A key concern for DZ BANK is climate change and environmental protection. That is why our engagement in this area goes beyond the statutory requirements. This applies not only to the bank and its employees but also to our service providers and suppliers – because DZ BANK considers sustainable purchasing to be important, too. By all working with the same objectives in mind, we can implement our plans more efficiently. Our target is to lower the total CO2 emissions across all sites by 15 percent by 2020 (compared with the base year 2012) and progressively make DZ BANK carbon neutral. In 2017, we also intend to continue developing the climate strategy for the entire DZ BANK Group.

Responsibility at boardroom level

Ultimate responsibility for sustainability lies directly with the Chief Executive Officer of DZ BANK AG, Wolfgang Kirsch. Dr. Christian Brauckmann, member of the Board of Managing Directors responsible for IT and Organization, is in charge of environmental matters. Kurt Friebertshäuser has been DZ BANK's environmental management officer since 2013 and is primarily responsible for coordinating all environmental activities and achieving the climate target.

More extensive environmental database

DZ BANK systematically monitors, documents, and reviews all of its activities and business processes that have an impact on the environment. In 2016, the environmental management team continued to work hard to further enhance the quality and basis of the environmental data that is collected.

To measure CO2 emissions, DZ BANK uses the conversion values set by the Verein für Umweltmanagement und Nachhaltigkeit in Finanzinstituten (VfU) [Association for Environmental Management and Sustainability in Financial Institutions] for key performance indicators. We contributed to the production of the conversion tables in our role as an active sponsoring member of the VfU. As a result, we calculate our impact on the climate in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG), scopes 1, 2, and 3.

Reduction in CO2 emissions

DZ BANK has set itself a target of cutting its CO2 emissions by a further 15 percent by 2020 (compared with the base year 2012). The ways in which we plan to achieve this include making business trips and messenger services as carbon neutral as possible, or avoiding them altogether where feasible. We achieved our target of reducing CO2 emissions by 30 percent compared with 2008 in 2011, a year earlier than expected. Since 2010, all major offices of the pre-merger DZ BANK, including Frankfurt, Berlin, Hannover, Stuttgart, and Munich – have only consumed electricity generated from renewable sources. In 2017, we will continue to analyze the offices of
the former WGZ BANK and, for example, switch the building in Düsseldorf to green electricity. Moreover, our offices are heated almost exclusively with district heating, which further reduces our impact on the environment and climate.

Where we are only able to exert influence indirectly, we try to avoid environmental harm to the greatest extent possible or to offset it by acquiring appropriate certificates. Since 2010, for example, we have been offsetting the CO2 emissions produced by one of our most important major events – Investment Dialog – through emissions certificates. In 2016, a project in Vietnam involving the building of biogas plants was funded in this way.

Increasingly efficient building technology

A key element of our energy management strategy is the ongoing process of updating the technical facilities in our buildings. In 2016, for example, we switched over the lighting of the staircases and underground car park of Cityhaus I in Frankfurt to LED technology and optimized the lights in the elevators. We have also set other long-term goals for this building, where we intend to replace the cooling towers by the end of 2017 and completely update the induction units for the office air-conditioning system by the end of 2022. In Cityhaus II, the trading area will have new air-conditioning and lighting by the end of 2017.

We installed LED lighting in further staircases and archives at the Düsseldorf office last year. In some parts of the building, improved room temperature control systems were installed that automatically switch off the heating or air conditioning when windows are opened. The plan for 2017 and 2018, as part of an initial phase of refurbishment, is to replace the office ceilings on the first and fifth floors and fit them with LED lighting.

Gold status for Pavillon Cityhaus II

In middle of 2016, DZ BANK moved into the Pavillon Cityhaus II in Frankfurt, which was constructed in accordance with numerous environmental criteria. We invested around €17.4 million in the building, whose facilities include a daycare center and a further staff cafeteria. The German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) awarded the building gold status in March 2017. This certification places higher demands on the planning and construction process: For example, recyclable building materials have to be used and the waste and noise produced on the building site must be kept to a minimum.