Sustainable management, responsible action

With our commitment we are actively working to establish and disseminate international environmental, social and corporate governance standards in developing countries. That includes carrying out painstaking environmental and social reviews and closely tracking the implementation of any action plans contractually agreed by the businesses. This task is undertaken by a team of DEG’s own experienced specialists, supported by outside experts.

Taken as the benchmark here are the IFC Performance Standards – the international standard for the private sector –, the World Bank Group’s Environmental, Health and Safety Guidelines, and the conventions issued by the International Labour Organization (ILO). A list of exclusions defines the areas in which DEG does not become involved on principle. We have also made a commitment to actively respect and safeguard human rights in the course of our business operations.

“For most companies, it is no longer a matter of whether to introduce international environmental and social standards, but of the best way to do so. They know that such a commitment will have direct benefits for them, including economic benefits. We use our expertise to advise and support companies in this.”

Martin Geiger Head of Department for Sustainability and Corporate Governance at DEG

Many companies now know that a focus on sustainability has a positive influence on their development. Sustainable management is not only relevant from an environmental and social viewpoint, but is also important from an economic perspective. For example, consistently gearing working processes towards saving energy and protecting the environment also helps businesses reduce their costs and raise profitability.

With its Business Support Services (BSS), DEG can systematically help enterprises design their processes to be sustainable and further boost their business performance.

Sustainable management includes working hard to make our investments as climate neutral as possible. For this reason, DEG, for example, has long avoided financing coal-fired power stations. Our goal is to make DEG’s new business and our portfolio climate neutral before 2050.

As a responsible provider of development financing, we also consider it important to offer comprehensive information on our activities wherever possible. Along with a large volume of information that is updated regularly and annual reports, we have published information since 2015 on each new financing transaction approved by DEG and the investments that are thus co-financed by them. This includes details of the volume of credit, the environmental and social category, the company receiving the financing and its investments. As a credit institution that finances enterprises from its own funds, legal regulations stipulate that we must obtain each customer’s approval for this. Over 95% of our customers agree to publication.

KfW Roadmap Sustainable Finance

As part of the KfW Group, we are also part of the KfW Roadmap Sustainable Finance, which is based on the SDGs. With this roadmap, KfW enhances its sustainability management and aims to proactively shape the transition to a sustainable financial system.