Bedford-Strohm: “We bear responsibility for the way we do business”

EKD discussion paper on global supply chains appears

Globale Lieferketten

In Germany the governing coalition has agreed on the text of a draft supply chain law. The planned legislation aims to commit big German companies to ensure that their foreign suppliers also respect human rights and environmental protection. Precisely this responsibility is the topic of EKD-Text 135, which has just appeared in English translation. It is entitled “Responsibility in Global Supply Chains. Their Management according to Social, Ecological and Human Rights-Related Principles; an Evangelical Perspective”.

“We bear responsibility for the way we conduct our economic affairs. This can be derived from foundational biblical principles and the ethical considerations that ensue from them. Responsibility lies with both companies and policy-makers, as well as with the consumers,” says Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, Chair of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). In a globalised world, social, ecological and human rights responsibility cannot stop at the borders of a country. “This responsibility must be manifest along the whole of the business relations and supply chains connected with a product, from its conception and design, through the obtaining and processing of raw materials, to its production, marketing and disposal.“

The discussion paper issued by the EKD Advisory Commission on Sustainable Development also dares to look at prospects for global trade after the Covid-19 pandemic, and illustrates from an Evangelical perspective how business matters can succeed in being sustainable. With the elaboration of “ten central political options for action at national and multilateral levels” it offers an important theological and ethical contribution to the current discussion.

The paper is available for downloading as a PDF on

Hannover, 05 August 2021

EKD Press Office
Carsten Splitt