Sustainability management and corporate responsibility

Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) has integrated comprehensive sustainability measures into its business activity and is, together with its subsidiaries, embedded in the Austrian Raiffeisen Banking Group. Its underlying principles are derived from the ideas of Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen. For him, social solidarity, self-help and sustainability were guidelines for economic activity.

We are a major economic force within Austria and many countries in which we have a presence. We value sustainable corporate governance and the attendant social responsibility that goes with it. Our role in the economy is characterised by practical responsibility towards our customers, employees, shareholders and society.

Sustainability and corporate responsibility are key components of our identity and lived part of the corporate culture. Targeted aim as a company is to act responsible extending beyond individual measures. The sustainability management is responsible for the strategic and organizational planning and implementation of all sustainable relevant initiatives. This includes the fields of "economy/core business", "ecology", "human resources" and "social commitment" for RBI and the network banks in CEE.


Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

In order to help find solutions for global challenges, promote human welfare and protect the environment, the international community of states making up the UN adopted "Agenda 2030" in September 2015 in the interests of sustainable development. At its core are 17 goals for sustainable development, the so-called Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their 169 sub-goals. The SDGs encompass social and economic development as well as environmental sustainability. They also address aspects such as peace and security, justice and global partnerships, all of which are of great importance for sustainable development. The SDGs are globally applicable. In other words, all 193 UN member states, including Austria, are called upon to contribute to achieving the goals according to their means. Incentives should also be established to encourage non-state actors to increasingly make active contributions to sustainable development. As an international banking group, we consider ourselves obliged to support these important international initiatives within the scope of our sustainability agenda.

RBI including its subsidiaries and its banking subsidiaries in Central and Eastern Europe stick with all their marketing activities to the "Consolidated ICC Code – Advertising and Marketing Communication Practice" published by the International Chamber of Commerce. This ensures a transparent and fair market appearance complying with internationally acknowledged guidelines.

Our approach

We believe that professional, systematic commitment to sustainability is necessary for us as a banking group to credibly provide our customers and stakeholders with essential financial services for the real economy. We understand sustainability to mean responsible corporate behaviour for long-term economic success in harmony with the environment and society. Sustainability is a key component of our business policy.
An essential component of our business activities is that we are responsible bankers, fair partners and committed citizens. The aim of our active sustainable engagement is comprehensive value creation, where economic, ecological and social responsibilities form a whole. This is how we create sustainable value for our stakeholders.

Our fundamental values

Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen believed in helping others to help themselves, and in the principles of charity, community and solidarity. His life was characterised by responsibility for the community. Now, as before, we build upon a powerful brand combining and embodying the principles of identity, self-administration, sustainability, subsidiarity, and business ethics based on solidarity.

  • Helping others to help themselves: Willingness to provide mutual assistance.
  • Self-administration: Members take their own decisions about their cooperative within a framework of democratic principles.
  • Business ethics based on solidarity: With a common economic goal, based on being there for one another.
  • Sustainability of cooperative success: The common goal is lasting economic improvement.
  • Subsidiarity: The power of the cooperative is only deployed where the power of the individual is insufficient and therefore requires help.
  • Principle of identity: Members of the cooperative are also customers at the same time.

Our principles

Our self-understanding is defined by five principles. These express our traditional roots as well as our dynamism and internationality, and serve as a framework for sustainable business and responsibility for the employees.

  • A future always needs a past
  • We are here for creating lasting values
  • Our clients’ success defines our own success
  • The best become better with us
  • A strong cultural mix

UNGC principles

We are one of the signatory companies to the UN Global Compact (UNGC), and therefore committed to consistently complying with the ten UNGC principles of responsible business. These principles include the core areas of human rights, labour standards, environmental protection and combating corruption. The concomitant attitude of global responsibility is expected of all staff and managers, as well as of partners and suppliers.


Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

As an international banking group, we consider ourselves obliged to support these important international initiatives within the scope of our sustainability agenda. Our focus lies on those SDGs that are most material and relevant to our business activities and that best complement our sustainability strategy.

To make this possible, we worked with an external consultant to create a structured process to identify the SDGs that are most material to our business. This process comprised a number of steps:

  1. In the first step, we explored the existing connections between the SDGs and our areas of strategic focus as well as the key issues and initiatives of the RBI. We also investigated which SDGs have been placed on the agendas of other financial companies.
  2. Based on this analysis, Group Sustainability Management evaluated the top SDG topics in a workshop with the external consultant on the basis of specific criteria. The following four criteria were of primary importance here:

    • Relationship with the RBI Group: How closely is an SDG related to the RBI?
    • Importance: Group Sustainability Management examined how important it is for the RBI to contribute
       to this global goal.
    • Impact: The impact that the RBI can actually have on the respective goal was evaluated.
    • Attractiveness: Finally, we evaluated what potential this SDG could have for the RBI.
  3. The individual evaluations were combined into a overall evaluation. This resulted in ten SDGs that are relevant to the RBI, of which five have especially high relevance.

The SDGs of greatest relevance to the RBI

Of the ten SDGs identified as most relevant to the RBI, the eight listed below were considered particularly relevant – both for the group as a whole and for the core business. Priority will be given to these SDGs over the coming years. They directly expand upon the aspects and topics that have already been identified as material. The topics and aspects addressed in this report that have SDG relevance are specially indicated.

8 SDGs



Andrea Sihn-Weber

Head of Group Sustainability Management
General Manager of Raiffeisen Sustainability Initiative
Raiffeisen Bank International AG
Am Stadtpark 9, 1030 Wien
Tel: +43-1-71707-6069