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- Morgan Stanley Capital International Index A Rating (MSCI)
- CDP B Rating
- Corporate Knight’s Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World Index (2019) 67th Ranking
- FTSE4Good Index Series
CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER
- PETA Award as “Heroes for Animals” 2016
- Oekom C/Prime Rating, Sustainalytics – Outperformer (75 out of 100)
- ISS Quality Scores Low Risk Rating
Commerzbank is a leading international commercial bank with branches and offices in nearly 50 countries. The Bank’s two business segments – Private and Small-Business Customers and Corporate Clients – offer a comprehensive portfolio of financial services precisely tailored to their customers’ needs.
The Private and Small-Business Customers segment encompasses branch business in Germany, Comdirect Group, Commerz Real and the mBank Group. Additionally, Commerzbank has created a separate business unit for small business customers within the Private and Small-Business Customers segment to take responsibility for business customers and small corporate clients.
In corporate banking, the Bank is further extending its leading position in trade financing. To achieve this, it is looking for focused growth in the most important trade corridors for German and European corporate clients. With its deep penetration of key German industries – automotive and transport, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, engineering, energy and infrastructure, consumer goods and retail – Commerzbank possesses comprehensive sector expertise which sets it apart from the competition.
The run-off segment “Asset & Capital Recovery (ACR)” comprises – besides the Public Finance business – all non-strategic activities of commercial real estate and ship finance.
Company Sustainable Activity
Commerzbank’s Environment and Society Principles:
- Principle 7: Working to reduce its ecological footprint.
- Principle 8: Engaging in a dialogue with stakeholders and supporting sustainable development in the financial market.
- Principle 9: Actively committed to creating a future-ready society.
- The target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70 per cent until 2020 (in relation to the base year 2007) was reached in 2018, two years ahead of time.
- Since 2013, the electricity Commerzbank uses in Germany is 100 per cent of renewable origin. Therefore, all the 1,100 Commerzbank buildings here are completely supplied with green electricity.
- Since August 2014, Commerzbank has been, as the first German bank, a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
- ISO 14001 Environmental Management System
- ISO 50001 Energy Management System
Sustainable Development Goals
How company covers SDGs
SDG 1 – No Poverty:
- Aid appeals – Commerzbank’s current donation recommendation goes to the victims of the cyclone Idai in Southeast Africa. Cyclone Idai was one of the worst weather disasters that destroyed large parts of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi on March 14, 2019. Care is now mobilizing emergency aid in all three countries in close coordination with other aid actors, governments and the UN.
- Free Access to Banking Services – As of December 2018, about 65 per cent of their branches were equipped with completely barrier-free access.
SDG 2 – Zero Hunger:
- No New Exchange-Traded Investment Products based on Food Staples – Since November 2011, Commerzbank has not issued any new products based on food staples such as wheat, corn, soy, rice or potatoes. In addition, all food staples have been removed from the only exchange-traded fund referencing them. Commerzbank has also implemented this decision throughout its private client business and to third-party products as well.
SDG 3 – Good Health and Wellbeing:
- Health Management for Employees – From nutritional advice to stress management seminars, Commerzbank’s multifaceted workplace health management (WHM) goes well beyond the minimum legal requirements. The aim of the WHM is to support every aspect of employees’ physical and mental health as well as their social well-being. It focuses on four areas: nutrition, physical activity, stress management and addiction prevention.
SDG 4 – Quality Education:
- business@school – business@school is an initiative of the business consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and is supported by Commerzbank’s management and employees for nine years. The initiative aims to inform about business topics in a vivid and practical way in school. They coach a group of pupils and help in managing business projects. Thus, every year more than 2,000 pupils from Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and the United States are given the opportunity to acquire business skills and key skills in three phases of the project.
- Environmental Internship – The Commerzbank environmental internship was established in 1990 as a joint project with Germany’s national parks. The internship offers students a unique opportunity to experience nature at close range and to acquire useful skills for their later careers. As early as 2007, the program was honored as an official project of the UN World Decade “Education for Sustainable Development”, on 25 June 2007.
