Our responsibility

Sustainable company management

Financial institutions play a particularly important role when it comes to implementing sustainable development, since every product and every service to be developed and created must be financed as well. Therefore, we are convinced that the financial industry plays an essential role for functioning and future-proof economies.

Aareal Bank Group stands for sustainable business practices, reliability and predictability. We pay close attention to social and ecological aspects when making business decisions, and we wish to contribute to sustainable development – to generate sustainable value for all our stakeholders. Thus, our integrated corporate strategy has a long-term, sustainable focus.

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"Trust ranks amongst the most important foundations of our business activities. To this end, we emphasise absolute integrity, respect the ten principles of the UN Global Compact, and ensure that our activities are highly transparent, both internally and externally. This way, we are – and will remain – reliable and predictable to our stakeholders."

Hermann J. Merkens – Chairman of the Management Board Aareal Bank AG

Our principles of corporate responsibility are summarised in our sustainability mission statement and define the aim of our sustainability management:

Our sustainability mission

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Our business activities have manifold impact on sustainability aspects. To determine, cluster, and prioritise our action areas, we regularly hold structured talks with our stakeholders on the one hand, and with representatives from our various divisions on the other, subsequently deriving our materiality matrix from the results of these discussions.

Our materiality matrix

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Discussions with our stakeholders show that the topic of sustainability within the realms of economy and society is becoming significantly and increasingly relevant. More and more stakeholders are joining the conversation, dealing with the question of how we – as a provider of financing solutions and services – contribute to sustainable development.

The main focus lies on our portfolio of services: which sustainable effects does our lending business have? How do our consultancy and digitalisation solutions impact social challenges? Meanwhile, other topics, such as operational resource efficiency or sustainable procurement, are increasingly taken for granted.

In line with these results, we further refined our materiality analysis in the 2019 financial year. Material for the Company's success are a future-proof business model, risk management, a consistent client focus, our corporate integrity, and our appeal as an employer. The sustainable effects of our business areas ("green lending" and "digital solutions") and the topic of "transparency" are especially important.

Our sustainability management is allocated to Investor Relations – with a direct reporting line from the Group Sustainability Officer to the CEO. This way, we emphasise the strategic importance of sustainability for our corporate philosophy, steer practical implementation at the highest level, and make sure that relevant ESG information is integrated into communication with our stakeholders.

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