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Show me everything! The Supply Chain Sourcing Obligations Act is just the beginning..

Updated: Jun 16, 2023


„It cannot be that a company is sued for a mistake made by another company in another country with which it has no direct business relationship at all. That is bizarre.“ Karl Haeusgen, Präsident des Maschinenbauverbands VDMA; Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung / 27. 11. 2022

Well, it may sound bizarre. Nevertheless, it will become a daily reality for an increasing number of companies: The Supply Chain Sourcing Obligations Act, or LkSG for short. And this comprehensive law is anything but a German paper tiger. In the following, you will read briefly and succinctly:

  • What is the German Supply Chain Sourcing Obligations Act and what is it supposed to do?

  • Why should you be familiar with this law, even if your company is not directly affected?

  • To what extent is the LkSG only the beginning of a long chain of new regulations, laws and rules?

Legally out of the throwaway society

Do you also practice "fast fashion"? If so, you still belong to a zeitgeist in which, for example, a T-shirt is bought, worn two or three times and then thrown away. Only to go on a new shopping spree, of course.

This type of shopping is being combated by law. It is no secret that numerous human rights violations occur in global supply chains. The main reason for this is the lack of legal obligations for companies and the lack or complete absence of protection of human rights in production facilities. Instead, "fashion" is to be made more durable, reused or recycled. Textile waste and the destruction of unsold textiles should be reduced and human rights violations in the production of these textiles should be a thing of the past.

What sounds a bit like something from the eco-shop around the corner will remain neither an exception nor an isolated case. This way of dealing with products and goods is to become standard in our society. Through the Supply Chain Sourcing Obligations Act, or LkSG for short.

Documented sustainability: German LkSG

The European Green Deal was launched by the European Commission on December 11, 2019, and states in succinct terms: Sustainable products are to officially become the norm in the EU. One of the most far-reaching legal consequences for companies here is the introduction of the Supply Chain Sourcing Obligations Act, which will come into force in January 2023. This will:

  • define what obligations companies have in complying with the protection of human and environmental rights,

  • Specifically require companies to identify, prevent, end or at least minimize risks and violations of human and environmental rights along their supply chains.

  • Require companies to meticulously report on their efforts, and it will

  • strengthen workers' rights in court and open up ways to claim damages in Germany.

Who does the LkSG apply for?

From January 1, 2023, the Act will apply to companies domiciled in Germany and companies with a branch pursuant to Section 13 d HGB with at least 3,000 employees in Germany. 
From January 1, 2024, the Act will then apply to companies with at least 1,000 employees in Germany.

Which sectors and industries should be particularly interested in the development of the LkSG?

- Batteries
- Construction and building components
- Chemical products
- Electrical appliances
- Vehicles
- furniture
- Food products
- Textiles
- Packaging

Penalty in the amount of up to

2% of the total annual turnover

If companies violate the LkSG after it comes into force, management must expect severe sanctions such as a restriction of market access and further legal consequences against the company as well as liability risks. Penalties of up to 2% of total annual sales may come into effect.

Trickle Down: The LkSG may also affect your company?

You know how you are working. But do you know as well, under which ethical and environmental conditions all your supplier are working?

Similar to the trickle-down effect - i.e. the leakage of e.g. money flows from the upper to the lower social strata - the LkSG will also affect numerous companies far below 3000 MA in practice.

This is because affected companies will require their contractual partners - such as suppliers and logistics service providers, as well as craft businesses involved in larger projects - to

to take appropriate action and disclose their supply chain in order to comply with their own legal obligations. Indirectly, therefore, tens of thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises are affected in Germany alone.

Companies' responsibility will therefore by no means be limited to their direct suppliers and partners. Rather, in the future, the scope of responsibility will extend to the entire supply chain, including their indirect suppliers. Or to put it briefly:

Top down...

The LkSG thus initiates procedures to ensure human rights and environmental due diligence. In this way, the LkSG pursues nothing less than central objectives of the United Nations:

Quelle und Copyright Bundesregierung

SDG stands for Sustainable Development Goals. These are 17 global goals developed by the United Nations and represent an action plan to ensure greater transparency and accountability. This aims to end poverty, protect the environment and ensure prosperity for all people. SDG 8 - decent work and promotion of economic growth - and SDG 13, i.e. climate protection measures, are particularly central to the implementation of the LkSG.

… and expanding European

In view of this steep global target, it takes a little imagination to imagine that the LkSG will not remain a German paper tiger. Even if many companies already perceive the introduction of the LkSG as a giant administrative act - it must be said: It is only the beginning! Because the Supply Chain Sourcing Obligations Act has already leapt onto the European stage.

You can read about the EU's efforts to bring different national supply laws up to similar standards in

Quellennachweise und zum Weiterlesen (Stand Februar 2023)

Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz (LkSG)

Hembach, Holger (2022): Praxisleitfaden Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz (LkSG) (CB - Compliance Berater Schriftenreihe). Fachmedien Recht und Wirtschaft in Deutscher Fachverlag GmbH; 1. Auflage.

Jürgens, Max / Harings, Lothar (2022): Das Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz: Umsetzung und Auswirkungen des LkSG in der Praxis. Reguvis Fachmedien; 1. Edition.

Grabosch, Robert (Hrsg.) (2021): Das neue Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz. Nomos; 1. Edition.

