Sustainability in action
As a development finance provider and part of the KfW Group, sustainability is central to the way we do business. We provide long-term support and are committed to high international environmental and social standards and to good corporate governance. This principle is anchored in DEG’s business strategy and applies to the way we deal with customers, contractors and partners and, of course, to our own operations.The KfW Group’s annual Sustainability Report provides extensive information on the various sustainability activities undertaken by KfW and DEG.
Sustainable financing business
There are certain activities and areas that DEG does not finance on principle. These are defined in the exclusion list of the bilateral European Development Finance Institutions (EDFI):
Sustainable company processes
Corporate environmental protection
The top priority in our internal business operations is to avoid negative effects on the environment.
DEG’s headquarters was presented with a gold certificate from the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) in recognition of its energy-saving technology and low consumption levels. At DEG, we use renewable energies and source certified ‘green electricity’.
We are working continually on reducing our resource consumption as much as possible by raising awareness among our employees about the importance of conserving resources and by opting for digital processes wherever possible. Recycled paper is used for printing and copying at DEG. In most cases, DEG publications are released in digital form and not as a print version. Externally produced print publications are climate-neutral. This means that all relevant CO2 emissions created during the printing process are calculated, disclosed and offset by means of climate protection certificates.
Since as far back as 2012, DEG has had a Veggie Day once a week where employees are provided with a vegetarian meal for lunch. This helps us to make a further contribution to reducing CO2.
The KfW Group’s banking operations are largely climate-neutral as regards energy (buildings) and business travel. Any remaining emissions - despite the switch to renewable energies and environmentally friendly modes of transport - have been offset since 2006.
DEG and KfW have signed an agreement whereby KfW will make available long-term refinancing funds for DEG. KfW refinances itself by issuing bonds on the capital market. Its promotional policies and internal organisation are geared towards sustainable practices. In addition to good ratings for its own bonds, sustainability ratings are of importance to KfW as they constitute an external seal of quality.
KfW gears its own investment behaviour towards sustainability and has been a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) since 2006. It factors sustainability criteria into investment decisions in its securities management. In accordance with its exclusion criteria, issuers with holdings in companies with unacceptable business activities are excluded entirely from its investment universe.
At DEG, our long-term social commitment is geared towards various beneficiaries and areas of focus in the Cologne/NRW region.
For instance, we provide financial support to the work undertaken by ‘Auf Achse’ Treberhilfe e.V., an organisation that helps young homeless people, and make financial and in-kind donations available to the Kölner Tafel food bank in Cologne. We donate furniture, IT equipment and other materials to local organisations. Once a year, DEG employees take part in voluntary activities as part of the Kölner FreiwilligenTage volunteer event.
We are also active in promoting an ongoing cultural exchange and in building bridges between Cologne and our partner countries. In doing so, we work together with institutions like Lit.Cologne and Literaturhaus Köln.