Skip to main content
Responsible Banking

Responsible banking

As a 'responsible banker', long-term added value is our primary objective. Therefore, our business strategy as well as our products, services and processes are aligned with this goal.

Three aspects of responsible banking

To achieve this, we take a holistic approach. Rather than limiting ourselves purely to generating economic value, we always consider the environmental and social impacts of our business activities as well. Effective and sustainable performance can be achieved only if these aspects are also taken into account.

Our focus

Climate risks

Climate risks

Looking at climate risks, the rise in the global temperature and greenhouse gas emissions has significant consequences for the environment and people’s lives. For many years now, the Global Risk Report of the World Economic Forum has counted environmental risks among the most likely threats over the next ten years.

Climate risks can be broadly divided into two risk categories, although there are some interdependencies. They include the physical risks of changes in climate conditions and the transition risks arising in connection with the development of a low-carbon economy and society. Although the consequences of global warming are only negative, they can be positively influenced by financing renewable energies and energy efficiency, for example.


Lending policy

Lending policy and lending decision process

Our business model is geared around the high-level strategic goal of creating long-term value. Responsible lending is a significant component of this model. We achieve this with a lending policy that is based on continuity. We remain a fair and reliable lender to businesses with future prospects, even in difficult times, and we hold a clear position regarding the handling of sensitive business areas.

In the light of the environmental challenges and the changing expectations of customers and supervisory authorities, we continuously develop our policies and processes in order to ensure the integration of sustainability topics and risks into the lending decision process.

The Code of Conduct is part of our lending policy. All employees involved in lending are accordingly obliged to act responsibly and also to carry out their supervising duties with great care. Likewise, the reputation of our banking group must be considered in all activities and decisions. Our executive managers are responsible for compliance with these standards in their respective areas of responsibility.

ESG evaluation process

ESG evaluation process

In addition to the existing lending criteria, RBI already takes into account ESG-related risks at industry and country level and will expand this to the individual customer level.

RBI is committed to including climate and environmental risks in its risk processes and policies.

Sustainable finance is already an important part of RBI’s corporate credit policy and is intended to ensure the integration of ESG-related risks into risk management and underwriting processes. It is also aimed at drawing attention to industries that are enabling the transition to a low-carbon economy.


CO2 emissions loans

CO2 emmisions loans

Since 2020, RBI has calculated and published its “Financed GHG emissions”, i.e. the indirect downstream emissions associated with its lending and investment activities. This was an important step in identifying sectors on which to focus in our efforts to mitigate the negative impact on the environment of our customers’ activities. It was also the first important step for setting Science Based Targets, which were officially validated in September 2022.

The methodology applied is based on the “PCAF Standard” - the most widely accepted, GHG Protocol-compliant standard for financed emissions calculations. The asset classes covered within the financed emissions calculations are Business Loans and Unlisted Equity, Project Finance Electricity Generation, Commercial Real Estate and Listed Equity & Corporate Bonds as defined by the Global GHG Accounting and Reporting Standard for the Financial Industry.

Co emission list

Still outside the scope of the calculations are the PCAF asset classes Mortgages and Motor Vehicle Loans, as well as Sovereign Debt.
The exclusion of these exposures from the coverage of financed GHG emissions calculations is due to the currently poor data availability and quality (Mortgage portfolio) the non-materiality (Motor Vehicle loans) and the novelty (Sovereign Debt) of the methodology.
The PCAF Standard sets out requirements for determining the portion of clients’ emissions that can be attributed to a financial institution. Scope 1 and 2 emission data disclosed by clients are used whenever available, but estimations have to be made in most cases. The underlying data needed for estimations is also specified in the PCAF Standard.

The basic formula used across all asset classes is: Financed GHG emissions = Attribution factor X Borrower’s/investee’s emissions

The attribution factor is defined as the share of total annual GHG emissions of the borrower or investee which is attributable to the financing bank via that specific loan or investment and is calculated as follows: Attribution factor = Outstanding amount/(Total equity + Debt)

Top 10 industries by financed emissions contribution within the asset classes “Business Loans and Unlisted Equity” and “Equity and Bonds”

On our ESG targets

To advance the ESG strategy, RBI has focused on on selected ESG topics.

