Net Zero Banking Operations

Our goal by 2040: Net zero CO₂e emissions in banking operations and a climate-neutral supplier portfolio

Our path to the Net Zero goal

Commerzbank AG has committed to achieving Net-Zero CO₂e emissions in its own operations by 20401. This applies to all locations in Germany and abroad. Along the way, we have already reduced emissions in Germany by more than 80 % between 2007 and 2020. We have our sights firmly set on our related climate target of reducing greenhouse gases by a further 30 % by 2025. This target also includes international sites in around 20 countries.

Where CO₂e emissions cannot be avoided, we have been offsetting them for Commerzbank AG in Germany since January 2015 and for Commerzbank AG worldwide since 2021 using certificates from CO₂ mitigation projects. As a result, Commerzbank AG already operates in a climate-neutral manner2.

Climate neutrality and CO₂ certificates

Climate-neutral Annual General Meeting

Our primary goal is minimising our carbon footprint. Furthermore, it is part of our climate strategy to compensate our unavoidable emissions by purchasing environmental certificates to finance climate-friendly projects. This includes compensation for the emissions caused by the Annual General Meeting (AGM) since 2011. The Bank was able to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases associated with the AGM annually until introducing the virtual AM

The AGM 2023 was held for the fourth time in a row as a virtual event. The digital implementation caused greenhouse gas emissions of 18.69 tons. In order to compensate for any inaccuracies in the available data, we compensate about 20 % more than our calculated emissions.

As in previous years, we compensate these CO₂ emission by the acquisitions of CO₂-certificates of the project portfolio "CliMates". With this project, we are promoting sustainable wood extraction and cocoa cultivation in Panama. On the other hand, the Brazil Nut Rainforest REDD+ Project supports a rainforest conservation project in Peru. This creates stable sources of income for communities through the economic development of 405 concession-holder families for brazil nuts and at the same time secures the habitat of 2400 endangered plant and animal species.

CO₂e compensation

Commerzbank AG's banking operations in Germany have already been climate-neutral since the beginning of 2015. We offset remaining greenhouse gas emissions by purchasing and retiring high-quality CO₂ certificates. In offsetting, the integrity of the emission reduction projects and the certificates generated from them is essential. Only then is appropriate CO₂e compensation created.

Our memberships & climate protection initiatives

Foundation Development and Climate Alliance

Commerzbank has been a member of the Foundation Development and Climate Alliance since 2018. The members' goal is to achieve climate neutrality. They achieve this by reducing emissions and offsetting unavoidable emissions. By purchasing CO₂ certificates for offsetting, members invest in developing and emerging countries.

Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA)

In April 2021, we joined the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, the financial initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP FI) and are one of its first signatories. The goal of the voluntary commitment as a member bank of the NZBA is to reduce the CO₂e balance of the bank's entire loan and investment portfolio to net zero by 2050 at the latest.

  1. 1

    Net Zero: State in which an organization, after all technically and scientifically possible efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, arithmetically has no more greenhouse gas emissions. Unavoidable emissions are offset exclusively by CO₂ removal measures.

  2. 2

    Commerzbank defines climate neutrality as follows:
    Climate neutrality is achieved as soon as an organization fully offsets its existing greenhouse gas emissions in arithmetical terms. This complete compensation is achieved through the purchase of so-called CO₂ certificates. CO₂ certificates refer to climate protection projects that can serve both CO₂ avoidance and CO₂ removal.