4. Depth of the Value Chain

The company states what significance aspects of sustainability have for added value and how deep in the value chain the sustainability criteria are verified.

OLB is member of the Association of German Banks. The private banks organised in this association are committed to the guiding principle of a sustainable development. For these private banks, it means to be economically successful in the long term, and to act responsibly in terms of ecological and social matters. The Federal Association of German Banks cooperates with the Council for Sustainable Development in applying the German Sustainability Code. As a financial services provider, OLB generates the largest part of its added value within the company. In banking business, sustainability aspects are considered mainly in the context of the reputation risk management. For instance, any decision-making process for the grant of loans comprises a verification of the so-called ESG criteria (Environmental, Social, Governance) so that certain transactions are explicitly prohibited under environmental or social considerations or based on regulatory provisions or require an audit of individual cases.
 
The share of value added by the banking operation which does not arise from banking transactions comprises mainly the procurement of infrastructure for data processing (inter alia, network technology, computing centres, telecommunication), market data, service provision (such as consulting, external personnel services, mobility services) as well as buildings, logistics and insurances (e.g. construction services, building operation, bank technology). OLB exerts influence on such share on the basis of comprehensive regulations, in particular regarding purchasing processes, transaction monitoring, 
reputation risk management and compliance; all of which require the consideration of sustainability aspects. The Bank is not aware of any social or ecological problems along the value chain, and obtains voluntary written and oral information from its suppliers or conducts investigations to that end. Its Code of Conduct places special importance on the protection of natural resources. Employees should ensure that they protect natural resources during their work and keep their impact on the environment as low as possible, for example by saving material and energy, avoiding or reducing and recycling of waste or by making careful plans and by considering all of these aspects in the construction and operation of buildings. When it comes to the selection of and cooperation with suppliers and other service providers, or the selection and use of advertising materials and other services, this attitude means that employees should not only consider economic aspects but also ecological and social criteria.
 
OLB exerts influence on the environment and the society by observing sustainability criteria based on different positions. As a credit institution and when taking credit decisions, it observes financing directives and established principles regarding financing quotas and exclusions. When it engages service companies, requirement guidelines are considered, for example with a view of engaging regional providers with priority. As an employer, OLB considers health aspects at the workplace and provides training on such during seminars and advanced training measures. And as a company, OLB constantly verifies any available savings options under sustainability aspects by replacing, for example, paper-based processes by digital solutions or by avoiding business travels by holding web-based trainings and conference calls or video calls. Core brand values such as sustainability, trust, competency and regionality are anchored along the entire value chain and are emphasised and constantly verified both in its internal and external communication. For informing its business partners and all interested parties, OLB regularly publishes information and reports on sustainability aspects, for example special projects funded by the OLB-Stiftung on its website.