Without real sustainability, there will be no commercial basis for Varengold Bank in the long-term or a desirable future for the people who work for us and whom we care about. This is why we are committed to sustainability. On the long road to our goal, we are focusing primarily on environmental and social issues. We are guided in the process by the conviction that there is no such thing as ‘one’ decisive measure. Ultimately, mighty oaks grow from lots of little acorns.
Here is an overview of some of our efforts that are planned and implemented by a dedicated interdisciplinary team of employees.
Varengold Bank has offset its 2019 emissions of 237.43 tons of CO2 equivalents in full. The climate neutrality achieved has been authenticated through ARKTIK GmbH, a company certified by TÜV Nord. The proceeds will be used to support the Ghana Cookstove climate protection project. Improving the efficiency of cookstoves will reduce the demand for fuel in this African country. It will protect the tree population, reduce CO2 emissions, and promote local craftsmanship through domestic cookstove production.
Since early 2018, Varengold Bank has been an active member of the Hamburg Environmental Partnership an initiative launched by the Hamburg Senate in 2003. It establishes a link between ecology and economy. The network currently includes around 1,250 companies of different sizes from various industries. What they have in common is their interest in corporate environmental protection. Active partners like Varengold Bank voluntarily do more for the environment and climate protection than the law requires them to do.
All employees have the option to obtain an HVV-Profiticket, i.e. a flat-rate ticket for Hamburg’s public transport that is optimised for commuters. Varengold Bank subsidises the ticket generously. A partnership with mein-dienstrad.de also offers employees the opportunity to lease a company bicycle, for which Varengold Bank covers the costs of a full-service maintenance package. These two mobility options allow employees to actively contribute to the protection of the environment both on their way to work and in their free time.
Out of a sense of conviction, Varengold Bank has been purchasing exclusively green electricity for several years. Our network printers can be shared by all employees. This has reduced the number of printers and at the same time energy consumption has fallen, too. Documents are printed on 100% recycled paper. We now use recycled products in many other areas as well, for example, various office materials, cleaning products, bin liners and toilet paper. In this way, we contribute to responsible use of wood as a resource. Other energy and resource efficiency measures also include Christmas cards produced in an environmentally friendly way, reusable lunch to-go boxes and collection boxes for small electrical appliances and batteries. Furthermore, care is taken to source (organic quality) foods from regional producers.
Varengold Bank is both financially and actively committed to selected social causes.
Varengold Bank combines its financial commitment in one annual donation. To ensure that the donation is commensurate with the bank’s performance and to guarantee objectivity, it is determined using the following formula:
(Number of employees on 31/12 of the previous year x EUR 100) + (Pre-tax result in the previous year / 1000)
A figure of EUR 11,600 was calculated for 2019 using this formula, which was given to Sternenbrücke, a children’s hospice, on 7 February 2020. The initiative or institution that receives the annual donation is determined democratically by the bank's employees and may change from year to year.
Financial commitment is just one aspect of social commitment and cannot replace active involvement and the experiences associated with this. Therefore, our employees also get involved on a personal level. We especially enjoy visiting ‘Die Arche’ in Hamburg-Jenfeld, one of the many locations of the initiative with the same name for disadvantaged children.
During our last visit we helped prepare and serve dinner, make Christmas decorations, helped with homework, played games and romped around with the children. Of course, we didn’t come empty-handed and are looking forward to the next time already!