11. Usage of Natural Resources

The company discloses the extent to which natural resources are used for the company’s business activities. Possible options here are materials, the input and output of water, soil, waste, energy, land and biodiversity as well as emissions for the life cycles of products and services.

Ecological responsibility is an important pillar of the sustainable activities within OLB and is lived in the entire Bank, as already described above, by considering the relevant environmental matters. Being a financial services provider, the Bank uses already less resources than other sectors of the economy. A respectful and careful use of resources is very important to OLB and its employees and forms an integral part of the Bank’s Code of Conduct which is specified and regularly reviewed by the entire Board of Directors. In the context of its environmental concept, OBL generally sees options for exerting influence on the operational management and, in particular on the ecological behaviour of its staff which it continuously promotes by giving information and motivation. For instance, the Bank names, as one of its most important objectives, inter alia, the end-to-end digitalisation of its processes which, as a consequence, results in a noticeable reduction of its consumption of paper. The ecological figures determined in its operation are published on the Intranet on an annual basis and thus made known to all employees.
 
In addition to an ecologically conscious behaviour of its employees, OLB also sees options to exert influence in relation to sustainability along the value chain, for example in the field of purchasing when it considers these aspects during the election of its service providers. The subject of sustainability is also taken into account when selecting providers for the procurement of advertising materials (in particular in the selection of such materials). Service agreements concluded, for example with cleaning and transport logistics companies, are constantly subject to revision. A permanent control also takes place for facility management, planned business trips and the paper consumption with a view to reducing waste and making use of savings options. Quality and certification must be ensured when paper is ordered from regional suppliers. OLB procures its electricity from EWE, which is the biggest electricity provider for OLB, and such electricity is generated by up to 100 % from renewable energy. For information on the scope of the mentioned resources, reference is made, in particular, to the performance indicators GRI SRS-301-1 Materials Used, GRI SRS-302-1 Energy Consumption and GRI SRS-306-2 Waste. Essential risks which are likely to have serious negative effects on environmental matters could not be found.
 
OLB has been measuring and analysing figures on the use of essential natural resources since the year 2006, including heating energy, electricity, paper and water. The Bank derives measures from recognisable developments which are described in more detail in the subsequent sections of this report. OLB has, as a whole, been able to reduce its emission of carbon dioxide (CO2 emissions) per employee by 55 % from 3,778 kilogrammes (kg) in the year 2006 to 1,715 kg in 2020.
 
For methodical reasons, the Bank has only been measuring environmental risks arising from its direct business. A methodical expansion of such measurement will be verified in the context of the sustainability initiatives planned by the Bank.

12. Resource Management

The company discloses what qualitative and quantitative goals it has set itself with regard to its resource efficiency, in particular its use of renewables, the increase in raw material productivity and the reduction in the usage of ecosystem services, which measures and strategies it is pursuing to this end, how these are or will be achieved, and where it sees there to be risks.

In view of essential ecological aspects, OLB pursues the aim of constantly reducing both the energy and paper consumption and its CO2 emissions. Over the past years, it has already achieved an improvement of the resource efficiency in many areas by a careful use of materials and by raising the awareness of employees for these topics.
 
The reduction of CO2 emissions is, inter alia, the consequence of the reduction of the number of branches which is part of the Bank’s strategic plans. This factor also has a consumption-reducing effect in terms of energy. Moreover, the Bank prefers that business trips are made by train, instead of by car or airplane, however, almost no business trips occurred during the continuing Corona pandemic. For the refurbishment and reconstruction measures which are regularly made in the entire network of locations, the Bank uses increasingly energy-efficient LED technology. In general, the Bank’s plans are to gradually change over their entire lighting, including the advertising systems working with light, to LED technology. The Bank was and is, for the time being, unable to set concrete objective or to verify the achievement of the objectives due to the other banks which were migrated to OLB.
 
The planned significant reduction of paper consumption still benefits from developments which OLB initiated a longer time ago. Printing and shipping could be saved in the past years thanks to the introduction of electronic mailboxes in the year 2011. This trend will continue in the course of its end-to-end digitalisation effort. The wide use of eSignPads since the year 2017 contributes to a lower consumption of paper. Each employee is responsible for using the double-page printing function which is available in the modern printer park of the Bank.
 
