Barbara Happe, urgewald, tel. 0172/6814474, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Elias Perabo, Klima-Allianz, tel. 0176/81022048 email: email@example.com
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Today, the Financial Times and IFC, a member of the World Bank group, will announce the winners of the 2009 FT Sustainable Banking Awards. This year, Deutsche Bank is on the five bank shortlist for the category „Sustainable Bank of the Year".
„Already the application of Deutsche Bank for this award is a scandal. The awards were created to recognise banks that have shown leadership and innovation in integrating social and environmental considerations into their operations. Deutsche Bank is not playing a leading role in this field. It´s poor environmental guidelines as well as its distinctly underwhelming track record have already proved that Deutsche Bank is a late-comer and not a pioneer in this context", says Barbara Happe from the German NGO Urgewald.
In public, Deutsche Bank presents itself as a pioneer in sustainability issues. Studies which compare the performance of large banks deliver a damning indictment of Deutsche bank´s performance. For example „Mind the Gap", a report of the international NGO network BankTrack has analysed the sustainability efforts of 45 large banks worldwide. Deutsche Bank scores amongst are lowest in 16 of the 18 categories of policies examined.
The absence of a robust set of social and environmental policies to guide investment decisions in high impact sectors also reflects in its financial practices. „Deutsche Bank doesn´t stop investing in companies notoriously damaging the environment and abusing human rights. The bank is financing companies like Vedanta and Freeport which are well-known for polluting water systems and systematically breaching the laws of host countries.. Therefore, other financial institutions have already blacklisted these companies ", explains Esther Vandenbroucke from the Belgian NGO Netwerk Vlaanderen who published a study „Banksecrets" on harmful investments last year.
Deutsche Banks „green" image is also increasingly being questioned in Germany. The inhabitants of Mainz and Wiesbaden are increasingly opposing the construction of a new coal power plant in their region, a plant that Deutsche Banks stands ready to finance. „With the eco-renovation of its Frankfurt Headquarters Deutsche Bank presents itself as a environmentally advanced. But the emissions of the planned coal power plant will surpass the reduction achieved with this renovation 750 times. Credible climate policies looks different and do not stop at the entrance of the company headquarters" comments Elias Perabo of Klima-Allianz.
Due to the weak environmental and social record of Deutsche Bank, the environmental and human rights organisations inform the jury members of the award: „If this award wants to be a true performance benchmark on exemplary behavior, Deutsche Bank should not receive the award. If it does, this would mean a disaster for the credibility of the award".