- Education Mentor Program – Commerzbank’s education mentor programme contributes to equality of access to education in Germany and provides another opportunity for employees to become volunteers. Since 2013, bank employees have been providing support to young people in danger of dropping out of school, who cannot find a training place or who might not complete their training.
- Activities of the Foundations within Commerzbank – The Commerzbank Foundation is an autonomous company foundation that supports charitable projects offering innovative approaches and sustainable impact throughout Germany. The focus lies on the areas of science, culture and social projects.
SDG 5 – Gender Equality:
- Diversity Management – Diversity is at the centre of Commerzbanks’ organisational culture, and the organization believes that having a diverse and inclusive organisation is integral to the success of Commerzbank. By valuing and drawing upon its employees’ unique backgrounds, ideas and perspectives, the bank is able to think creatively, respond to the needs of clients and foster an environment of mutual respect and partnership for its employees.
SDG 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation:
- MoorFutures Compensate CO2 Emissions of the Annual General Meeting – The target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70 per cent until 2020 (in relation to the base year 2007) was reached in 2018, two years ahead of time. Furthermore, it is part of the bank’s climate strategy to compensate for unavoidable emissions by purchasing environmental certificates to finance climate-friendly projects. The 2019 Annual General Meeting emissions of 152 tons carbon dioxide (previous year: 217 tons CO2) were compensated by the acquisitions of CO2-certificates of the project portfolio “CO2OL CliMates – Mecklenburg-Vorpommern meets Indonesia”. It is a combination of the moor rewetting project MoorFutures in the German federal province of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and a forest protection project in Indonesia.
SDG 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy:
- Financing Renewable Energies with the CoC Energy – Commerzbank has been active in financing renewable energy for three decades and established its own dedicated competence centre in Hamburg in 2003, which today is one of the biggest financiers of renewable energy in Europe.
- Energy Efficiency Consultancy – With a share of around nine per cent in industrial energy efficiency programmes of KfW, Commerzbank is one of the leading banks in using public funding for corresponding investments by German SMEs. Commerzbank’s funding consulting provides access to suitable funding opportunities.
- Sustainable Finance Committee – Sustainable Finance contains all measures of financial services improving the effects of a productive real economy onto the environment and society. Through interdisciplinary cooperation within the bank, it shall enable and facilitate the exchange of information on current issues of sustainable finance.
- Compensation Projects for Offsetting Unavoidable Carbon Emissions – Remaining emissions have been compensated since January 2015 via high-quality CO2 certificates. 80% of the CO2 emissions anticipated for the current year will already be compensated during the course of the year. The remaining amount will follow after the presentation of the verified CO2 emission data.
2019 Energy Projects
- Xekaman 3 Hydropower Laos (Project 5583) Small-Scale Renewable Energy PoA in Thailand (Projekt 6222)
- Mampuri Wind Power Project 2 Sri Lanka (Projekt 7374)
- Godwari Solar Thermal Power India I Gold Standard (Project 7379)
- Micro-hydro Nepal (Project 3653)
- Tra Xom Hydropower Vietnam (Project 6103)
SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth:
- Code of Conduct – The Code of Conduct lays down mandatory minimum standards, providing orientation to all employees of the Commerzbank Group for correct and ethical behaviour in their daily work. Integrity is one of the guiding principles behind Commerzbank’s business activities.
- Human Rights’ Position – Commerzbank is committed to respecting human rights.
- Education Mentor Programme – Written Above Under SDG 4
- Activities of the Foundations within Commerzbank – Written Above Under SDG 4
SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure:
- Long-Term Financing of Renewable Energies (CoC Energy) – Written Above on Page 5 Under SDG 7
- Core Business of the Bank for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses – Link not working.
- Sustainable Finance Committee – Written Above Under SDG 7
- Sustainable Trade – For a long time they have been working with their partners to finance the trade of products and services in the fields of clean energy and clean technology. Further, in all of the trade-related transactions in which they are involved, they include high standards of sustainability among their lending criteria.