To help our customers to improve their carbon footprint and make their transformation a sustainable success, we need to be able to assess transactions and projects on the basis of ESG criteria and advise our customers accordingly. In 2020, RBI devised a harmonized definition of sustainable customers (including the customer ESG score) and transactions, and made it available to the whole of the RBI Group in the form of an ESG rulebook.

RBI’s Retail Banking division (private individuals and SMEs in CEE) has also published its own “Framework for Green and Social Loans”, which was also validated by Sustainalytics. By publishing such a framework, we aim to ensure that our green and social loans to retail banking customers are aligned with Green and Social Bond Principles and also meet regulatory requirements, and we expect that additional assets can be flagged as green or social.

RBI has set itself the goal of providing best-in-class ESG advisory for customers and ensuring a high standard of quality. The dedicated ESG Advisory Team at head office performs expert analyses and evaluations of corporate and institutional customers from an ESG perspective and helps our customers to identify green and social aspects of their business profile.

To ensure increasing integration of the topic of ESG risks and negative impact prevention into the overall financing process, RBI AG has implemented corresponding processes and also plans to implement these gradually within the Group in future. For example, a list of corporate activities in which RBI AG does not wish to be involved (“exclusion list”) was drawn up. In addition, employees received training on identifying certain signals which indicate that certain activities and sectors are particularly critical from a sustainability perspective.

Another focal point within the ESG strategy is the development of ESG branding and expertise in order to strengthen awareness of change. RBI continuously offers in-house training on sustainable financing and on general ESG aspects in order to promote awareness of ESG issues. The Sustainable Finance Team at head office is responsible for ensuring that the knowledge and experience on transaction qualification generated at RBI AG is shared with the subsidiary banks in Central and Eastern Europe and expanded by means of a dialog with them.

Sustainable finance measures in the business areas

As a responsible bank, RBI supports its customers in their sustainable transformation. For Raiffeisen Bank International, it is extremely important to also bring the subject of sustainable finance to Central and Eastern Europe. This is achieved through the network of ESG experts in the subsidiary banks, which RBI head office strengthens through knowledge building and support during consultations. In this way, the RBI Group ensures that customers also receive the best-possible support at local level when choosing a suitable sustainable financing strategy.

RBI AG’s ESG Advisory Team provides in-depth and intensive advice on various sustainable financing formats geared towards customers’ business models and sustainability strategies. These sustainable financing formats can cover a wide range of financial instruments (bonds, Schuldschein loans, syndicated loans, bilateral facilities, etc.) and a variety of sustainability formats (linking with ESG ratings or sustainability targets, or linking through proof of use of funds).

For this earmarked financing, it is necessary to verify whether corresponding projects comply with the sustainability standards specified by the market. The basis for this assessment is provided by the EU Taxonomy Regulation and the ICMA standards. The ESG Advisory Experts support our customers in verifying the suitability of various projects and activities with regard to EU Taxonomy compliance and as regards RBI’s internal definitions of green, social or sustainable transactions, which also refer to best market practice. When engaging in dialog with customers on ESG-linked formats, it is especially important to jointly define material KPIs which are of importance for the customer’s sustainability and business strategy. When establishing the annual target values, care is always taken to ensure a certain degree of ambition, and that the ESG KPIs represent a significant improvement in the customer’s sustainability position.

In addition, the ESG Advisory Team advises customers on different ESG ratings and supports them in the verification process for obtaining a second party opinion. More in-depth subject-specific advice can be provided where necessary, for example with regard to net zero matters or the Science Based Targets initiative.

RBI AG engages in a regular and continuous dialog with its institutional customers on ESG developments and the realization of ESG-related transactions throughout the investment banking product universe, such as bonds, syndicated loans, asset-backed financing, fund finance, M&A and equity capital markets (ECM) products. This takes place in close cooperation and coordination with ESG experts and the respective customer relationship managers.

