As a bank, all our actions also have an impact on the environment. This starts with the financial services we offer our retail and corporate clients and includes also the way we run our own business – from energy efficiency of our offices to the way our employees get to work. Due to the enormous negative effects of the climate crisis on the environment and people, we are focusing more intensively on environmental protection, conscious usage of resource and CO2 emission reduction to ensure that also future generations have a future worth living. And this future we want to shape together with our customers. Because we believe not only in our customers, but also in better tomorrow.
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As the only financial institution headquartered in Austria and Central and Eastern Europe, Erste Group is a founding member of a new UN initiative.
The goal: Strengthen the concept of Financial Health in its client business.
We have defined sustainability measures in three areas of environment, social and governance (ESG) as the guiding principles of our daily actions.
The Code of Conduct provides a reference point for our actions and behaviour and serves as a binding set of rules governing the behaviour for our daily business activities.
It describes what is important to us and makes our commitments clear and sets the basis to act as a good corporate citizen. The Code of Conduct shows that we need to act responsibly, respectfully and sustainably in all aspects of our operations.
Erste Group fulfils the disclosure obligations resulting out of Regulation 2019/2088 on sustainability-related disclosures in the financial services sector by making available the following documents on its website:
Erste Group, as one of the leading financial institutions in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and with its historic background, has an inherent responsibility for broader sustainability and ESG risks toward the society. ESG risk identification like potential environmental damages, severe negative social consequences or poor governance have always been an integral part of Erste Group business and risk management framework. With the rising urgency and accelerating climate change, Erste Group will manage the ESG risks in a more holistic approach, implement a systematic ESG data collection and integrate ESG risk in a pronounced way into the capital management framework. The Group ESG Risk Definition Policy provides definition of ESG risks of Erste Group through positive impact aimed ESG objectives laying down the basis of business alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and definition of ESG Risks, which are addressing the negative impacts and to be identified, assessed and mitigated through policies and procedures.
The Remuneration Policy is fully aligned with the Group ESG Risk Definition Policy. When setting, approving and overseeing the implementation of a remuneration policy that is in line with the remuneration principles set out in Directive 2013/36/EU and the EBA guidelines on sound remuneration policies, the management body aims at ensuring a sustainable business model that takes into account all risks, including environmental, social and governance risks. Furthermore, variable remuneration of the designated Management Board members is linked to the ESG objectives based on the principles of Erste Group’s sustainability strategy and part of the variable remuneration of designated Management Board members depends on fulfillment of ESG targets.
Erste Group's sustainable finance framework reflects the bank's strong commitment to its ecological and social responsibility in society. The framework defines the scope of sustainable project categories with either environmental and/or social aspects for which money on the bond market will be used. An independent Second Party Opinion conducted by ESG rating agency ISS ESG certifies the full alignment with best-practice approaches in the market.
Environmental issues are becoming increasingly important in communicating with stakeholders. In our environmental, energy and climate strategy, you can find out how Erste Group handles this important topic.
Erste Group is the first bank based in Austria and Central and Eastern Europe to join the United Nations’ Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) initiative. Together with 95 banks around the globe, the banking group commits to aligning its lending and investment portfolio to net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest.
Erste Group commits to the UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking, the first-ever global sustainability framework for the banking industry. With that Erste Group commits to align its business strategic global goals such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.
Erste Group is a member of the Financial Initiative of the UN Environmental Program (UNEP FI), a partnership between UNEP and over 400 banks, insurers, investors and institutions.
In October 2018, Erste Group was awarded prime status in the ISS ESG ratings.
In 2019, Erste Group Bank AG received a rating of AA (on a scale of AAA-CCC) in the MSCI ESG Ratings assessment. The use by Erste Group Bank AG of any MSCI ESG Research LLC or its affiliates (“MSCI”) data, and the use of MSCI logos, trademarks, service marks or index names herein, do not constitute a sponsorship, endorsement, recommendation, or promotion of Erste Group Bank AG by MSCI. MSCI services and data are the property of MSCI or its information providers, and are provided ‘as-is’ and without warranty. MSCI names and logos are trademarks or service marks of MSCI.
In February 2021, Sustainalytics, a leading ESG research, ratings and data firm, assessed Erste Group to be at low risk of experiencing material financial impacts from ESG factors.
We are the first financial institution in Europe to join the Green Consumption Pledge. Among other things, we are committed to increasing the number of sustainable investment products we offer and to providing our clients with more information on ESG issues and sustainable financial products.
Erste Group Bank AG is a member of PCAF (Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials) since 2021. We commit to report our financed emissions following the methodology developed by PCAF within three years.
Erste Group Bank AG has been part of the Euronext Vigeo Index Eurozone 120 since June 2018.
This index contains companies that provide the most advanced environmental, social and governance services. The index components are reviewed every 6 months in December and June.
FTSE Russell confirms that Erste Group Bank AG has been independently assessed against the FTSE4Good criteria and has met the requirements to become a constituent of the FTSE4Good Index Series. The FTSE4Good Index Series was developed by global index provider FTSE Russell and is designed to measure the performance of companies that have strong ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) practices.