Active Climate Protection Active Climate Protection

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Financial institutions play an important role in the mitigation of climate change to which the Community of Nations has committed itself in the Paris Agreement in 2015. It has been agreed as one of three goals to direct global financial flows into projects and technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote climate-resilient development. Commerzbank recognises its responsibility to make its contribution.

And not just since Paris: Since 2008, we have been pursuing a climate strategy that, among other things, envisages the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2020 (base year 2007). This goal was achieved two years ahead of time in 2018. Another stipulation of the climate strategy was the gradual compensation of unavoidable emissions. Since 2015, Commerzbank has been compensating its own carbon footprint with certificates from climate protection projects, thus working completely climate-neutral.

Additional requirements of the climate strategy are contributions to climate protection in the core business - for example by financing renewable energies, issuing green and social bonds or trading in emission rights - and the commitment to climate protection in various initiatives.

Details on the four main areas of action for the implementation of our climate strategy:

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1. Climate protection as part of environmental management at the bank

A systematic analysis of the sources of emissions as well as of our own carbon footprint is essential when determining the emissions reduction potential and introducing effective measures. Commerzbank is therefore moving away from eco-controlling in favour of CO2 accounting, which involves implementing CO2 substitution measures, such as the gradual switch to green electricity and other CO2 reduction methods.

2. Offsetting unavoidable carbon emissions

Commerzbank compensates for emissions that are (still) unavoidable by purchasing and decommissioning CO2 certificates from climate protection projects and has been working climate neutral since 2015. The focus lies on projects in developing and emerging countries that use the revenues from the purchase of certificates for the construction and expansion of renewable energy plants or energy efficiency programs. These projects usually also have social benefits for the people in the region, for example through creating jobs and thus offering modest prosperity, improving energy supply or providing an alternative to harmful methods such as wood fired cooking stoves.

3. Environmentally responsible products and services in core business

Commerzbank also promotes sustainable development in its core business. The bank has been financing wind and solar parks since the 1980s. Today it is one of the largest financiers of renewable energy in Europe. A recent example is Green and Social Bonds which are specific bonds that finance sustainable projects. In 2018 alone, Commerzbank accompanied 20 green and social bonds from customers with a total volume of more than 11 billion euros. In October 2018, the bank also launched its first own Green Bond with 500 million euros.

For climate protection, it is no less important to decline certain businesses. In dealing with environmental and social risks, Commerzbank has published a new framework in 2018 that contains all industry-specific requirements, such as mining, energy, oil and gas. Cross-industry requirements concern human rights and indigenous peoples. For particularly critical topics exclusionary criteria were formulated. For example, the bank does not finance new coal-fired power plants or projects related to fracking or tar sands.

4. Communication on climate protection

In order to further spread the idea of ​​climate protection, Commerzbank is active in various initiatives, such as the Development and Climate Alliance of the German Development Ministry or Climate Neutral Now, set up by the United Nations Climate Change Program. In addition, the Bank is involved in several industry initiatives for a sustainable finance industry such as the Green and Sustainable Finance Cluster.

Further information

Climate-neutral bank business

Since 2015 remaining greenhouse-gas emissions have been compensated for through the purchase and decommissioning of high-quality CO2 certificates

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Achievment of climate target

Press release on the early achievement of climate goals in 2018

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Commit to action

Commerzbank supports a number of initiatives in the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference 2015 in Paris.

More information on the initiatives

Support for the Sustainable Development Goals

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