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November 30, 2009

Commerzbank commits to sustainability and climate protection

• 90% of green electricity by 2010; CO2 emissions to be cut 30% by 2011

• Energy efficiency advice for corporate customers from climate:coach

• Center of Competence Renewable Energies is market leader in Germany

• Already one of the leaders in emissions trading

• Frank Annuscheit: "We will continue to drive our activities forward in the context of our climate strategy"


Commerzbank today unveiled its climate strategy at the company's Climate Conference. "We are living up to our responsibility to help find solutions to the challenges facing our society as a whole, and climate change is one of them," said Frank Annuscheit, the member of Commerzbank's Board of Managing Directors responsible among others for organisational matters and environmental management. The environmental management systems of the two banks were operationally merged as part of the Dresdner Bank integration, and the certificate for the new Commerzbank was confirmed in mid-2009. From January 1, 2010 green electricity will be used for 90% of the needs of both companies. The new bank's carbon footprint has also been calculated and used to set reductions targets to be reached by 2011. Mr Annuscheit emphasises: "We will continue to drive our climate protection activities forward. The issue of climate neutrality is right at the top of the agenda for the new Commerzbank." He goes on to say: "We are helping to protect the climate with innovative products as well as sustainable environmental management."

Cutting greenhouse gas emissions

Commerzbank aims to achieve a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the base year 2007 by 2011 and then gradually move to climate-neutral. The first major step has already been taken by cutting CO2 emissions from electricity consumption by 130,000 tonnes per year starting in 2010. This reduction is roughly equivalent to the CO2 output caused by the electricity consumption of the city of Mainz.

Since January 1, 2008, the Commerzbank Tower has been supplied exclusively with green electricity derived from renewable energy sources. "This change has reduced our CO2 emissions from electricity use by almost 14% in Frankfurt and by 6% across Germany," comments Mr Annuscheit. He regards the Green Building Award recently bestowed on the Commerzbank head office by the City of Frankfurt as confirmation of the company's commitment to corporate environmental and climate issues.

Climate-friendly products and services in the core business

The Climate Conference also saw presentations by related business areas such as financing renewable energies, the emissions trading unit acquired from Dresdner Bank and the Mittelstandsbank's climate:coach advisory tool.

The Center of Competence Renewable Energies (CoC RE) is one of the world's ten largest financers of renewable energies. One of its Co-Heads Dr Jan-Philipp Gillmann reports: "We had a portfolio of around EUR 4 billion in 2008. Roughly 70% of the projects related to wind energy, 20% to solar and the other 10% to bio-energy and hydro power, among others." Wind energy facilities financed by Commerzbank to date in Germany save 8.6 million tonnes of CO2 emissions every year. "That is about 10% of the total reduction in CO2 emissions via renewable energies in Germany," comments Dr Gillmann. CoC RE operates all over the world, even in countries that are only just starting to look at renewable energies. For example, it recently played a leading role in arranging the financing for the first wind park in the Republic of Cyprus. This facility will supply about 8% of the country's electricity requirements.

One of the main tools for limiting climate change is trading in CO2 emission rights. In the last five years, an in-house emissions trading team has established itself as one of the world's leading suppliers of climate protection solutions. Further progress depends very much on politics setting, for example at the world climate summit in Copenhagen this December. However, Ingo Ramming, Co-Head of the Commodity Solutions Group, is optimistic: "We expect strong growth in the future. Emissions trading is the perfect instrument for reducing greenhouse gases at the lowest cost."

The first quarter of 2009 saw an innovative service launched by the Mittelstandsbank: climate:coach, the first financial product of its type in Germany. This offers small and medium-sized clients expertise on financial and climate issues. It analyses the energy efficiency and CO2-intensity of corporate processes and uses benchmarks to compare these to other companies in similar industries. The system then uses this data to point out potential reductions and gives customised recommendations on steps to take and financial issues. Markus Plöger, product manager of climate:coach explains: "Yesterday the climate was something in the weather report; tomorrow it's going to be an issue on your balance sheet."

Communicating about climate protection

Commerzbank uses lots of ways to make its employees and the general public more aware of the issue of climate change. These include in-house initiatives like the UnternehmerPerspektiven (EntrepreneurialPerspectives) series of events, a variety of information sheets for staff and customers, and an involvement in climate protection initiatives such as the Carbon Disclosure Project, the Finanz Forum:Klimawandel (Climate Change Finance Forum) organised by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Climate and Finance Action Week run by the Federal Ministry for the Environment.

Contact:
Michael Machauer, 069 263-57079

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