Sustainability: Climate protection and social responsibility at HCOB


Hamburg Commercial Bank as a sustainable company

For Hamburg Commercial Bank, there is no question that companies and banks, as important stakeholders in society, must also respond to what is probably the greatest challenge of our time: climate change. The Bank therefore aligns its actions with the numerous frameworks that have been adopted in this context in recent years. These include the Paris Climate Agreement and the United Nations' 2030 Agenda, at the heart of which are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, these do not only include ecological goals. They also take social aspects into account and ensure good corporate governance.

Hamburg Commercial Bank bases its actions on the now established ESG criteria - where ESG stands for "E "nvironmental, "S "ocial and "G "overnance. Orienting its own actions to the ESG criteria not only helps to address important social issues. It also makes an important contribution to the Bank's future viability. We are convinced that companies that do not align their actions with these criteria will not have good prospects of success in the future - not least because the regulatory authorities have included these criteria in their review procedures.

The Bank integrates ESG criteria into its lending process as well as into its outsourcing and supply management. At the same time, the Bank aligns its own actions accordingly: For example, the Bank uses electricity generated exclusively from renewable sources in its buildings. It has significantly reduced its paper consumption in recent years, optimised its lighting systems and adopted clear consumption criteria for company cars. As employees are particularly exposed to stress during periods of change, the Bank also provides comprehensive health management, including social counselling.

On the following pages you will learn more about the implementation of our ESG criteria. In the reporting section you will find various related documents, such as our annual CSR report or our Sustainability Factbook .

The Guiding Principles for Sustainability at HCOB

As a signatory to the UNEP FI "Principles for Responsible Banking" , Hamburg Commercial Bank is committed to firmly integrating sustainability aspects into its actions. At the heart of this are six main principles defined on the basis of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement, which focus on the orientation of the company, the impact of its actions, customers and stakeholders, as well as the type of corporate governance and its objectives, and transparency

HCOB aims to be one of the leading companies in the field of sustainable business in Germany. In order to achieve this ambitious goal, the Bank has developed its own "GuidingPrinciples" in line with globally recognised, mandatory and voluntary standards and incorporated them into its corporate strategy. The Guiding Principles serve the Bank as a guideline that is both an orientation and a target. They help to anchor the principles of sustainability in the DNA of Hamburg Commercial Bank.

1. As a leading banking partner, we take on responsibility to carry out sustainable business activities, as a lasting investment in a sustainable future and a world that needs to be preserved.
2. Sustainable action is a formative component of our HCOB DNA. This clearly reflects our business orientation and our management of risks. In the stringent and independent governance of ESG aspects, the members of our Management Board take active responsibility. We are characterised by our culture of effective, responsible and transparent management.
3. We aim to increase/extend our financing activities in sustainable business activities and projects (e.g. in the field of renewable energies) and offer ESG-oriented products. We intend to have a green loan portfolio and to achieve compliance with the Paris Climate Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
4. We actively support the transformation of our clients’ business models towards greater sustainability.
5. As a signatory of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB), we set a clear commitment to climate protection and sustainable action. We aim to implement sustainability aspects in all of the Bank’s
business areas and therefore commit to reduce the Bank’s impact on climate change in all business operations and strengthen internal company awareness for ecological sustainability and resource protection.
6. We regard motivated and qualified employees as key to achieving sustainability. Flexible working arrangements that allow employees to strike a balance between their career and family commitments are important to us. Discrimination or harassment of employees in any form is unacceptable to us. We believe that diversity is beneficial to our success.
7. We combine sustainability in our operating business with technology, digitalisation and innovation.

The Sustainability Management Team at Hamburg Commercial Bank

For the concrete implementation of HCOB's sustainability strategy and the achievement of its sustainability goals, the Bank has set up a Sustainability Office and a Sustainability Committee; the project sponsor is the Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors, Stefan Ermisch. In addition, there is a Sustainability Working Group, which consists of colleagues from various specialist and corporate divisions and supports the work of the Sustainability Office and Sustainability Committee.

Further topics

We are here for you

your contact person for sustainability

Martin Jonas

Head Sustainability Office

Phone: +49 40 3333-11500

Oliver Scholz

Deputy Head of Sustainability Office

Phone: 040 3333-11229