Our focus is on supporting our customers in their green transition and becoming their first choice for retail ESG products. We developed solutions which aim at better understanding customers’ carbon footprints and provided products with an environmental and
social impact that, for the first time, allow retail customers to receive a superior supply of sustainability-oriented solutions.

We aim to increase green and social lending new sales to private individuals and small-business customers. RBI has introduced green mortgages. The product is now available for retail customers in six of the markets: Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, and Albania. Green mortgage loans are lending products secured by real estate and are made available exclusively to finance or refinance, in whole or in part, new and/or existing transactions with a specific use of proceeds as defined by the Framework for Green and Social Loans.

Furthermore, in 2022, RBI also launched green unsecured purpose loans for private individuals and SME customers in Albania, Slovakia and Bosnia, respectively. All eligible green and social loans provide clear environmental and/or social benefits. The use of the proceeds of these loans and eligibility criteria are stipulated in the Framework.The flagship product line is the fund business, although there was also a focus on certificates and green bonds. The target customer base was extended from private banking to premium banking, and also to retail business at some subsidiary banks in CEE.

Our topics


The CircHive project

RBI takes a further step as a responsible banker in the development of its sustainable business model by incorprating the measurement and assessment of our biodiversity footprint, natural capital impact and the inherent risks within our internal steering. RBI joins the new five-year, €11.5 million EU-funded CircHive project as a case study partner. The CircHive project aims to help organisations (private and public) make more informed decisions that protect ecosystems, enhance biodiversity and unlock new opportunities for society and businesses.

ESG risk process

ESG risk process

Only by knowing the impacts of our business activities on the environment and society can we pursue a serious policy of sustainability and align the company strategy accordingly with this goal.

ESG risk process

Only by knowing the impacts of our business activities on the environment and society can we pursue a serious policy of sustainability and align the company strategy accordingly with this goal.

When we talk about the classical 4 Pillars of Risk Management, the cornerstone of the RBI Risk Management approach, RBI is currently focusing on addressing, quantifying, managing, and last but not least, integrating the respective risks, but also opportunities. Within the respective pillars, those actions will be further enhanced and developed in the short and medium term in line with market and regulatory expectations.

1. Identificatoin & definition of ESG risks

  • Climate-related and environmental risks
  • Identifying risks according to:
    • Climate-change risk
    • Circularity
    • Biodiversity
  • Social risks
  • Governance risks

2. Measurement methologies & analytics

Use of metrics for measurement of ESG on a customer and portfolio dimension:

  • Environmental, Social and Governance score
  • Green Asset Ratio
  • Finance GHG emissions
  • Science-based targets

3. Steering approaches, reflecting risks & opportunities

  • Sectoral strategies & special policies
  • Climate stress testing

4. Risk processes and governance

  • Credit processes enhancement
  • Prevention of liability, reputational and greenwashing risk in the design phase
Hands holding tree

Sustainable financing

By providing sustainable financing, we generate added value for our customers and for society. There is a wide range of activities that are suitable for sustainable financing. We define financing as sustainable if it has a positive long-term impact on the environment and climate and/or on societal and social aspects, and if it supports the global Sustainable Development Goals.

Sustainable financing – corporate and institutional customers: The volume increase in sustainable financing was visible in all categories, but was most noticeable in the “ESG-linked financing” category.

certificates: Raiffeisen Certificates

Raiffeisen Certificates recognized the trend towards sustainable financial products early on and played a significant role in shaping it.

As early as 2005, Raiffeisen issued index certificates with a sustainability reference and in 2014 launched a special certificate series to make the topic of sustainability investable for investors in a simple way and with capital protection. Since then, interest in sustainable certificates has been growing rapidly. This is also reflected in the volume invested in sustainable certificates, which has more than quadrupled at Raiffeisen since 2018.

We support the sustainability initiatives of the European Union. For our customers, we are always striving for sustainable growth and want to contribute to a healthy future for our planet.

Our goal is to design our financial products and services with sustainability in mind so that we can accompany our customers into a future worth striving for.

We take our social and environmental responsibility seriously and want to make a positive contribution to resource conservation, climate protection and social change.

Other topics you might be interested in