Sustainability approach and climate change

Deutsche Bank’s commitment to sustainability is long-standing. Early on, in 2000, we committed ourselves to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact as one of the early signatories, and we are a member of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). As a signatory to the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Banking as well as its Principles for Responsible Investment, the bank is committed to responsible banking and investment practices.

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Based on our long-standing commitments, in July 2019, sustainability has become a central component of our corporate strategy, "Compete to win”. To embed sustainability holistically throughout the bank, we are focusing on four dimensions:

→ Sustainable finance:

Making sustainability an integral part of our client offerings, as well as offering products and services that help our clients to transform business models towards a low-carbon future. In May 2020, we set ourselves the target to increase the volume of sustainable financing and our portfolio of sustainable investments under management to over 200 billion euros by 2025.

→ Policy and commitments:

Integrating environmental and social considerations into the bank’s risk management framework. In doing so, we follow internationally recognised principles and standards. In June 2020, we articulated our commitment to align our lending portfolios to the targets set by the Paris Agreement. In addition, in July 2020, we expanded our fossil fuel policies and formally joined the Equator Principles Association.

→ Our own environmental footprint:

Continuously reducing our own environmental footprint. We have been operating carbon neutrally since 2012. As part of this commitment, we have been reducing our energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Compared to 2010, we have reduced our energy consumption by more than 25% and cut our greenhouse gas emissions by half. In 2019, about 80% of our electricity was from renewable sources and we have committed ourselves to expanding this to 100% by 2025.

→ Thought leadership:

Being a leading voice in the public debate on climate change and sustainable growth as well as actively engaging in regulatory discussion and innovative initiatives. As a member of the Banking Environment Initiative (BEI), in 2019, we collaborated in Bank 2030, a project that set out to understand how banks can accelerate the financing of a low-carbon economy and develop a vision for climate-progressive banks. Deutsche Bank is also represented in the Sustainable Finance Advisory Council, inaugurated in 2019 by the German Federal Government to support the development of a national sustainable finance strategy. Moreover, in 2020, we launched dbSustainability, a dedicated sustainability research platform providing thought-provoking, value-added and aligned content spanning thematic, macro, quantitative and individual company analysis (dbresearch.com).

Sustainability covers a broad spectrum of environmental and social matters, with climate change being one of the defining challenges of our time. As a leading global financial institution, we recognise the role we have to play in addressing this challenge and helping to shape the global change to a sustainable, climate-neutral and social economy.

By signing the Paris Pledge for Action in 2015, we articulated our commitment to contribute to the goals of the Paris Agreement. We reinforced this statement by joining the German Financial Sector’s collective commitment to Climate Action in June 2020. We welcome the European Union’s ambition of becoming carbon-neutral, and will support efforts in advancing the European Commission’s action plan on sustainable finance as well as transitioning the economy, as laid out in the Commission’s EU Green Deal.

Frank Thiel Perito Moreno #01, 2012/13 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020