Stakeholder Council 2018: With digital solutions to a sustainable future


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At the 9th Stakeholder Council of the RBI, at the end of November, more than 90 people from different stakeholder groups participated (from the areas of customers and business partners, employees and owners, financial community and rating agencies, education and research, advocacy groups, media, politics and administration, NGOs and NPOs).





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CEO Johann Strobl welcomed the participants and thanked them for coming and the time they invest in the RBI issues. This time specifically, in the question of how digitisation can help the RBI to operate in an even more sustainable way in the future. He also stressed that the annual stakeholder council was an important and established dialogue format and highlighted the central role of societal expectations of the company.




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Andrea Sihn-Weber, Head of Group Sustainability Management, presented the latest developments in Group Sustainability Management. She explained the economic contribution that RBI makes in Austria on the basis of the results of the new added value report. Further she reported on the recent award of the RBI Sustainability Report at the Austrian Sustainability Reporting Award.





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CFO Martin Grüll highlighted the completion of the first benchmark issue of a green bond from an Austrian bank in June, with the orderbook significantly oversubscribed, which enabled the financing of sustainable projects in Austria and CEE.





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In his presentation, keynote speaker René Schmidpeter, Professor of International Business Ethics and CSR at the Cologne Business School, referred, among other things, to studies showing that sustainability and profitability are not opposites. On the contrary, sustainable business models are not more costly or slower, but reduce risks. This is a trend that will be intensified digitization even further, because it breaks up old mind sets. Sustainability should be thought away from opposition and towards an inclusive approach.




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Hannes Cizek, Head of Group Strategy & Innovation, sees digital transformation as an important tool for achieving sustainability goals. In his explanations, he emphasized that the biggest lever lies in the digitization of the core business and processes.





Stakeholder Council08Following the presentations on the opportunities and challenges that a sustainable design of digital transformation presents for companies, a brief introduction was given before the five workshop groups. These addressed the question of how digitisation can contribute that the RBI is able to – specifically in the areas of action employees & working environment, sustainable products & services, transparency & disclosure as well as environmental impacts in the core business & operating ecology and social commitment – act more sustainably in the future. In the workshop rounds there was intensive discussion, many different aspects were addressed and feasible ideas were generated.



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Following, each group presented its five best ideas on the respective thematic focus in a plenary session. In this way, all guests had the opportunity to learn what had been talked about at the other tables and were able to prioritize the presented proposals by using real-time voting.





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In his closing remarks, COO Andreas Gschwenter expressed his appreciation for participation, discussions and numerous proposals and pointed out that these possible measures are now going to be reflected internally.