Environmental policy

for Steiermärkische Bank und Sparkassen AG
as well as its subsidiaries in Austria

Taking over responsibility together

More urgently than ever, Styria needs companies who always view their actions under the aspects of sustainable and environmentally friendly benchmarks and thus assume responsibility for society and subsequent generations.

Steiermärkische Sparkasse has not just been doing this since media have been writing about the climate crisis or „Fridays for Future“ movements have been protesting in the streets. The mandate to assume responsibility for the environment and society is firmly established in the company‘s founding ideals of 1825.

A journey through time with regard to environmental policy

Through early support of diverse social projects – Steiermärkische Sparkasse purchased, for instance, Leechwald and Augartenpark and provided them to the population as local recreation areas – the oldest bank in Styria already assumed responsibility for the environment and society decades ago.

In 2015, Steiermärkische Sparkasse took a major step in its environment policy and introduced a certified environment management system. With the associated measures, Steiermärkische Sparkasse is not only sensitising its own employees but also the general public to sustainable, environmentally friendly actions and is adopting a role model function. Key roles have been defined and established in the company for the organisational positioning of environmental protection. The Environmental Manager, the members of the Environment Team and the Waste Officer are responsible for the continuous further development and improvement of environmentally relevant thematic areas.

Today, sustainable, environmentally thinking and action is not only represented by the entire Executive Board but also actively communicated to shareholders and partners. The mandate to take over responsibility for the environment and society is thus lived and consistently expanded further on a day-to-day basis more strongly than ever, 195 years after it was first written down.

Environmental policy and core business

Sustainable finance aims to equip the core business of Steiermärkische Sparkasse with sustainable and long-term business models and products. The financial system is to be comprehensively redesigned by taking economic and social criteria into account. Steiermärkische Sparkasse is aware of its important role as a sustainable financial partner and has set itself the goal of also adopting a pioneering role in this area too.

The multi-faceted environmental policy of Steiermärkische Sparkasse has been divided into 6 thematic areas. This categorisation serves to enable the rapid recognition and measurement of changes and progress in the individual thematic areas. Based on these results, environmental policy can be constantly expanded and adapted in an efficient way. The 6 thematic areas include:

Employees

Regular communication activities aim to sensitise all levels of the company to environmentally relevant topics. Here, the focus is not only on conveying information but also on specific further training opportunities and courses for employees. The goal is to establish the environmental policy principles and measures in the minds of the employees so strongly that sustainable thinking and action become a matter of course in our everyday work. Ideally, these communication measures will result in employees also thinking and acting in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner in their home lives.

CO2

One of the most important environmental policy goals of our group is to reduce CO2 emissions. This goal is pursued through a continuous monitoring of existing and potential sources of emissions and the highlighting of emission-free alternatives by the persons responsible.

Energy / Climate protection

The use of sustainable electricity has been an important standard measure at Steiermärkische Sparkasse for years. Continuous improvement of the resource-friendly energy balance also takes place with regard to the heating systems. The successive changeover to renewable energies and further individual measures such as thermal refurbishments optimise and reduce the consumption of energy and ensure efficient usage.

Procurement, resources and regionality

The regional proximity to the providers plays a fundamental role in the procurement of products or services. The ecological standards of the companies, in addition to the regionality, are decisive when selecting providers. An efficient and exact planning prevents unnecessary consumption of resources.

Waste

Another essential environmental policy measure is the avoidance of waste. Digitalisation and the associated software and hardware solutions are making a fundamental contribution to the success of this waste avoidance. For instance, the specific usage of modern tools such as the U-Pad or digital filing systems is significantly minimising the consumption of paper. Through a responsible handling of resources and conscious separation of waste, all employees can contribute to the achievement of this environmental policy goal. Responsible persons are also continuously working on reducing hazardous waste.

Mobility

Steiermärkische Sparkasse also regularly sets new accents in the area of mobility. The employees are encouraged to use public means of transport for their business trips. Fully electric vehicles such as e-bikes, e-scooters and e-cars are provided by Steiermärkische Sparkasse and are increasingly being used by employees for work-related journeys. This use of emission-free means of transport is having a positive effect on the environmental record of Steiermärkische Sparkasse.

„Compliance with environmental laws and regulations is a matter of course for Steiermärkische Sparkasse. Furthermore, with the implementation of an active environmental policy, we are pursuing a strategy that manifests itself in an open dialogue with employees and customers as well as with our partners in the general public.

Since our company was established in 1825, we have taken on responsibility for society. This responsibility is reflected today in innovative and modern measures relating to environmentally relevant topics. Our mission is to consciously take over intra-generational responsibility.“
Group Executive Board, Steiermärkische Sparkasse.


The protection of our environment and a sustainable handling of our resources are matters that concern us all. An open discussion and continuous suggestions for improvement to the Environment Team are welcome at any time. Let us integrate and live our mandate to take over responsibility for the environment and society more strongly than ever in our everyday working lives, 195 years after it was first written down. Together.

The Executive Board of the Steiermaerkische Sparkasse and the Management of the BRS Büroreinigungsgesellschaft der Steiermärkischen Bank und Sparkassen AG, GmbH