What does sustainability mean for us?
As an international merchant bank we always keep the longer-term social and ecological effects of our activities in mind when we conduct our business. For us, managing our firm responsibly means far-sighted corporate governance in combination with social responsibility and the reduction of our carbon footprint. We operate on the basis of these principles in the interests of our clients, business partners, general partners, employees and the company itself.
Responsible stewardship of the environment
In terms of our environmental responsibilities we follow the principles of the United Nations Global Compact. Our aim is to keep reducing our ecological footprint. A variety of programmes and initiatives at our firm contribute to protecting the environment, including the company bike scheme, a reduction in business travel and company cars, the introduction of modern printer standards and energy-efficient facilities management. We now get around 98% of our electricity from renewable sources, for instance. We have further reduced our paper consumption by continuing to digitize our operations. By financing green infrastructure and renewable energy projects we support the promotion of sustainable technologies and the expansion of renewable energies.
A focus on society and employees
The success of our company depends largely on our employees. We respect social concerns, like compliance with the standards defined in employment law, the compatibility of family and career, professional training and occupational health and safety. Furthermore we attach great importance to fair pay and diversity within the company. This also reflects our commitment to international legislation, such as the UK Modern Slavery Act.
For us, sustainable corporate governance also means assuming our social responsibilities. Our Berenberg Foundation has been sponsoring talented young people in the fields of art and culture since 1990. The BerenbergKids employee foundation focuses on supporting children and teenagers in need and from socially disadvantaged backgrounds by means of projects and charity events.
Responsible corporate governance
Good, responsible corporate governance aimed at adding lasting value in the interests of all stakeholders is the benchmark for everything we do. In all our activities we ensure that we respect human rights in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Global Compact. Our Code of Conduct describes the principles and attitudes that we believe represent reliability and responsibility. As a bank we have an important role to play in preventing corruption of any kind. Implementing the “know your customer” principle (KYC), combined with robust risk assessments, is one of the core elements of effective action against fraud and money laundering.