SDG 10 – Reduced Inequalities:
- Compliance – They are committed to the highest ethical values, integrity and fairness, undertaking to comply with all prevailing legislation, directives and market standards. The prevention of money laundering, financing of terrorism, insider dealing, fraud, corruption and other criminal offences in the context of their business are the focus of their compliance activities.
SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities:
- Energy Efficiency Consultancy – Written Above Under SDG 7
- Sustainable Trade Reports – Written Above Under SDG 9
- Commerzbank Tower in Frankfurt and Facility Management – Commerzbank is pursuing energy-efficient designs and use of the buildings for new constructions and modernisations. They endeavour to reduce their energy consumption which automatically improves the value of the buildings. Since 2013, the electricity they use in Germany is 100 per cent of renewable origin. Therefore, all the 1,100 Commerzbank buildings here are completely supplied with green electricity. Worldwide, the share of electricity from renewable energy sources is 93 per cent (as of 2018). Additionally, they installed LED lighting in the windows of all approximately 1,000 branches and also use it for their exterior illumination.
SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production:
- Sustainable Procurement Policy – Products and services purchased by Commerzbank should have the smallest possible negative impact on the environment, climate and health; they must be produced under decent labour conditions and be suitable for recycling wherever possible. To achieve these aims, the Bank introduced a sustainable procurement standard which is regularly updated and supplements their purchasing guidelines. For quality assurance purposes, the Bank requires suppliers to complete an electronic questionnaire that also contains questions related to sustainability.
- Sustainability Reporting – The contribution that Commerzbank can make to today’s dynamic world is outlined in the 2019 Corporate Responsibility Magazine. The second part of their sustainability reporting is the GRI Report. In this overview, they explain their sustainability achievements in the reporting year using the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a worldwide approved standard for sustainability indicators. The GRI Report is also their Communication on Progress (COP) regarding the ten principles of the UN Global Compact.
- Sustainable Trade Reports – Written Above Under SDG 9
SDG 13 – Climate Action:
- Climate Neutrality – Written Above Under SDG 6
- Climate Objectives – Since 2008, Commerzbank has been pursuing a climate strategy that, among other things, envisages the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2020 (the base year 2007). This goal was achieved two years ahead of time in 2018. Another stipulation of the climate strategy was the gradual compensation of unavoidable emissions. Since 2015, Commerzbank has been compensating its own carbon footprint with certificates from climate protection projects, thus working completely climate-neutral.
- Renewable Energy – Efficient energy management is an important part of the sustainability strategy of Commerzbank. By switching to 100 per cent green electricity in Germany, the power consumption is almost without CO2 emissions, but one of the largest cost units in real estate operations with around 220 million kWh. Now it should be further reduced by the use of intelligent power meters. Overall, the Bank expects energy savings of about 10 per cent with the use of Smart Meters.
- Transparent and Consistent Reporting – Written Above Under SDG 12
- CDP Commitments – Commerzbank supports a number of initiatives with the common aim to send a strong signal to policymakers for a far-reaching and binding climate change agreement. One of these initiatives is the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC) of the World Bank.
- Sustainable Finance Committee – Written Above Under SDG 7
- Financing Renewable Energies with the CoC Energy – Written Above Under SDG 7
SDG 15 – Life on Land:
- Environmental Internship – Written Above Under SDG 4
- Positions and Directives “Land & Forestry” – The positive effects of Forestry are often offset by negative environmental and social impacts. These are taken into account by Commerzbank in its decisions on transactions and business relationships. In the case of proposed business activities connected to agriculture or forestry, Commerzbank investigates:
- Human rights compliance (especially the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples) and the adoption of measures aimed at combating discrimination against women.
- Compliance with the International Labour Organization (ILO) standards on working conditions.
- Protection of High Conservation Value Areas (HCVAs) and UNESCO World Heritage sites or similar protected areas (if applicable, with the involvement of local specialists or NGOs).
