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Hellenic Bank: Sustainability and prosperity – our strategic compass

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A multilayered matrix of goals and actions gives Hellenic Bank the lead in ESG strategy

Committed as it is to promoting environmental sustainability and social resilience, Hellenic Bank has taken the lead in ESG strategies. By setting a high bar for its goals and implementing a series of best practices, Hellenic Bank leads the way in the green transition, respect for human rights and shaping a novel inclusive culture across the organisation.

To Hellenic Bank, safeguarding the environment and social cohesion has been a long-standing goal that not only is part of the organisation’s activities, but rather forms the very core from which each decision and action derive. It’s worth noting here that the revised ESG strategy, approved by the Board of Directors in November 2023, is now part of the bank’s Strategic Framework.

Hellenic Bank’s ESG strategy consists of detailed, feasible and quantifiable targets. With these the bank places issues of environmental and social corporate responsibility at the centre of the organisation’s overall activity – from the design and provision of green banking products and services, to internal operations and staff management.

The ESG Strategy comprises four basic pillars that are harmonised with the UN’s sustainable development goals as well as with the EU Green Deal and the Paris climate accords. They include: net zero carbon emissions; creating the workforce of the future; enhancing the resilience and performance of banking products and services; supporting the ecosystem’s sustainability.

volunteers tree plantingNet zero

A key objective of Hellenic Bank’s ESG Strategy is attaining net zero by 2050, the key performance indicator being the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, according to the EU Green Deal and the Paris Agreement. This goal is achieved by reducing the environmental impact in all Hellenic Bank operations as well as in the loan and investment portfolio.

By designing its premises accordingly, and adopting practices aimed at cutting down on the consumption of paper, water, electricity – and thus emissions – the bank will substantially reduce its environmental footprint.

Τhe total energy consumption decreased by 9 per cent on an annual basis. The installation of photovoltaics in two buildings with an expected capacity of 240,000 KWh is in progress and energy efficiency measures are being taken such as thermal insulation and the installation of thermal insulating glasses for specific buildings as well as the supply of electricity from third-party suppliers that produce green energy. In 2023, Hellenic Bank provided reused water bottles to all staff, aiming to reduce single-use plastic cups and completed the implementation of PMD recycling in all Bank facilities.

To achieve zero carbon balance by 2050 in addition to being responsible for the emissions associated with our own operational footprint, we must also reduce our investment and borrowing footprint. The Bank encourages customers to make environmental friendly choices through its green products and to move forward with the green transition and sustainability of their businesses by providing lending solutions required for a sustainable business model.

furry clubThe workforce of the future

The bank also places a great deal of emphasis on training its staff on ESG matters, providing specialised workshops. And it promotes workplace prosperity, harmonising professional life with private life, as well as broadening inclusivity and diversity within the organisation. In this context, increasing representation of diverse groups on the Board of Directors and in senior positions, are key parameters of Hellenic Bank’s ESG goals.

Overall, Hellenic Bank offers employment and career opportunities to approximately 2,000 people. Staff assessment and re-skilling systems are in line with the latest personnel management standards.

Resilience and performance

When it comes to augmenting the resilience and performance of banking services and products, the bank’s ESG Strategy aims to enhance the relevant frameworks and disclosures necessary to complete the action plan regarding climate and environmental risks. What’s more, the Bank seeks to increase green lending and strengthen its ESG performance.

movember medical seminarSustainable ecosystem

Lastly, and concerning supporting the sustainability of the ecosystem, the bank is investing in the green transition of its customers and investors, by growing green loans which last year came to €219 million. Through specialised banking products, Hellenic Bank supports retail and corporate customers in adopting a more sustainable model of lifestyle and professional growth.

Parallel to this, the bank actively seeks to maximise its positive impact on the community through a series of charitable and volunteer initiatives. For several years it has supported – through donations, grants and voluntarism – organisations that carry out important social work. Such organisations include the Karaiskakio Foundation, Hope for Children, the Sophia for Children Foundation, the Elpida Foundation, PASYKAF (Pancyprian Association of Cancer Patients and Friends), Europa Donna, Unicef, the Telethon, the Red Cross, food banks, Ronald McDonald House Charities, the ‘Majestic’ Miniature Horse Therapy, and the Fairytale Museum. Equally important are Hellenic Bank’s partnership with the institution of the ‘Ecological Schools’ and the various environmental actions in which it participates, such as the cleanup of the Lenios beach. It’s worth noting that during the last three years, the Pancyprian Coordinating Council of Voluntarism has awarded Hellenic Bank for its #HBVolunteersChallenge, carried out during the Pancyprian Voluntarism Week.

enavsma access city paphosSafeguarding human rights

In the context of its broader ESG Strategy, Hellenic Bank places particular emphasis on safeguarding human rights. Recently the bank approved and issued a Statement of Human Rights, whose principles are based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and on the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Recognising how important it is to stand up for human rights, Hellenic Bank’s statement underlines the bank’s commitment to: respecting diversity by ensuring an environment free of discrimination; keeping high health and safety standards, as well as positive workplace conditions; adopting a confidential complaints process for matters concerning staff, which includes shielding complainants from retaliation; preventing and deterring any form of harassment at the workplace, and ensuring that such behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

In relation to customers, the principles cited in Hellenic Bank’s statement have to do with: providing a sustainable lending policy, with clearly defined types of ‘green’ and ‘social’ financing; maintaining a list of prohibited lending, which bars activities connected either directly or indirectly to the violation of human rights; assessing customers on ESG criteria; and factoring in ESG parameters in assessing and approving new products.

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CONTACT

Τel: 8000 9999

(calls from Cyprus are free),

+35722 500500 (if dialing from overseas)

E-mail: [email protected]

Webpage: https://www.hellenicbank.com

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