According to the Bank’s opinion, any risks which might cause the Bank to fail the objectives in the field of resource efficiency arise mainly from external factors not belonging to the Bank’s spheres of influence. It is, for example regulatory obligations which resulted in some fields to a rising need for paper and thus counteracted the Bank‘s saving efforts. Another example relates to the consumption of heating energy which is highly subject to fluctuations caused by the weather conditions (see also the performance indicator GRI SRS-302-4 Reduction of Energy Consumption).
 
The audit process for the implementation of the environmental measures mentioned above as examples comprises a predominantly monetary cost controlling at the moment for technical and capacity reasons. Any expansion of the process will be verified by the Bank in the context of the sustainability initiatives currently planned by the Bank.

Key Performance Indicators to criteria 11 to 12

Key Performance Indicator GRI SRS-301-1: Materials used
The reporting organization shall report the following information:

a. Total weight or volume of materials that are used to produce and package the organization’s primary products and services during the reporting period, by:
i. non-renewable materials used;
ii. renewable materials used.

The material used most by OLB is paper. Several individual measures were or are implemented by the Bank in the course of its end-to-end digitalisation effort in order to reduce the Bank’s paper consumption. This includes a digital provision of salary statements for employees, a complete digitalisation of the credit process, from application to approval, the offer to provide an electronic mailbox, instead of hardcopy letters in client communication and the change of the classic fax receipt to modern fax to mail options.
 
In 2020, OLB consumed a total of 190 tonnes (t) of paper, 29 % of which was made of recycling paper. After 235.9 t in the year 2016, this marks a reduction by 19 % within four years. Paper of responsible sources is used exclusively for producing the printed financial reports and such are printed in a climate-neutral manner. The required number of copies is critically verified each year and has been showing a declining trend for years.

Key Performance Indicator GRI SRS-302-1: Energy consumption
The reporting organization shall report the following information:

a. Total fuel consumption within the organization from non-renewable sources, in joules or multiples, and including fuel types used.

b. Total fuel consumption within the organization from renewable sources, in joules or multiples, and including fuel types used.

c. In joules, watt-hours or multiples, the total:
i. electricity consumption
ii. heating consumption
iii. cooling consumption
iv. steam consumption

d. In joules, watt-hours or multiples, the total:
i. electricity sold
ii. heating sold
iii. cooling sold
iv. steam sold

e. Total energy consumption within the organization, in joules or multiples.

f. Standards, methodologies, assumptions, and/or calculation tools used.

g. Source of the conversion factors used.

Re a. and b.
OLB consumes in its capacity as a financial services provider no fuel for its direct value-adding processes. Any fuel consumed for business trips is not recorded. Alternatively, OLB records the mileage travelled by its employees during business trips and uses that figure as the basis for calculating the greenhouse emissions (see performance indicators on criterion 13).
 
Re c.
In the year 2020, OLB consumed 7,270,184 kilo watt hours (kWh) of electricity. This marks a reduction of 14.5 % compared to the figure of 8,501,013 kWh consumed in the year 2019 and could be achieved by closing branches and thanks to the higher use of mobile work caused by the pandemic. OLB covers 100 % of its need for electricity by certified electricity generated from water power.
 
In 2020, its heating energy consumption amounted to 8,730,149 kWh. This figure stood at 8,501,013 kWh in 2019. Reason for the increase were the new locations in Bremen and Ludwigsburg. OLB used 100 % of natural gas for heating energy.
 
Re d.
Not applicable.
 
Re e.
The entire energy consumption of OLB, i.e. the sum of electricity and heating energy consumed amounted to 16,000,333 kWh or 57,601,199 megajoules (MJ) in 2020.
 
Re f. and g.
Disclosures made by OLB are based on statements submitted by its energy providers and it uses the key data sheet of the Verein für Umweltmanagement und Nachhaltigkeit in Finanzinstituten e.V. (VfU – Association for Environmental Management and Sustainability for Financial Institutions, registered association) for its calculations.

