The economical usage and exploitation of resources, minimising the ecological footprint as well as value-oriented and socially responsible action - along the entire value chain - are core entrepreneurial virtues of the 21st century. Developments in recent years have shown that such behaviour does not conflict with corporate management practises geared towards long-term profit orientation and efficiency, but rather complements it in securing the own existence.
Financial institutions are no exception to this trend. On the contrary: financial intermediaries in particular have an outstanding role to play in the transformation to a sustainable economic and social structure. This is less due to the operational processes at banks since they cause a rather minimal direct footprint - and have thus very little potential to contribute to overall sustainability goals such as the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions correspondent to the 1.5 degree Paris Agreement goal or the strengthening of biodiversity.
The pivotal effect financial institutions can unfold to strengthen sustainable (economic) development is rather based on their central function as intermediaries between capital surplus units (investors) and deficit units (borrowers) and, in particular, due to their eminently important transformation functions (lot size, term and risk transformation).
This applies to a change in investment activities of bank customers, the banks' own investments as well as sustainable lending strategies that also consider ecological and social impact
In this research area covers projects that genereate insights into sustainable transformation in the (financial) economy.