VIENNA, Austria - April 16, 2020 – Sustainability remains in the public eye even in the current tense economic situation due to the Coronavirus. Last week, for example, an initiative of the environment and climate protection ministers of ten EU member states called for economic reconstruction to be based on green technologies and sustainability. The fact that sustainability is a long-term issue for the future is reflected, among other things, in the investment behavior of BAWAG P.S.K. customers, who are increasingly directing their funds towards companies and countries whose spheres of activity are in harmony with social, human and ecological responsibility: The total amount invested in sustainable Amundi investment funds1) has increased fivefold within one year for BAWAG P.S.K. customers, from EUR 23 million at the end of 2018 to EUR 118 million at the end of 2019.
Many BAWAG P.S.K. and easybank customers using robo advisory technologies for asset management also pay attention to environmental and social concerns: More than half of those BAWAG P.S.K. and easybank customers who have chosen a product from BAWAG P.S.K.'s partner Savity have invested their money in the "Savity Green" product, which only invests in companies and industries that adhere to ESG principles. The product portfolio produces 38 per cent less CO2 than conventional globally diversified equity portfolios without this filter.
"Green finance is on the rise. More and more investors want their investment strategy not only to have a posi-tive impact on their returns, but also to contribute to a better world. Environmental and social criteria are increasingly becoming gamechangers in investment decisions," comments David O'Leary, Member of the Managing Board of BAWAG Group and responsible for the retail and SME business of BAWAG P.S.K. in Austria.
BAWAG Group: CSR commitment intensified
The issue of sustainability is becoming increasingly important not only in customer business: BAWAG Group has strengthened its commitment to sustainability in various business segments throughout the Group and made progress. The switch to green electricity throughout Austria and the move to an energy-efficient Group headquarters contributed to a significant reduction in electricity and district heating CO2 emissions in 2019. In addition, 97% of BAWAG Group's total electricity consumption in 2019 already came from renewable energy sources.
In addition, an important step forward was taken in the area of equal opportunities in 2019: the share of female managers in BAWAG Group rose to 34% (2018: 28%). The women's promotion plan launched in 2012 plays an important role in the long-term promotion of equal career opportunities. In addition to measures to raise awareness and promote equal career opportunities, the focus is on financial equality between women and men and on promoting the compatibility of work and family life.
BAWAG Group is specifically proud that it could also strengthen its voluntary commitment last year and that the opportunity for voluntary work will be extended to all BAWAG Group employees in Austria in the current year.
Further details on BAWAG Group's CSR commitment and its sustainability programme can be found in the Group's Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2019, which was recently published (available here: https://www.bawaggroup.com/BAWAGGROUP/group/EN/csr).
1) Total amount of investments in Amundi public funds "Amundi Ethik Fonds", "Amundi Öko Sozial Rent" and "Amundi Öko Sozial Stock"
Manfred Rapolter (Head of Communications, Spokesperson)