Key Performance Indicator GRI SRS-302-4: Reduction of energy consumption
The reporting organization shall report the following information:

a. Amount of reductions in energy consumption achieved as a direct result of conservation and efficiency initiatives, in joules or multiples.

b. Types of energy included in the reductions; whether fuel, electricity, heating, cooling, steam, or all.

c. Basis for calculating reductions in energy consumption, such as base year or baseline, including the rationale for choosing it.

d. Standards, methodologies, assumptions, and/or calculation tools used.

The scope of reduction of its energy consumption which resulted as a direct consequence of the manifold initiatives conducted by the Bank for saving energy cannot be determine exactly.
 
Reasons are, on the one hand, that the consumption of heating energy is predominantly subject to fluctuations caused by the weather conditions and is thus outside of our sphere of influence. On the other hand, the merger of Bremer Kreditbank AG and of Bankhaus Neelmeyer AG with OLB which occurred in the year 2018 and the merger of Wüstenrot Bank AG Pfandbriefbank with OLB in 2019 make it hard to compare the figures of these years with those of the previous years.

Key Performance Indicator GRI SRS-303-3: Water withdrawal
The reporting organization shall report the following information:

a. Total water withdrawal from all areas in megaliters, and a breakdown of this total by the following sources, if applicable:
i. Surface water;
ii. Groundwater;
iii. Seawater;
iv. Produced water;
v. Third-party water.

b. Total water withdrawal from all areas with water stress in megaliters, and a breakdown of this total by the following sources, if applicable:
i. Surface water;
ii. Groundwater;
iii. Seawater;
iv. Produced water;
v. Third-party water, and a breakdown of this total by the withdrawal sources listed in i-iv.

c. A breakdown of total water withdrawal from each of the sources listed in Disclosures 303-3-a and 303-3-b in megaliters by the following categories:
i. Freshwater (≤1,000 mg/L Total Dissolved Solids);
ii. Other water (>1,000 mg/L Total Dissolved Solids).

d. Any contextual information necessary to understand how the data have been compiled, such as any standards, methodologies, and assumptions used.

Re a.
The relative need for water has been fluctuating in the Bank for years between 6 and 7 cubic meters (m³) per employee, depending on the number of employees. In 2020, the water consumption amounted to 12,536 m³ or 12.536 mega litres (ML) after 14,191 m³ or 14,191 ML in the year 2019, which is a decline by 11.6 %. According to information obtained from our essential water supplier, the water comes to 100 % from groundwater resources.
 
Re. b.
The Bank is not aware that any water is withdrawn from regions with water stress.
 
Re c.
The quantity of water withdrawn as specified under 303-3-a comprises sweet water by up to 100 %.
 
Re. d.
OLB’s disclosures are based on the statements submitted by its water suppliers.

Key Performance Indicator GRI SRS-306-2: Waste
The reporting organization shall report the following information:

a. Total weight of hazardous waste, with a breakdown by the following disposal methods where applicable:
i. Reuse
ii. Recycling
iii. Composting
iv. Recovery, including energy recovery
v. Incineration (mass burn)
vi. Deep well injection
vii. Landfill
viii. On-site storage
ix. Other (to be specified by the organization)

b. Total weight of non-hazardous waste, with a breakdown by the following disposal methods where applicable:
i. Reuse
ii. Recycling
iii. Composting
iv. Recovery, including energy recovery
v. Incineration (mass burn)
vi. Deep well injection
vii. Landfill
iii. On-site storage
ix. Other (to be specified by the organization)

c. How the waste disposal method has been determined:
i. Disposed of directly by the organization, or otherwise directly confirmed
ii. Information provided by the waste disposal contractor
iii. Organizational defaults of the waste disposal contractor

Re a.
Not applicable
 
Re b.
The total weight of non-hazardous wastes amounted to 494,327 kg in the year 2020. That marks a reduction by 13.46 %. In 2019, the waste quantity stood at 699,063 kg. Main reason for this reduction is the closure of branches and the increasing use of mobile work. Up to 74 % (363 t) of OLB’s waste will be recycled. Almost 26 % (131 t) of the waste is used for incineration.
 