- Illegal or uncontrolled burning of forests by companies.
- Membership at the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil – Since August 2014, Commerzbank has been, as the first German bank, a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Thereby, they intend to contribute to the sustainable development of the palm oil sector as well as to a positive impact on the support of sustainable production. Palm oil companies, which are clients of Commerzbank, must be a member of the RSPO. They must also provide information (such as certification) about the extent to which sustainable palm oil production is already carried out within their supply chain, or about their targets for ensuring sustainable production. If a company fails to meet any of these criteria, Commerzbank cannot finance this company’s palm oil business.
- PETA Award as “Heroes for Animals” 2016 – The animal rights organisation PETA awarded Commerzbank as “Helden für Tiere” (Heroes for Animals) in 2016 for its exemplary commitment for protected species.
- Climate Neutral Annual General Meeting – Written Above Under SDG 6
SDG 16 – Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions:
- Robust Compliance – Written Above Under SDG 10
- Anti-Corruption Measures – The Compliance programme to combat corruption addresses employees at Commerzbank and business partners of the Bank. The Bank ensures that regulations as part of statutory anti-corruption legislation are observed Group-wide.
- Positions and Directives – As a leading commercial bank in Germany, Commerzbank has an obligation to act responsibly, in both economic and socio-political terms, in the areas where it has an influence. It respects the rights and expectations of its various stakeholders and of society at large and ensures they are factored into company decisions. In light of this responsibility, the Bank is committed to the UN Global Compact and has adopted positions and policies concerning environmental and social issues. The positions can be divided into three categories:
- General Exclusionary Criteria – Exclusionary criteria apply to all products, transactions or business relationships of Commerzbank with connections to the following areas: Mining, Energy, Food Staples, Oil and Gas, Palm Oil, Armaments, and Ship Breaking.
- Cross-Sectoral Requirements – As a rule, Commerzbank assesses products, transactions and business relationships in terms of possible violations of Human Rights or the concerns of Indigenous People.
- Sector-Specific Requirements – Some areas are particularly susceptible to social and ecological risks. They are therefore subject to additional requirements above and beyond those applicable to all sectors and activities. As a general rule: Commerzbank performs an intensive and critical assessment of all transactions and business relationships with connections to the following areas: Cotton and Textiles, Mining, Energy, Food Staples, Agriculture and Forestry, Oil and Gas, Armaments, Ship Breaking, and Tobacco.
SDG 17 – Partnership for the Goals:
- Cooperation Amongst Peers
- Sustainable Trade – Written Above Under SDG 9
- Trade Services – Commerzbank is Germany’s leading trade finance bank, the nation’s exporters’ partner of choice and maintains a global network of correspondent banks. They settle 50bn € worth of trade at any time and have a clear commitment to their international and commercial roots. Through their local presence and one of the world’s largest correspondent networks, any Letter of Credit reaches its destination within 24 hours.
What They Offer:
- LCs are processed within 24 hours (confirmed LCs subject to credit limits).
- Processing of LC business 18 h per day, five working days a week in three dedicated trade processing centres in Europe and Asia.
- 70% of export markets covered by their local presence.
- Cooperation with Foreign Aid Banks – Commerzbank has been cooperating with every important development banks in the Financial Institutions area for many years. The Trade Facilitation Programme primarily supports small and medium businesses in their worldwide trading activities.
- Membership UN Global Compact –
- Stakeholder Dialogue – Corporate social responsibility involves seeking regular dialogue with internal and external stakeholders. They maintain a close dialogue with the following stakeholder groups: Financial Sector, Society, Capital Markets, Clients, Suppliers, Media, Employees, Non-Governmental Organizations, Politicians, Academic and Research Institutions.”
Commerzbank has certifications for all its locations, has clear objectives, clear progress and many awards. The bank devotedly follows the SDGs goals and guidelines very stringently. For its commitment to sustainability, Commerzbank is awarded the rating B.