Deutsche Bank to link management pay to sustainability criteria

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Deutsche Bank plans to link growth targets for sustainable business activities covering the ESG (environmental, social, governance) space to payments to management from 2021.

According to the bank, the volume of sustainable financing and client investments is set to reach more than 20 billion euros in the current year and to rise gradually to more than 200 billion euros by 2025. As for 2020, the bank is confident that this target will be reached ‘comfortably’.

To reinforce this ambition, the bank’s Supervisory and Management Boards have decided to tie the compensation of its top-level executives to sustainability criteria.

The decisive criteria are to include the annual target volume for sustainable finance and ESG investments as well as a sustainability ratings index comprising five leading ratings agencies.

Management performance is also to be assessed according to whether, in the coming year, the bank reduces its power consumption in its buildings by 10 percent compared to 2019.

The bank also plans to use 100 percent renewable sources of energy by 2025.

CEO Christian Sewing commented on the announcement: “It is our ambition to be a leader on sustainability in the financial sector, and contribute to an environmentally sound, socially inclusive and well-governed world.

“We see a great opportunity for us to transform ourselves as well as to support our clients in their transformation towards greater sustainability.”

Another important step towards implementing the strategy is a new Sustainability Committee of the Management Board.

Chaired by Mr Sewing, the committee began its work in October and is the bank’s highest level decision-making committee with respect to sustainability.

There are thirteen other members on the committee, including Management Board members and the heads of the four corporate divisions.

The Sustainability Council set up by the bank in 2018 also continues devising proposals and doing preparatory work for the Sustainability Committee’s decision-making.