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 emissions of 239 tonnes of CO2 equivalents for 2020 by investing in CO2 certificates. A Gold Standard climate protection project that supports well systems in Eritrea was selected for offsetting. The compensation was implemented with AQ Green TeC GmbH, which is specialised in carbon management services.
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.
Varengold Bank supports Treemer's environmental project and has new trees planted. Forests not only provide us with the air we need to live and store carbon, but they also purify our water and ensure the continued biodiversity of countless animals, fungi and plants. In addition to climate protection, forests are also essential for the renewable raw material "wood" and offer us a healthy place to stay and relax.
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)
In this way, many great institutions and initiatives have already received financial support. 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 visits, we help preparing and serving dinner, make Christmas decorations, help with homework, play games and rompe around with the children. Of course, we don’t come empty-handed and are looking forward to the next time already.
We are also very happy to participate in the 'Wish Tree campaign' every year to fulfill a Christmas wish for numerous children.