Our approach to sustainability:
responsibility that evolves over time.
It is our policy to operate on a sustainable basis, both in our banking business and in our relationship with society and the environment. When it comes to the transformation towards a sustainable economy, the financial sector has a key role to play. It is our intention to take an active part in this transformation, which is why we have adopted sustainability as a strategic factor.
In this context, the term “sustainability” refers to social topics and corporate governance in addition to environmental aspects. Together, these three fields are abbreviated to “ESG”, a combination of the first letters of the terms “Environmental”, “Social” and “Governance”.
Our sustainability goals
- We support our clients on the road towards climate neutrality
- We make an active contribution to climate change mitigation and environmental protection
- We incorporate sustainability aspects into our governance culture
- We combine a corporate approach with social responsibility
- We champion sustainability at the public level
Sustainability is a mission for the whole of society, a challenge to which every individual and every institution can – and should – make a contribution! Banks are playing a key role in this transformation. While leading by example in our own right, we at OLB also want to be a multiplier and support our clients in their development of sustainable business models.
Holger Sandker, Head of Sustainability
Our mission statement
As a member of the Association of German Banks, we support the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Banking, which were developed in cooperation with 30 international banks. The integration of these principles into our business strategy is part of our mission statement.
|Focus: We have defined our business strategy with the aim of avoiding any conflict with the fulfilment of basic human needs and social goals, as expressed in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
|Impact: We strive to amplify the positive impact of our activities, products and services on society and the environment, while reducing any negative impacts and managing the associated risks.
|Clients: We work responsibly with our clients in order to encourage sustainable practices and promote economic activities conducive to the creation of equitable prosperity for present and future generations.
|Stakeholders: We engage relevant stakeholders where appropriate and work together as partners to achieve social objectives.
|Corporate governance and objectives: We aim to implement these principles through effective corporate governance and a responsible corporate culture. Our goals and objectives should reflect this aspiration and commitment.
|Transparency and accountability: We will review our individual and collective contributions to the implementation of these principles and report on the positive and negative impacts and contributions to our social objectives where necessary.
Responsible banking is a high priority for us, as is our awareness of the impact of our business activities on the environment and society. Every year in April, we issue a separate report on this topic („non-financial report“), which follows the requirements of the German Sustainability Code (DNK) and discloses, among other aspects, a range of DNK-specified quantitative performance indicators provided by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The indicators cover the following five dimensions: environmental, employees, social, human rights, anti-corruption and bribery.
We contribute to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals aim to ensure sustainable development at the economic, social and environmental levels worldwide. In the spirit of these goals, it is a matter of great importance to us to contribute to the future of each and every one of us. Consequently, they form an integral part of our business strategy.
At OLB, we strive to amplify the positive impact of our activities, products and services on society and the environment, while reducing respective negative impacts and managing the associated risks. We aim to operate in a sustainable manner not only in our banking business but also in the environmental and social fields.
On the following pages, you will find detailed information on our approach to sustainability with regard to clients, employees and society in general:
We support the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Adopted in 2015, the Paris Climate Agreement sets the goal of keeping the rise in global temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels, and preferably limiting the increase to 1.5 °C. Having ratified the Paris Climate Agreement in September 2016, Germany has since fleshed out its climate targets by amending the Federal Climate Change Act. Pursuant to the new targets, Germany is to reach net greenhouse gas neutrality by the year 2045.
Our activities in the field of sustainability play a part in the transformation of the economy towards climate neutrality and hence to the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement. This principle is firmly enshrined in our business strategy.
Our ESG policy
Our business strategy is guided by the principles of responsible banking. This mission statement is further substantiated by our ESG policy, which sets out our key sustainability principles. As we continue to evolve this policy, we will progress through four phases.
- Establishment of a reliable database as a baseline for our sustainability goals
Building a reliable data base in the ESG environment is a crucial prerequisite for the further development of our strategic framework and for all subsequent steps. Aside from measuring the environmental footprint of our own business operations, it is particularly important to quantify the indirect greenhouse gas emissions that are financed by our bank, as well as the ESG risks inherent in our loan portfolio.
Analysis of ESG opportunities and risks
The acquisition of the data will be followed by in-depth analysis of the associated opportunities and risks. This also involves assessing the strengths and weaknesses of our ESG governance approach. In the longer term, we aim to establish an ESG-based pricing and steering mechanism designed to mitigate ESG risks, while also leveraging the business opportunities that come with the transformation.
Creation of a robust ESG governance policy
We are setting binding quantitative targets for our Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions along with social and corporate governance targets. On top of this, we are creating internal structures and processes to accelerate the implementation of our sustainability strategy, including the carbon emission targets.
Focus on transparency
We are currently in the process of obtaining ESG ratings with a view to having our sustainability goals and activities assessed by an independent body.