Financial Sector Sustainability Initiatives

The issuing of green Pfandbriefe and associated financing of green, energy-efficient real estate is one of the ways banks can make their contribution to a sustainable society.

Moreover, now more than ever, environmental, social responsibility and governance (ESG) issues are taken into account at all levels of a bank.

German Pfandbrief banks are involved in various initiatives and are also committed to sustainable, responsible business practice through membership in prestigious associations and initiatives.

vdp is a member of the National Climate Action Alliance and supports Pfandbrief banks with the development and implementation of their sustainability strategies as much as possible. The following is an outline of the best-known initiatives in which the banking industry is involved and which it supports, along with a brief description:

Federal Government Sustainable Finance Advisory Committee

The purpose of the advisory committee is to advise the federal government on the development of a national sustainable finance strategy and to develop specific recommendations for action to strengthen Germany’s financial and economic position in the long term. European and international initiatives will be taken into account as much as ongoing work in the federal government on federal investment strategy.

Climate Bonds Initiative

The Climate Bonds Initiative is a non-profit initiative geared towards investors to promote investment in the low-carbon economy. It is committed to informing and promoting the market, provides policy models and government advice, market data and analyses, and manages an international standard and certification system for best practice in green bond issuance.

German Sustainability Code

The German Sustainability Code is a cross-sector transparency standard for the reporting on corporate sustainability performance and was developed in 2011 by the Council for Sustainable Development.

Energy Efficient Mortgages Initiative

The EEMI is supported by over 90 financial service providers, national, European and international agencies and representatives of relevant markets and is a market-oriented initiative with the objective of creating an integrated “ecosystem” for energy-efficient mortgages with significant transformation potential.

Green Bond Principles

The Green Bond Principles (GBP) of the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) promote integrity in the green bond market through guidelines on transparency, disclosure and reporting. With their emphasis on use of proceeds, the GBP support issuers who want to organise their business activities in a more environmentally sustainable way.

Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS)

The NGFS is a worldwide network of central banks and supervisory authorities. Its objective is to analyse the implications of climate change for the financial system and redirect global financial flows in order to facilitate low-carbon economic growth.

Principles for Responsible Banking

The Principles for Responsible Banking were developed by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) in co-operation with 30 banks and are intended to act as a framework to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement. They were presented on 22 September 2019 during the UN General Assembly in New York.

Principles for Responsible Investing

The Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI) arose out of an international investor network that had drawn up six principles for responsible investment and examined the impact of sustainability. The objective is to understand the impact of sustainability for investors and help the signatories to incorporate these issues into investment decision-making processes.

Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (17 SDGs from Agenda 2030) came into effect on 1 January 2016 and act as a safeguard for sustainable development at an economic, social and environmental level.


The UNEP FI is a global partnership between the United Nations Environment Programme and the private financial sector. The objective of the UNEP FI is to promote the integration of environmental issues into financial sector services and simultaneously incorporate them into accounting, disclosure and reporting.

UN Global Compact

The United Nations UN Global Compact is an agreement between companies and the UNO to make globalisation more socially and environmentally minded. Participants are committed to standing up for human rights, fair working conditions and environmental protection and to fighting corruption.


The VfU is a network of sustainable finance professionals (banks, insurance companies, investment companies and associations) focused on the promotion and expansion of sustainable finance. VfU offers a platform where participants can gain, exchange, generate and deepen knowledge and know-how.