As the development bank for North Rhine-Westphalia, NRW.BANK is guided by the principle of sustainability in the performance of its public mission. This principle is laid down both in section 3 of the Act on NRW.BANK and in section 5 of the Bank’s statutes.
Sustainability for NRW.BANK is synonymous with corporate responsibility and covers three areas: economy, ecology and social affairs.
For the Bank, this means in particular:
- supporting clients through a comprehensive range of advisory and financial products and services;
- ensuring that its own business operations are energy-efficient and environment-friendly as well as raising awareness of these issues among the recipients of NRW.BANK’s promotion funds;
- being committed to assuming responsibility for employees as well as society in North Rhine-Westphalia.
At NRW.BANK the sustainability report is an important tool in communicating sustainability issues.
Public Corporate Governance
Transparent and responsible interaction with its stakeholders is an important cornerstone of the Bank’s sustainability strategy. NRW.BANK was one of the first public-sector companies in Germany to commit itself to transparent and responsible corporate governance in the context of the Public Corporate Governance Code of NRW.BANK, a voluntary commitment adopted by the Bank on January 1, 2006.
In addition to complying with statutory requirements, NRW.BANK has reinforced its commitment to sustainability by formulating its own Sustainability Guidelines, based on the former “Principles of Corporate Responsibility at NRW.BANK”. These guidelines were adopted in 2018 by the Board of Guarantors. They contain rules governing the sustainable relationship with customers, employees and society as well as being in accordance with “Verständigung II” and NRW.BANK’s public mission and house bank principle.
To underline the importance of corporate responsibility for NRW.BANK and to push ahead the internal development activities related to this issue, the Bank joined the German Diversity Charter and the “United Nations Environment Programme – Finance Initiative (UNEP FI)“ and signed the ten principles of the UN Global Compact in 2009. Since 2015, NRW.BANK is a member of the Green Bond Principles and the Verein für Umweltmanagement und Nachhaltigkeit in Finanzinstituten e. V. (Association for the environmental management and sustainability in financial institutions).
The German Diversity Charter is an initiative that promotes diversity in enterprises.
By signing the Charter, NRW.BANK has committed itself to creating a work environment free of prejudices and discrimination, thus contributing to respect and mutual trust.
In 2015 NRW.BANK officially joined the ICMA Green Bond Principles (GBPs). The concept underlying NRW.BANK’s Green Bonds meets the standards laid down in the GBPs. Consequently it was only logical for the Bank to join the GBPs. ICMA accommodated NRW.BANK’s membership application within only two days.
UNEP FI is a global partnership between the United Nations Environment Programme and the financial sector. By signing the UNEP declaration, NRW.BANK has committed itself to aligning its business activities according to the declaration and to pursuing foresighted environmental management.
The UN Global Compact is a voluntary initiative by the United Nations. Its ten principles on human rights, labour, anti-corruption and environmental protection are the central instrument of this international initiative. NRW.BANK acknowledges these principles and supports their practical implementation.
VfU is a network of the leading financial service providers in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. NRW.BANK uses the VfU’s system of key performance indicators to prepare its eco-balance. This allows financial institutions to determine comparable environmental performance indicators based on international reporting requirements. Moreover, NRW.BANK benefits from various forums which provide a non-competitive room for the confidential exchange on sustainability-related topics affecting the financial sector.
Since 1995, the Association and its members have developed and implemented innovative and sustainable solutions for financial service providers with the aim of increasing the contribution to sustainable development made by the financial sector.
For more information, visit www.vfu.de.
As the topic of sustainability has attracted growing attention in recent years, investors have become more interested in sustainable investments. Sustainability-based ratings are available to support investors in their decisions.
As an issuer in the international capital market, NRW.BANK has also been rated specifically for its CSR performance since 2005. In the most recent rating rounds, NRW.BANK scored good ratings from such sustainability rating agencies as Sustainalytics GmbH, ISS-oekom/oekom research AG and imug Beratungsgesellschaft für sozial-ökologische Innovationen mbH. Moreover, Bank Sarasin & Cie AG has included NRW.BANK in the investment universe for its sustainability-driven asset management service.
The following agencies for sustainability are rating NRW.BANK:
ISS ESG (formerly oekom Resaerch AG))
imug Institut für Markt-Umwelt-Gesellschaft e.V. (imug)
Sustainalytics GmbH (Sustainalytics)
Additionally, NRW.BANK is rewarded with the DZ BANK Seal of Quality for Sustainability.