Re c.
The disclosures made by OLB are based on the information provided by the waste disposal service providers.

13. Climate-Relevant Emissions

The company discloses the GHG emissions in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol or standards based on it and states the goals it has set itself to reduce emissions, as well as its results thus far.

During its business activity, OLB generates climate-relevant emissions, mainly in form of heating energy and those caused by business trips. The Bank discloses its greenhouse emissions in line with the Greenhouse Gas Protocols. OLB continuously records and analyses environmental data under its ecological responsibility and reconciles such data with the above mentioned objectives for the protection of the environment. The objective of a general reduction of emissions is discussed under criterion 12 "Resource Management" and the associated performance indicators (GRI SRS-305-1). No concrete objectives or a verification of the achievement of these objectives has been and is possible for the time being in OLB due to its migration with other banks. In order to reduce CO2 emissions, the Bank procures electricity which is generated by up to 100 % from renewable energy (water power). Heating boiler systems were renewed and exchanged with low-temperature boilers. The fact that the Bank mostly refrained from making any business trips during the persistent Corona pandemic also contributed to the saving of greenhouse emissions.

Key Performance Indicators to criteria 13

Key Performance Indicator GRI SRS-305-1: Direct (Scope 1) GHG emissions
The reporting organization shall report the following information:

a. Gross direct (Scope 1) GHG emissions in metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

b. Gases included in the calculation; whether CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, SF6, NF3 or all.

c. Biogenic CO2 emissions in metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

d. Base year for the calculation, if applicable, including:
i. the rationale for choosing it;
ii. emissions in the base year;
iii. the context for any significant changes in emissions that triggered recalculations of base year emissions.

e. Source of the emission factors and the global warming potential (GWP) rates used, or a reference to the GWP source.

f. Consolidation approach for emissions; whether equity share, financial control, or operational control.

g. Standards, methodologies, assumptions, and/or calculation tools used.

Re a.
In 2020, the gross volume of direct THG emissions (Scope 1) amounted to 2,177 t of CO2 equivalent.
 
Re. b.
Direct THG emissions were calculated by converting the energy consumption in CO2 equivalent on the basis of the key data sheet published by the VfU. Emission factors are calculated on the basis of the “Ecoinvent“ database (https://www.ecoinvent.org/), V. 3.4, October 2017.
 
Re c.
The Bank releases no biogenic emissions.
 
Re d.
No basic year was specified. OLB prepared its first Non-financial Report for the year 2017. No comparability with any of the previous years can be ensured at the moment, due to the merger of Bremer Kreditbank AG and of Bankhaus Neelmeyer AG with OLB in 2018 and the merger of Wüstenrot Bank AG Pfandbriefbank with OLB in the year 2019.
 
Re e.
The Bank uses VfU’s key data sheet for calculating the THG emissions.
 
Re f.
OLB uses the consolidation approach of operating control.
 
Re g.
OLB’s disclosures are based on the statements submitted by its energy providers and it uses, inter alia, the key data sheet published by VfU for its calculations.

Key Performance Indicator GRI SRS-305-2: Energy indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions
The reporting organization shall report the following information:

a. Gross location-based energy indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions in metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

b. If applicable, gross market-based energy indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions in metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

c. If available, the gases included in the calculation; whether CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, SF6, NF3, or all.

d. Base year for the calculation, if applicable, including:
i. the rationale for choosing it;
ii. emissions in the base year;
iii. the context for any significant changes in emissions that triggered recalculations of base year emissions.

e. Source of the emission factors and the global warming potential (GWP) rates used, or a reference to the GWP source.

f. Consolidation approach for emissions; whether equity share, financial control, or operational control.

g. Standards, methodologies, assumptions, and/or calculation tools used.

Re a.
In the year 2020, the gross volume of indirect and energy-related THG emissions (Scope 2) amounted to 3,106 t of CO2 equivalent.
 
Re b.
The gross volume of market-based indirect energy-related THG emissions (Scope 2) in the year 2020 stood at 0.0 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
 
Re c.
Indirect energy-related THG emissions are calculated by converting the energy consumption in CO2 equivalent on the basis of the key data sheet of VfU. Emission factors are calculated therein based on the “Ecoinvent“ database (https://www.ecoinvent.org/), V. 3.4, October 2017.
 
