DGAP-News: ProCredit Holding AG & Co. KGaA / Keyword(s): Sustainability/Miscellaneous
24.03.2022 / 07:01
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.
ProCredit Group again achieves key milestones in the implementation of its global sustainability strategy in 2021
– Publication of the impact report file for the 2021 financial year
– CO₂ emissions reduced by 56% since 2018
– Share of portfolio of green loans to clients at 19%, saving 324.5 kilotonnes of CO₂
– Development impact evidenced by low SME client default rates and high loan portfolio quality throughout the pandemic
– Further expansion and promotion of e-mobility group-wide
– Stricter exclusion criteria in loans
– EU taxonomy provides a tailwind for financing sustainable investments
– Ukraine: Support for employees and continuation of operations
Frankfurt am Main, March 24, 2022 – The ProCredit Group, which is mainly active in South Eastern Europe (SEE) and Eastern Europe (EE), assesses the success of its activities not only in terms of the needs of customers and profitability, but also in terms of the impact that these activities could have on society and the environment. The group is committed to continuously reporting on key ESG achievements and initiatives in accordance with the standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). In addition to adhering to these standards and supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), other voluntary initiatives such as the Partnership for Carbon Accounting (PCAF) and the Principles for Responsible Banking (UNEP-FI) have taken into account when producing the Impact Reporting Package for 2021. In its reporting package, the ProCredit Group gives a positive assessment of the measures taken in this regard.
In 2021, the ProCredit Group again made significant achievements in implementing its responsible banking activities. As a result, the company’s CO₂ emissions have been significantly reduced – by a total of 56% since 2018. Green loan portfolio share was 19%, bringing us closer to the 20% target set for 2023 Management continues to see good potential to increase the share of green loans in the group’s loan portfolio. When translated into environmental impact, the green loan portfolio reduces the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere by 324.5 kilotonnes of greenhouse gas equivalents (GHG emissions), which is equivalent to eliminating the annual emissions of 70,572 automobiles. Compared to its competitors, the ProCredit Group sets high standards. Following a holistic approach to sustainability, strict environmental and ethical requirements are also applied to the selection of service providers, suppliers and other business partners, as well as to the environmental and social risk assessment of loans to small and medium enterprises. (SME). Thanks to the group’s prudent approach to credit risk, which involves an ESG assessment as part of all credit-related decisions, the group has further improved its already strong loan portfolio quality indicators, even at the most strong from the pandemic. The share of loans in default was only 2.3% at the end of 2021, 0.3 percentage points lower than the previous year. This is testament to the quality of support we provide to the SME sector, which is the backbone of the economies in which we operate.
In the previous financial year, the ProCredit group had already stopped financing single-use plastic producers. In 2021, new exclusion criteria were put in place to ensure that customers’ business activities do not negatively impact nature conservation areas. In addition, respect for human rights plays an important role: in view of the internationally criticized treatment by the People’s Republic of China of the Uyghur Muslim minority, the ProCredit group has suspended the financing of photovoltaic projects using solar panels produced in the Xingjiang region in 2021.
The development, training and health of our own employees is also an important aspect of our sustainability strategy. In 2021, 425,010 hours of training were completed among all staff, i.e. approximately 16 days per employee. Through other measures, such as the establishment of an online learning campus and the organization of a vaccination campaign against COVID-19, the ProCredit Group supports the well-being of its employees in a overall. In terms of energy footprint, the group has reduced the number of business air travel by 27% compared to 2020. In addition, the energy and building efficiency of the banks is further optimized, among other measures, in the aim of obtaining EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiency) certification.
Additional measures to strengthen the sustainability balance were also taken through a number of initiatives in 2021. These include, for example, promoting the expansion of e-mobility within the group , both within its own fleet – currently 59% of its vehicles are electric – and through the installation of publicly accessible electronic charging stations, which can be easily located using an application developed by ProCredit and available in all app stores. In addition, marketing campaigns offering specific financing for the purchase of electric cars are in place in most countries where the group operates.
“Sustainability considerations have been an integral part of our bank’s business model since its inception,” says Dr. Gian Marco Felice, Board Member of ProCredit General Partner AG, responsible for environmental management and impact reporting, among other functions. “This is the fifth time that we have published an impact report. It shows that we place great importance on the responsibility associated with our actions. Recent developments in Ukraine only underline the need for sustainable economic development and of integration in South-East and Eastern Europe and underline the important role that a banking group such as ProCredit plays in fostering the development of SMEs and contributing to geopolitical stability.”
In the context of these activities, the ProCredit Group also welcomes the introduction of the EU taxonomy and the associated establishment of standards for green businesses. In particular, the expansion and therefore the financing of investments in renewable energies have benefited from a favorable wind thanks to the EU taxonomy. In this area of financing, extensive expertise has been acquired within the ProCredit group over the past few years. In addition, the implementation of the overall sustainability strategy in all business units and markets remains one of our central tasks.
Given the geographic focus of the ProCredit Group on the South East and Eastern European markets, the Board also commented on the current situation in Ukraine: “It is with great concern and bewilderment that we follow developments in the country. We support our staff as best we can – not only those who have remained in Ukraine, but also those who have fled the country. We maintain our operations as much as possible. We hope that we can continue to do business in Ukraine for the long term. We have never been active in Russia or Belarus in the past, nor are we currently.
For the first time, the 2021 Impact Report Package consists of three parts that provide a detailed overview: the impact report itself, the impact report annex, which outlines the reporting process, and the impact reporting technique, which provides a transparent breakdown of all facts and figures, in order to continuously improve the accuracy, clarity and comparability of reports. The group’s 2021 Impact Report Package, as well as the 2021 Annual Report, are available today on the ProCredit Holding website in the Investor Relations section at https://www.procredit-holding.com/investor-relations/reports-and-publications/. As of the date of these publications, the company has replaced the discriminatory generic masculine in all German text with other gender-inclusive and gender-sensitive forms of language where permitted by law.
Andrea Kaufmann, Group Communication, ProCredit Holding, Tel. : +49 69 951 437 138,
Email: [email protected]
About ProCredit Holding AG & Co. KGaA
ProCredit Holding AG & Co. KGaA, based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, is the parent company of the development-oriented ProCredit Group, which consists of commercial banks for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In addition to its operational focus on Southeast and Eastern Europe, the ProCredit Group is also active in South America and Germany. The company’s shares are traded on the Prime Standard segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Major shareholders of ProCredit Holding AG & Co. KGaA include strategic investors Zeitinger Invest and ProCredit Staff Invest (ProCredit’s staff investment vehicle), Dutch DOEN Participaties BV, KfW Development Bank and IFC (part of the Group of the World Bank). As a superordinate group company under German banking law, ProCredit Holding AG & Co. KGaA is supervised at consolidated level by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht, BaFin) and the German Bundesbank. For more information, visit: www.procredit-holding.com.
24.03.2022 Broadcast of a Corporate News, transmitted by the DGAP – a service of EQS Group AG.
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