Sustainability needs companies that lead the way

Living sustainability means being a pioneer of sustainable economic and ecological change.

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Angela Hütter

Commerzbank

Man with tablet leaning against a tree in the forest.
Sustainable finances are in view everywhere. Copyright: Adobe Stock
Living sustainability means being a pioneer of sustainable economic and ecological change. This claim is also reflected in the offer for our customers. For example, the fund portfolio, which must meet verifiable criteria.

Sustainable thinking is a tradition at Commerzbank. Just three examples: As early as the 1980s, it was the first major German bank to finance wind turbines. Asset management has been offering targeted sustainable investments for more than a decade.

For Commerzbank, it is clear that smart commercial thinking has to do with resource protection. Today, the Bank is a model of responsible and forward-looking action that respects globally recognized standards and values.

The number of sustainably oriented investors is rising

Of course, this also includes suitable investment offers, such as special sustainability funds that bundle sustainable corporate securities. Interest in such investments has increased significantly in recent years, although the majority of investors still pay more attention to yield than to sustainable management. Both are possible. "In the long term, the performance of sustainable investments is at least as good as with other forms of investment," says Peter Körndl, Head of Sustainability in Asset Management at Commerzbank. This is why more and more funds are investing only where the triad is right: Resource-conserving management, social aspects and efficient control processes.

Regular review of criteria

Sustainability is not everywhere that sustainability is written on it. For this reason, the rating agency MSCI ESG-Research regularly reviews thousands of companies around the world as they are positioned in the categories of environment, social affairs and corporate governance (ESG) for Commerzbank. Within the bank, the results are compared with Commerzbank's criteria and linked to a best-in-class approach. It considers the best-in-class in its industry when it comes to managing sustainability risks.

Consulting is the central point of the sustainability strategy for investors. In this context, the sustainability preference is specifically queried. The EU's aim with this inquiry is to ensure that the ESG criteria are even more respected in the case of installations. The idea behind it is to convince customers of sustainable investments.

There are still a number of challenges to be tackled

But it is also true that the path to an absolutely sustainable portfolio is still far away. Individual "clean" funds already exist. But many listed companies will not be able to meet tough limits, such as CO2 emissions, in the foreseeable future. Moreover, many key sustainability criteria are not yet systematically recorded. Nevertheless, sustainability criteria will be taken into account in all Commerzbank asset management solutions from 2025 onwards.

The Bank has defined clear rules and objectives that go beyond the legal requirements for its actions as a fund broker and business partner in order to set a good example. The commitment should be based on innovation and understanding in order to meet the responsibility for this and future generations. Because sustainability starts with a self.

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