Falder, Roland / Frank-Fahle, Constantin / Poleacov, Peter (2022): Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz: Ein Überblick für Praktiker

Springer Gabler; 1. Aufl. 2022 Edition (7. Mai 2022)

BMAS Das Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz

CSR in Deutschland - Das Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz

Deutscher Bundestag verabschiedet Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz

Deloitte: Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz in der Praxis

Bayerischer Rundfunk: EU-Länder einigen sich grundsätzlich auf Lieferkettengesetz

Die Initiative Lieferkettengesetz:

Absatzwirtschaft: Nachhaltigkeit in der Lieferkette: Zeit für Gerechtigkeit


Rau, Thomas / Oberhuber, Sabine (2021): Material Matters: Wie eine neu gedachte Circular Economy uns zukunftsfähig macht | Die Antwort auf die Klimakrise ist die Kreislaufwirtschaft. Econ; 1. Edition

Münger, Alfred (2021): Kreislaufwirtschaft als Strategie der Zukunft: Nachhaltige Geschäftsmodelle entwickeln und umsetzen. Haufe; 1. Auflage

Beckmann, Martin (2022): Kreislaufwirtschaftsgesetz: Kreislaufwirtschafts- und Abfallgesetz mit Verordnungen, Abfallverbringungsrecht. beck im dtv; 23. Edition

Europäisches Parlament: Recht auf Reparatur: Für Produkte, die langlebiger und reparierbar sind

VDI: Zirkuläre Wertschöpfung. Werkstoffliches und chemisches Recycling von Kunststoffabfällen

Europäisches Parlament Ökodesign-Richtlinie: Steigerung der Energieeffizienz und Recyclingfähigkeit

Europäische Kommission: Circular economy action plan (CEAP):

Europäische Kommission zum neuen Aktionsplan der Kreislaufwirtschaft:

Recyclingnews: EU-Kommission will nachhaltige Produkte zur Norm machen

EUR Lex (Zugang zu den Originaltexten) A new Circular Economy Action Plan:

Umweltbundesamt: Abfall- und Kreislaufwirtschaft

NABU: Kreislaufwirtschaft:


United Nations Global Compact:

United Nations Global Compact: Nachhaltigkeit in der Lieferkette:

Europäer Green Deal

BMUV Den ökologischen Wandel gestalten. Integriertes Umweltprogramm 2030.

brand eins Sonderausgabe Der neue grüne Deal Dezember 2020

Europäisches Parlament Ökodesign-Richtlinie: Steigerung der Energieeffizienz und Recyclingfähigkeit

Europäische Kommission: Der Grüne Deal

Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung: The European Green Deal:

DIHK: Worum geht es beim Green Deal?


EUR Lex (Originaltexte): On making sustainable products the norm

Umweltbundesamt: Ökodesign-Richtlinie

Süddeutsche Zeitung, 28. März 2022: Wie die EU Produkte ökologischer macht

Europäisches Parlament Ökodesign-Richtlinie: Steigerung der Energieeffizienz und Recyclingfähigkeit

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

BMZ: Die globalen Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung

IHK: Die UN Nachhaltigkeitsziele (SDGs) als Maßstab für verantwortungsvolles Unternehmertum

United Nations Global Compact:


BMUV: Kreislaufwirtschaftsgesetz

BMBF (Plastik): WErtschöpfungsketten gestalten

Stiftung zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister: Mindeststandard recyclinggerechtes Design:

Europäisches Parlament: Recht auf Reparatur: Für Produkte, die langlebiger und reparierbar sind

VDI Zentrum Ressourceneffizienz:

Recyclingnews: EU-Kommission will nachhaltige Produkte zur Norm machen

Europäisches Parlament Ökodesign-Richtlinie: Steigerung der Energieeffizienz und Recyclingfähigkeit

ESG & Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung

Rat der Europäischen Union: Neue Vorschriften für die Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung von Unternehmen: vorläufige politische Einigung zwischen Rat und Europäischem Parlament

Regularien zum Greenwashing

BMUV Den ökologischen Wandel gestalten. Integriertes Umweltprogramm 2030.

Europäische Kommision: Unfair commercial practices directive

Europäische Kommision: Kreislaufwirtschaft: Kommission schlägt neue Verbraucherrechte vor und will Greenwashing verbieten

NKS / Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung: EU legt Vorschläge für nachhaltige Produkte vor

Digitaler Produktpass (DPP)

Digtler Produkpass

Europäisches Parlament Ökodesign-Richtlinie: Steigerung der Energieeffizienz und Recyclingfähigkeit

BMUV Der BMU Design-Sprint zum Digitalen Produktpass für die Elektromobilität

Umweltbundesamt Förderung des nachhaltigen Konsums durch digitale

Produktinformationen: Bestandsaufnahme und Handlungsempfehlungen

BDI Der „Digitale Produktpass“ auf dem Prüfstand

Recyclingnews: EU-Kommission will nachhaltige Produkte zur Norm machen

DKE Digitaler Produktpass: Förderung der Digitalisierung und Kreislaufwirtschaft durch standardisierte Daten

Europäische Kommission: Circular economy action plan (CEAP):



How NFC can help your business become more sustainable. Download des Whitepapers.

Apple includes NFC in MagSafe accessories for new iPhones


Schneider, Nathan (2022): Proof of Stake: The Making of Ethereum and the Philosophy of Blockchains Seven Stories Press

Sandner, Philipp / Tumasjan, Andranik / Welpe, Isabell (2020): Die Zukunft ist dezentral: Wie die Blockchain Unternehmen und den Finanzsektor auf den Kopf stellen wird. BoD – Books on Demand; 1. Edition

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