Sustainability is about more than climate! Commerzbank is committed to the sustainable use and protection of global biodiversity.

Butterfly sitting on flowers

What does biodiversity mean?

Striving for ecological sustainability must not focus exclusively on emissions reductions and thus climate protection. Preserving our environment in the form of biodiversity is also indispensable on the path to a secure future.

Biodiversity comprises the totality of all detectable organisms, ecosystems and the biological processes operating within them.

This means that biodiversity makes the earth habitable, provides us with food, for example, and serves as the basis for medicine - in other words, biodiversity is our livelihood.

The issue of biodiversity is gaining in importance. An important milestone was reached at COP 15, the World Nature Conference of the International Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). According to the German Environment Ministry, the "Global Biodiversity Framework" adopted here heralds a turnaround. It also emphasizes the role of the financial sector in biodiversity conservation and calls on its stakeholders to act. At the national level, implementation takes place through the National Biodiversity Strategy (German only).

How does Commerzbank take biodiversity into account in its banking business?

In March 2022, we became the first bank to join the Biodiversity in Good Company (BiGCI) initiative. Here, we are committed to the sustainable use and protection of global biodiversity together with other companies. As evidence of our ongoing commitment, we will submit a progress report to the initiative every two years. The start date for this is 2024 for fiscal 2023.

By joining, we commit to recognizing and supporting the three goals of the international Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD):

  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Sustainable use of its components
  • Equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources.

To achieve these three overarching goals, we will analyse the impact of our corporate activities on biodiversity as well as possible operational dependencies on it. The aim is to set ourselves concrete and verifiable targets for the improved protection of biodiversity and its sustainable use.

An impact analysis forms the basis for the future management of biodiversity. We conducted this for the first time in 2022 using the ENCORE tool. "ENCORE" makes it possible to link economic activities and impacts that are harmful to biodiversity on a scientific basis. To do this, we compared the business volume of the sectors we finance with the tool's external data and then weighted them. We have identified potential fields of action and strategic focus areas and will develop further analyses and measures to protect biodiversity.
Another major step toward achieving the goals was the establishment of a new department in 2023 to manage climate and environmental risks.

We are aware that the loss of biodiversity causes irreversible damage with far-reaching consequences for us all. For this reason, we have been actively committed to protecting biodiversity for years through various projects. For example, Commerzbank has been offering the environmental internship together with German nature reserves since 1990. Another example of our socio-ecological commitment is our cooperation with the Mountain Forest Project, which has reforested more than one million square meters of public forest since fall 2018.

Only those who benefit the climate and nature should be future winners.

Our Commitment

Taskforce on Nature-related
Financial Disclosures (TNFD)

Biodiversity affects the financial sector at various levels. This creates numerous natural opportunities and risks for our credit portfolio. To analyse and transparently report on these, we have been supporting the TNFD since April 2023. The publication of our TNFD report will take place for the first time for the year 2023 in our non-financial report.

In June 2021, TNFD was established with broad support from financial institutions, businesses, governments and the service community. In total, more than 1,000 organizations already support TNFD. These organizations share the vision and mission of TNFD and are willing to contribute to the work and mission of the Task Force.

Biodiversity in Good Company Initiative (BiCGI)

Biodiversity is increasingly becoming the focus of debates on sustainable development. This is also reflected in connection with our new materiality analysis, which we launched in the reporting year 2021. In the future, we will broaden our strategic focus to include a stronger commitment to the sustainable use and protection of global biodiversity. For this reason, we also joined the Biodiversity in Good Company Initiative (BiGCI) in March 2022.

Companies of all sizes have joined forces in the BiGCI to advocate for the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity, together and in partnership with policymakers and society.