalten haben wir das Online-Tool STAR (Sustainability Tool for Assessment and Reporting) entwickelt, das Unternehmen auf dem Weg zur Zertifizierung unterstützt.

STAR Sustainability Tool for Assessment and Reporting