Voluntary involvement – a key pillar of our business
In addition to our activities within our Company, we also promote the sustainable development of the economy and society. This is why we participate in cross-sector sustainability initiatives at national and international level, as well as being members of organisations representing the banking and property industries. We engage in a dialogue with representatives of business, politics and society, sharing our experiences and best practices, and drawing up position papers and comments on planned political and regulatory measures. In this way we ensure that economic, social, environmental and governance aspects are all included in the decision-making process.
The Unite Nations Global Compact is the world's largest and most important corporate responsibility initiative. Aareal Bank Group has been a signatory since 2012 and, as a result, has explicitly agreed to abide by its universally applicable Ten Principles, which cover the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption. Our business processes have already reflected these principles for many years and we also actively promote their implementation above and beyond the bounds of the Company.
In 2016, Aareal Bank became a member of "econsense“ an association of leading German global enterprises and organisations that addresses the topics of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility (CSR). This initiative launched by the Federation of German Industries (BDI) defines itself as a platform for dialogue and a think tank that aims to drive forward sustainable business development and to take social responsibility together. The Group Sustainability Officer is a member of the steering committee.
Association for Environmental Management and Sustainability in Financial Institutions (Verein für Umweltmanagement und Nachhaltigkeit in Finanzinstituten e.V. - VfU)
The Association for Environmental Management and Sustainability in Financial Institutions (Verein für Umweltmanagement und Nachhaltigkeit in Finanzinstituten e.V. - VfU) and its members have been working for many years to develop and implement innovative, sustainable solutions for financial services providers with the aim of increasing the contribution made by the financial industry to sustainable development. To achieve this goal, the organisation is working to identify the specific contribution to sustainability made by the banking and insurance sector and is developing joint tools and solutions to meet the challenges that come with the sustainable management of financial institutions. Aareal Bank Group has taken part in this initiative since 2012, and actively contributes its own questions and ideas. Moreover Julia Taeschner, Group Sustainability Officer, has been spokesperson of the Executive Board at VfU since October 2018.
Aareal Bank AG joined the ÖKOPROFIT programme in 2013 (for its Wiesbaden location) and Aareon AG in 2014 (for its Mainz location) and both companies now belong to the ÖKOPROFIT Club for advanced members. This flexible environmental consulting programme offers both external support and – in dialogue with the companies taking part – ideas and suggestions on how to optimise and enhance our corporate environmental programme. The focus is on increasing energy efficiency and conserving resources, and hence on reducing environmental impacts and costs.
Ökoprofit certificate: Aareal Bank Wiesbaden and Aareon Mainz
Aareal Bank Group became a signatory to German industry's Diversity Charta as we are convinced that diversity enriches the Group’s corporate culture. This is an expression of our policy of respecting all people regardless of their ethnic origin, religion, ideology, disabilities, sexual identity, gender or age. This basic principle is also included in our Code of Conduct.
How to juggle both a career and a role providing long-term care? This initiative by the state of Hesse helps companies develop offerings that enable employees to improve their work-care balance. It sensitises employers to the increasing importance of achieving a work-care balance so as to enable employees to continue working and demonstrates ways of breaking through the taboo surrounding employees providing long-term care.
CSR Regio.Net provides information, training measures, networking and bespoke consulting to middle-market companies that helps them recognise the benefits to be gained from responsible corporate management and to systematically establish internal structures and processes aimed at improving their own sustainability performance.
Aareal Bank is a member of the Association of German Banks (Bundesverband deutscher Banken – BdB). Among other things, the BdB provides information to member banks and associations, cooperates with other organisations and helps shape public opinion. Aareal Bank Group's Group Sustainability Officer represents the Bank in the BdB's Sustainability Working Group, where she promotes our sustainability goals.
The Association of German Pfandbrief Banks (Verband deutscher Pfandbriefbanken – VdP) represents Germany's Pfandbrief banks. The association's goal is to address common industry tasks together. Among other things, we are working together with the VdP and its members to develop standards for a "green Pfandbrief“ and an "SRI Pfandbrief.
Aareal Bank AG is an extraordinary member of the Federal Association of German Public Banks (Bundesverband öffentlicher Banken Deutschlands – VÖB). The VÖB works together with the four other umbrella organisations for the German banking industry to jointly represent their members' business and philosophical interests in dealings with federal and state lawmaking bodies, national and international supervisory and regulatory bodies, the media and the public. The Group Sustainability Officer represents the Group on ad hoc working groups addressing sustainability issues, such as the Ad-hoc Working Group on ESG Ratings and Green Bonds.
Aareal Bank Group is a member of the German Property Federation (Zentralen Immobilien Ausschuss – ZIA), the body that represents the property industry on public and economic policy issues. The federation has set itself the goals of promoting and supporting measures designed to maintain and enhance the economic, legal, tax and political environment for the property industry. It serves as a broad-based, uniform representative body for the entire industry. The Group Sustainability Officer represents Aareal Bank Group on the ZIA's CSR committee. This ensures that the topics that interest us are addressed and that we can contribute to the development of position papers and comment papers.
Federation of German Housing and Real Estate (Bundesverband deutscher Wohnungs- und Immobilienunternehmen - GdW)
The Federation of German Housing and Real Estate Enterprises ( Bundesverband deutscher Wohnungs- und Immobilienunternehmen - GdW) is a federal professional and representative body for the German housing industry. It is based in Berlin and has the legal form of a registered association. Its members are other associations, mainly at state level. This "association of associations" is the umbrella organisation for the German housing industry.
The German Society of Property Researchers (Gesellschaft für Immobilienwirtschaftliche Forschung – gif) is a pure-play non-profit organisation. Its objective is to facilitate research, bridge the gap between theory and practice, and create a forum for academic interchange and knowledge transfer between degree courses, as well as between the research community and industry practitioners. The Group Sustainability Officer represents Aareal Bank Group in the Sustainability Working Group.
With around 1,000 members, GEFMA forms the German network of decision-makers in Facility Management (FM). GEFMA was founded in 1989 and represents companies and organisations that wish to actively shape and develop the FM market.
The GEFMA Sustainability Working Group, in cooperation with the TU Darmstadt, has developed an assessment system that solely focuses on facility management processes.
Based on this, operating concepts can be reviewed regarding the sustainability of a property's individual FM processes, and optimisation potentials can be detected.
The assessment system is based on the GEFMA guideline 160 - Sustainability in Facility Management.