Today, Berlin Hyp has expanded its sustainability agenda for the further development of the Bank and its portfolio by presenting its ambitious ESG vision to the public. It builds on the Bank's previous work and defines ambitious sustainability goals, including climate protection. Amongst other things, Berlin Hyp plans for its business operations to be completely climate-neutral by 2025 at the latest. An interim target on the way to becoming climate-neutral is to reduce the carbon footprint of the entire loans portfolio by 40 per cent by 2030 as compared to the base year of 2020. Berlin Hyp also aims to increase the share of green buildings in the overall portfolio to one third over the next four years, to expand its range of financing for energy-efficient real estate and to strengthen corresponding advisory services for customers.
The ESG vision comprises aspects of sustainability in the areas of environment, social responsibility and good governance. In addition to goals related to climate protection, this also includes anchoring ESG risks in risk management and measuring and controlling them at portfolio level. The individual components of the ESG vision are divided into the four dimensions of sustainable business operations, a sustainable business portfolio, transparency and ESG capabilities as well as ESG risk management (see illustration, p.3).
ESG Board under the direction of the Chair of the Board of Management as a central platform for information and knowledge sharing
The responsibility for sustainability aspects is clearly defined and assigned in all areas of Berlin Hyp. The ESG Board is the central platform for information and knowledge sharing. The ESG Board operates under the direction of the CEO and consists of representatives from all divisions. In close cooperation with and under the responsibility of the Corporate Strategy and Risk Controlling divisions, corresponding central functions accompany, coordinate and monitor the review and implementation of the individual measures. There is also a high degree of coordination with the respective divisions and departments.
“Real estate has a fundamental impact on people's living environment and provides space for the development of the economy and society – both literally and figuratively. At the same time, buildings and infrastructure that are optimised in terms of ecology and energy have a significant potential to reduce resource consumption and negative environmental impacts, as well as to contribute more to climate protection,” says Sascha Klaus, Chair of the Board of Management of Berlin Hyp. “As one of the leading real estate financiers in Germany, we believe that we have a responsibility to make our contribution towards achieving greater sustainability in the real estate sector.”
Position as a pioneer in sustainable real estate and financing
In the past, with its capital market activities, Berlin Hyp has proven itself to be a pioneer in the industry. For example, the Bank invented the Green Pfandbrief and is the first commercial bank in the world to directly link sustainability goals with its own refinancing by issuing a Sustainability Linked Bond (SLB).
In addition to its own activities, Berlin Hyp is also actively involved in continuing to develop sustainability standards in the real estate and finance industry, including the Bank’s involvement in organisations and initiatives as well as exchanging knowledge and experience.
For instance, as a member of the industry-wide “ECORE” initiative, Berlin Hyp is involved in developing a rating standard which will make the sustainability of real estate transparent, measurable and comparable. The Bank is also the first real estate financier to join the “Madaster” platform as a supporter. This is a cadastre that records the materials used in the construction of buildings, thus laying the foundation to potentially reuse construction elements and materials in future projects. It also provides information on the life cycle carbon footprint of the building. This marks an important step towards a circular economy which includes the real estate sector.
You can find more information on the ESG vision and the associated measures, as well as access to the latest sustainability reports and key figures, in the sustainability section of Berlin Hyp's website (www.berlinhyp.de/en/sustainability).