Deutsche Bank has put forward a goal of facilitating more than $ 200 billion in financing and sustainable investments to 2023, as Germany’s biggest investor tries to counter criticism of the fight against climate change.
CEO Christian Sewing said the bank seeks to become “a leader in sustainability”. But she faces accusations from environmental groups Greenpeace and Urgewald that she is not doing enough for the climate.
A series of new policies will be proposed, including reducing the fuel consumption of the bank’s 5,400 company car fleet.
The world’s leading banks have shown their commitment to sustainable investing, as pressure is put on them to support the transition to a low-carbon, more environmentally friendly economy.
Deutsche Bank has also said it will aim to have more female leaders, and reach 35% of CEO, director and vice-president positions by 2025, up from 29% currently.
Last year, the bank pledged to make at least € 200 billion in sustainable investments and finance by 2025. Christian Sewing said the bank has made more progress than expected, reaching € 71 billion euros at the end of March 2021.
Announcement effects that do not do justice to the climate crisis
“As we exceeded our targets in the first year, we became more ambitious about how quickly we can achieve them,” said Christian Sewing, adding that banks that did not adopt the sustainability goals will be losers.
Environmental group Urgewald, however, said some of Deutsche Bank’s proposals, including reducing the fuel consumption of company cars, were disappointing.
“The fact that the bank has recognized how much it can profit from sustainable financial transactions is not ambitious, but pure opportunism,” said Regine Richter, financial campaigner at Urgewald.
“With these announcement effects, Deutsche Bank is not doing the climate crisis justice,” she said.
For its part, Greenpeace has also cast doubts on the progress of Deutsche Bank, not hesitating to compare it to the French bank BNP Paribas which would do more in terms of sustainability. BNP says it allocated and financed more than 200 billion euros last year on such projects, including the transition to renewable energy.