Sustainability is integral to Helaba's very identity as a public law institution with a mission to act in the public interest. What might at first appear a rather abstract concept turns out in practice to be a leading motivation for countless employees day-in, day-out and at home as well as at work. Five employees share what sustainability means for them.
"The subject of diversity is becoming more important all the time at Helaba. One of the most noticeable signs of this is the ever-greater enthusiasm shown for different approaches and outlooks – for example when selecting new colleagues and when people change job within the Bank."
"Maintaining the right balance is very important for me – and that goes for my work as well. I want the opportunities that we provide to be genuinely helpful for colleagues and not to end up being just one more stress factor, and I consequently make a priority within Helaba Vital of self-management and self-efficacy."
"Us putting sustainability on the agenda at company finance departments can make a tremendous difference. Once the finance people start talking about these issues, there is real potential for meaningful change."
WIBank's two mobile shelving systems hold over 400,000 files. Thanks to Anja Pacem, that number will be shrinking rather than growing in future. The Head of Project and Change Management and her team put in place one of the key prerequisites for paperless working last year when they introduced an electronic file system at the development bank.
The roll-out finished just in time because once COVID-19 arrived and a large part of WIBank's staff transferred to working from home, the ready access to customer data from anywhere provided by the electronic file and electronic mailbox systems became essential.
WIBank intends to adopt more and more digital processes based on the electronic file system in future, with customer documents delivered exclusively electronically and development programme applications submitted through an online portal. It should go without saying that in principle the creation of new paper documents will cease as part of this process.
"The pursuit of sustainability is enabling us progressively to reduce resource consumption in our work, and stimulating the ongoing development of processes into the bargain. The electronic file, which fits in very well with company-wide sustainability management, is just the first step here for WIBank."
Anja Peter and her team finance commercial real estate in the office, logistics and retail segments for international and institutional investors. Peter has also been working in the HelabaSustained programme since autumn 2020 making preparations so that customers can be offered financing solutions factoring in the ESG criteria in the future.
She believes it is important to cover the full scope of these sustainability criteria and to consider social aspects such as the quality of corporate governance as well as the possibly more obvious environmental aspects. Sustainability plays an important role for Peter away from the Bank too: her life partner runs an organic vineyard in Groß-Umstadt to the south west of Frankfurt and Peter is always heavily involved there from winter pruning through to harvest the following autumn.
Working among the vines provides a welcome and grounding contrast to the financial centre of Frankfurt and gives her a different perspective on managing natural resources and the value of agricultural produce.
"It is important never to lose sight of the fact that everything I do has consequences. I need to know what happens as a result of my actions and I need to be able to live with that knowledge."
"Values with impact", Helaba's bold new corporate tag line, consciously emphasises the “how” of our approach to achieving our objectives.