Sustainability in Deka’s business model

We believe in sustainability: This issue has been central to our corporate strategy since 2015. This includes the fact that we have integrated climate targets into our business model.

Climate protection is a major topic in the social debate in Germany. The objective is to limit global warming to less than two degrees Celsius in the coming decades. Sustainability and climate protection are particularly important to young people. Politicians are increasingly implementing legal regulations for climate protection and for the promotion of a more sustainable financial sector.

Deka Group is taking this into account: Sustainability is an important issue for us. Starting with the introduction of an environmental management system in 2009, we have been engaged in sustainable corporate management since 2013. Since 2015, the Deka Group has no longer documented the issue of sustainability in a separate sustainability strategy, but has anchored it directly in its business strategy. This demonstrates that sustainability has become a central component of our business model.
The five areas of activity in sustainability management at Deka are:

  • Sustainable corporate governance
  • Sustainable products
  • Sustainable human resource management
  • Sustainable banking
  • Corporate citizenship
The numerous activities from the field of action "Growth through sustainability" have meanwhile been transferred to projects, initiatives and line responsibilities, where they are continuously developed further. For example, ESG governance within the Deka Group was restructured in 2022 to take account of social, legal and business change processes.

What we have already achieved:
  • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from banking operations by about 50% over the past 10 years
  • Definition of exclusion criteria in DekaBank’s own investments (portfolio A) since 2014
  • Introduction of a positive and negative list in DekaBank’s lending business
  • Expansion of our product range including sustainable funds, ETFs and certificates
  • Cooperation with MeteoViva Climate to optimise energy consumptions and reduction of the CO2-emissions in the real estate funds
  • An exclusion applies to all actively managed mutual funds and proprietary investments for companies that are significantly engaged in the extraction and generation of electricity from coal
Following the Paris Agreement on climate change, legislators and regulators have significantly intensified their activities to embed climate and sustainability criteria in the financial market.

Banks are affected by this in two ways: Firstly, through requirements that directly affect their business activities, their product portfolio and their risk management. Secondly, indirectly via requirements that affect their customers in the financing and investment business.

DekaBank is addressing the challenges associated with climate change and sustainable development and has set itself ambitious targets for the coming years.

Important foundations and guidelines in this regard are the voluntary commitment of German savings banks (Sparkassen) to climate-friendly and sustainable business practices and the Target 2025 - Guidelines for Sustainability in Savings Banks.

This will require the continuation of the measures initiated in 2020, such as the calculation of the carbon footprint for the Assets, as well as the implementation of new measures in risk controlling, business operations, the product range, real estate investments and reporting.

Organizational anchoring

As an organisation, the Deka Group is positioning itself for the future in order to be able to act in a risk- and opportunity-oriented manner. This includes the consistent integration of sustainability aspects into the organisational structure and processes. Potential sustainability risks in relevant business processes are systematically identified and managed. Regulatory requirements are implemented reliably and with a long-term orientation. The focus here is on the organisational location of ESG-related responsibilities and the establishment of cross-departmental coordination and control processes.

Strategic and group-related coordinative (cross-cutting) topics are managed centrally in the unit "Strategic ESG Management" within the Strategy & Human Resources department. The translation and implementation of strategic goals is decentralized at the level of the individual divisions and units, with support provided by the existing unit in the Board of Management Staff & Communications division at DekaBank, "Operational ESG Management" (Sustainability Management).