We follow a sustainable financing approach focused on a small number of client groups that are geared towards people’s needs. These include, among others, housing, healthcare, nursing, education, food, agriculture, infrastructure, and renewable energies. In this way, we create value for the environment, society, our employees and customers.
Our overarching goal is to be one of the most successful banks in Germany and thus expand our role as a sustainability pioneer among the top 20.
We are therefore increasing the proportion of our loan portfolio that makes a significant contribution to the SDGs to 85% by 2030.
By 2040, we want to bring our entire product portfolio into line with the 1.5-degree limit of the Paris Agreement.
We are proud of everything we as a bank have done so far for people and the environment. At the same time, we are convinced that we can do so much more. We see sustainability as an ongoing process.
Our 2021 SDG mapping showed that almost 79% of our loans significantly contribute to the SDGs (as of 31.12.2021).
We financed our first wind turbine back in 1996. Today we are the largest provider of financing for the energy transition in Germany with more than EUR 12 billion (as of 31.12.2021).
We use our customers’ money to strengthen the country’s social infrastructure. To date, we have financed more than 1,050 day-care centres and schools, 320 nursing homes and 211 hospitals.
We are the first bank in Germany to issue both a Green Bond and a Social Bond, with a total outstanding volume of around 2 billion euros. With these, we continue to set new standards in sustainability refinancing.
In addition to our free current account, which generates client deposits for the sustainable business client loans mentioned above, we have also created an investment option for private investors with the three DKB sustainability funds.
The first social Pfandbrief, which is also aimed at private investors, the DKB crowdfunding platform for sustainable investments and the citizen savings scheme, DKB-Bürgersparen, are three additional elements of our sustainable product portfolio.
Banks have a central role to play in the transformation of our economy towards greater sustainability. We embrace this responsibility. With our sustainability strategy, we will expand our sustainable measures far beyond the regulatory requirements.
The central guidelines of our understanding of sustainability are the 17 global sustainability goals of the United Nations, also called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In addition to the SDGs, we are also committed to the Paris Agreement. As a bank, we would like to make an active contribution to limiting global warming as a result of human activity to 1.5 degrees, in order to minimise the risks and impact of climate change. Additional UN agreements that we subscribed to in 2021 are the UN Global Compact and the Principles for Responsible Banking. They serve as a compass and help us as a bank to ambitiously improve sustainability.
We are convinced that as a bank we make an important contribution to a sustainable, future-oriented society. Through lending and our products, we channel capital into certain sectors of the economy. This is a great responsibility for the whole financial sector. We focus on selected customer groups. We use the deposits of our private clients to make these projects possible. This makes us and our customers #geldverbesserer.
We exclude the financing of certain industries and projects. Among other things, we do not finance nuclear energy, armaments, use of genetic engineering in agriculture, pornography, prostitution and illegal drug trafficking. We distance ourselves from violations of human rights. DKB does not engage in investment banking, offshore banking or asset management. We also do not engage in insider trading or short selling, nor do we promote tax evasion and tax avoidance.
For more information, please read our investment and financing principles.
We have developed the concept of “blue sustainability” to achieve the SDGs on the one hand, and take into account ESG criteria on the other: “As a bank, we focus on economic success that is in harmony with people, nature and our blue planet.
We consider the greatest leverage of banks to be in channelling funds into sustainable investments and thus promoting sustainability. We harness this leverage by combining sustainability with our core business. For us, sustainability is blue because it translates into doing business in a way that has a positive impact on the long-term well-being of people and the environment. “Blue sustainability” is not limited to the climate and environment but takes a holistic view: the “S” and the “G” are just as important as the “E”.
We are convinced that driving transformation is a key component in achieving the sustainability goals. For this reason, we purposefully not only finance sectors that are already sustainable, but also conventional industries and customers that want to transform themselves. Our focus is on making an impact in line with the SDGs, not on excluding business segments.
For us, sustainability is not a niche topic. We do not want to exclude anyone. “Blue sustainability” is for everyone. We therefore design our products and services to be suitable for broad sections of society and for the vast majority of people. We consider ourselves to be a bank for the mainstream.
Sustainability and sustainable finance are a major opportunity in every sense, especially from an economic viewpoint. With regulations such as the EU taxonomy, we do not see a threat but rather a call to take on responsibility for the sustainable transformation.
We speak openly and transparently about our strengths and weaknesses. We clearly communicate how we can keep moving forward in terms of sustainability. We have therefore defined ambitious targets and measures for an even more sustainable DKB.
We maintain constant dialogue with all of our stakeholder groups – from our customers and employees to our service providers to policymakers and regulators. We don’t just want to focus on ourselves, but, in the spirit of commitment and embracing the SDGs, we want to bring as many parties as possible along with us on the road to better sustainability.
We combine sustainability with technology, digitalisation, innovation and new markets. As a sustainable tech bank, we not only make use of digital opportunities in banking, but also in the management of our sustainability activities and impacts. We have a good overview of the interplay between digitalisation, people and the environment and have created sustainable guidelines.
We have set out on a journey towards making Germany a bit more sustainable and “bluer” every day. To live up to this commitment, we are taking action in the following five fields of action, which we have developed on the basis of a broad-based materiality analysis with the participation of our stakeholders:
Sustainability for future-proof corporate governance
Sustainability for customers
Sustainability for employees
Sustainability for society
Sustainability for the climate and environment
We have also set ourselves ambitious targets within the individual fields of action, which we want to achieve within the next few years as part of our sustainability strategy.
You can find our rules and guidelines on sustainability here:
Some documents are only available in German.