Re d.
No basic year was specified. OLB prepared its first Non-financial Report for the year 2017. No comparability with any of the previous years can be ensured at the moment, due to the merger of Bremer Kreditbank AG and of Bankhaus Neelmeyer AG with OLB in 2018 and the merger of Wüstenrot Bank AG Pfandbriefbank with OLB in the year 2019.
 
Re e.
The Bank uses VfU’s key data sheet for calculating the THG emissions. Emission factors are calculated therein based on the “Ecoinvent“ database (https://www.ecoinvent.org/), V. 3.4, October 2017.
 
Re f.
OLB uses the consolidation approach of operating control.
 
Re g.
OLB’s disclosures are based on the statements submitted by its energy providers and uses, inter alia, the key data sheet published by VfU for its calculations.

Key Performance Indicator GRI SRS-305-3: Other indirect (Scope 3) GHG emissions
The reporting organization shall report the following information:

a. Gross other indirect (Scope 3) GHG emissions in metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

b. If available, the gases included in the calculation; whether CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, SF6, NF3, or all.

c. Biogenic CO2 emissions in metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

d. Other indirect (Scope 3) GHG emissions categories and activities included in the calculation.

e. Base year for the calculation, if applicable, including:
i. the rationale for choosing it;
ii. emissions in the base year;
iii. the context for any significant changes in emissions that triggered recalculations of base year emissions.

f. Source of the emission factors and the global warming potential (GWP) rates used, or a reference to the GWP source.

g. Standards, methodologies, assumptions, and/or calculation tools used.

Re a.
The gross volume of other indirect energy-related THG emissions (Scope 3) amounted to 1,473 t of CO2 equivalent in 2020.
 
Re b.
Indirect energy-related THG emissions are calculated by converting the energy consumption in CO2 equivalent on the basis of the key data sheet of VfU. Emission factors are calculated therein based on the “Ecoinvent“ database (https://www.ecoinvent.org/), V. 3.4, October 2017.
 
Re c.
The Bank releases no biogenic emissions.
 
Re d.
Other indirect THG emissions are calculated using VfU‘s key data sheet. The calculation key takes account of the categories of electricity, heating, traffic, paper, water and waste.
 
Re e.
No basic year was specified. OLB prepared its first Non-financial Report for the year 2017. No comparability with any of the previous years can be ensured at the moment, due to the merger of Bremer Kreditbank AG and of Bankhaus Neelmeyer AG with OLB in 2018 and the merger of Wüstenrot Bank AG Pfandbriefbank with OLB in the year 2019.
 
Re f.
The Bank uses VfU’s key data sheet for calculating the THG emissions. Emission factors are calculated therein based on the “Ecoinvent“ database“ (https://www.ecoinvent.org/), V. 3.4, October 2017.
 
Re g.
OLB’s disclosures are based on the statements submitted by its energy providers and it uses, inter alia, the key data sheet published by VfU for its calculations.

Key Performance Indicator GRI SRS-305-5: Reduction of GHG emissions
The reporting organization shall report the following information:

a. GHG emissions reduced as a direct result of reduction initiatives, in metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

b. Gases included in the calculation; whether CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, SF6, NF3, or all.

c. Base year or baseline, including the rationale for choosing it.

d. Scopes in which reductions took place; whether direct (Scope 1), energy indirect (Scope 2), and/or other indirect (Scope 3).

e. Standards, methodologies, assumptions, and/or calculation tools used.

The scope of the reduction of the THG emissions as a direct consequence of the manifold initiatives of the Bank to reduce its emissions cannot be validly determined.
 
One reason is that the consumption of heating energy depends mainly on fluctuations of the weather conditions and can thus not be influenced by us. On the other hand, the merger of Bremer Kreditbank AG and Neelmeyer AG with OLB in 2018 and the merger of Wüstenrot Bank AG Pfandbriefbank with OLB in 2019 makes it hard for OLB to ensure a comparability with previous year.