Sustainability at Oberbank - frequently asked questions


What does ESG mean?

ESG stands for Environmental (operational ecology, environmental impact of our products and financing), Social (e.g. treatment of employees, social commitment) & Governance (corporate governance, risk management, compliance) and is used as a wider term for sustainability.


What does sustainability have to do with banking?

Banks have an essential steering function – because they decide which economic activities are financed and/or in which areas they invest. Financial transactions are considered sustainable if, in addition to the traditional criteria such as return and credit risk, they also take environmental, social and governance aspects into account. For example:  If a financing is to be considered environmentally sustainable, certain environmental indicators must be met. In the case of buildings, for example, this apples to the heating requirements and the CO₂ emissions – two data points that can be derived from a property’s energy certificate.

Sustainability at Oberbank

How sustainable is Oberbank?

Thinking and acting sustainably have always been integral elements of Oberbank’s value-based strategy. In 2019, we professionalised our activities in this area with the development of our sustainability strategy and the implementation of modern sustainability management at the bank. Today, our sustainability strategy  is an integral part of our Strategy 2025. In our annual Sustainability Report (as of May 2023 only available in German) we provide a comprehensive overview of all our activities in this area.

The fact that Oberbank is also among the best in the industry in terms of sustainability has now been confirmed by an external sustainability rating awarded by rating agency ISS ESG: In the ISS ESG rating 2021, Oberbank was awarded Prime Status (as of June 2021). To the recent rating


What is a sustainability rating?

A sustainability rating assesses companies, countries or projects in terms of their sustainability in a wide range of areas (governance, social, environmental, products, etc.). Sustainability ratings are usually issued by specialised agencies such as ISS ESG or Sustainalytics. Oberbank has achieved PRIME status in the ISS ESG sustainability rating since June 2021, which means that we are among the best banks in the industry.


How is sustainability management organised within Oberbank? How are opinions of stakeholders outside of Oberbank incorporated?

Oberbank has been addressing the issue of sustainability in detail for quite some time – a dedicated sustainability organisation with sustainability officers in all departments and a separate committee has been in place since 2021. In 2022, a dedicated team for sustainability was established at Oberbank – the ESG Unit. This body serves as the first point of contact, both internally and externally, and acts as a hub for various sustainability agendas within Oberbank. The ESG Unit is also responsible for preparing the annual sustainability report.


With regard to sustainability, Oberbank pursues an integrative approach and maintains a regular and open dialogue with its most important stakeholder groups (public institutions, customers, investors and employees) as well as with representatives of drivers of sustainable development (NGOs, industry initiatives, sustainability rating agencies and regulators). Accordingly, the interests and expectations of stakeholders known to us are reflected in our sustainability goals and measures.



What sustainable products does Oberbank offer to retail and corporate clients?

Oberbank’s sustainable product portfolio is an important building block with which Oberbank aims to contribute to the sustainable development of the environment and society.
That is why Oberbank is continuously working to expand its range of sustainable products and services.


  • For individuals
    For retail customers in Austria, Oberbank offers a sustainable current account. The be(e) green account was awarded the Austrian Ecolabel because sustainable projects are financed in the amount of the account deposits. In addition to economic criteria, these projects also include ecological and social aspects. Every time we open an Oberbank be(e) green account, Oberbank makes a joint contribution to the preservation of the bee population by creating large-scale flower meadows, thereby providing a habitat for bees and other flower-pollinating insects.


  • For corporate clients
    Here, our focus is currently on investment subsidies. Classic investments by companies, e.g. in new production facilities, are usually not eligible for subsidies. Often, however, it is precisely these investments that lead to energy savings, lower CO2 emissions, etc. and could therefore be eligible, for example, for environmentally relevant investment subsidies. Why not have a word with your advisor about sustainable investment incentives?

    We are also planning a green account for corporate clients in the future – we will keep you updated.


What are sustainable investments?

We eat organic food, shop consciously, live energy-efficiently. But our investment decisions also help determine how our future will turn out. In addition to the classic forms of investment, there are already many ways to invest our money in sustainable products. By opting for sustainable funds by 3 Banken-Generali Investment-Gesellschaft m.b.H., we invest, for example, in sustainable transport systems, in robust infrastructures, in environmentally friendly buildings, in innovative industry and technology, in responsible consumption, in affordable education or in food for all. Because the security selection takes into account not only economic but also ecological, social and governance criteria, the sustainable funds of 3 Banken-Generali Investment-Gesellschaft m.b.H. have been awarded the Austrian Ecolabel*. The exact criteria for the individual funds can be found under the following link.


*Austrian Ecolabel

The Austrian Ecolabel (registration no.: UW 681) was awarded by the Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism to the 3 Banken dividend equity strategy, the 3 Banken sustainability fund, the 3 Banken Mensch & Umwelt equity fund and the 3 Banken Mensch & Umwelt mixed fund because in addition to economic criteria, ecological, social and governance criteria are also taken into account when selecting the respective securities. The Ecolabel ensures that these criteria and their implementation are suitable for the selection of appropriate stocks. This has been independently verified. The award of the Ecolabel does not allow for any conclusions regarding the future performance of the investment fund. Further information on the Austrian Ecolabel and the guidelines for sustainable financial products can be found at:


What is a green bond/social bond/sustainability bond?

Green/social/sustainability bonds differ from “normal” bonds primarily in the use of the funds. In the case of green bonds, the proceeds are used to finance green projects with an impact on the climate or the environment (such as energy-efficient housing); social bonds, on the other hand, finance social projects such as the construction of hospitals or the operation of educational institutions. Sustainability bonds combine projects from the green & social categories. The project categories that are eligible for the use of funds are precisely defined in a framework. In addition, the issuer must report annually not only on the use of funds but also on the positive contribution of the financing (in the case of the green bond, for example, to climate protection) in a so-called impact report which must be made available online.

Regulatory issues relating to sustainability

Regulatory requirements relating to sustainability: to what extent do these concern Oberbank?

In 2018, the EU Commission formulated its action plan “Financing Sustainable Growth”, which includes measures in three areas:


  • the targeted steering of capital flows towards sustainable investments
  • the integration of sustainability risks into a financial institution’s central risk management system
  • guaranteeing the transparency of the activities undertaken and the long-term nature of all measures in the area of sustainability (avoidance of greenwashing)


The EU Commission’s action plan in turn has resulted in numerous EU-wide regulations and standards that directly affect us as Oberbank or have an impact on our business activities, first and foremost the EU Taxonomy and Disclosure Regulations.
More information on sustainable finance and the EU action plan can be found here: Overview of sustainable finance | European Commission (


What does “sustainable investment” refer to and how does this relate to the EU taxonomy?

The EU taxonomy is essentially a list of economic activities that are considered sustainable. In the so-called delegated regulations, it lays out detailed classification systems that can be used to determine whether or not an economic activity is sustainable. These are mainly technical criteria (including CO2 values or energy levels). For example, criteria are defined which a housing project must fulfil in order to be classified as sustainable. These criteria are constantly being expanded and/or will change over time.


The aim of the EU taxonomy is to channel more investment into sustainable economic activities in order to contribute to the transformation of the economy and society towards greater sustainability and to achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.


When analysing financing activities with regard to their environmental sustainability, Oberbank applies the assessment criteria of the EU taxonomy to the extent that this is in line with the exclusion criteria set by Oberbank. However, Oberbank excludes all investments in nuclear power, as this is not compatible with its exclusion criteria.


Further information on the EU taxonomy can be found under the link


What is the Disclosure Regulation (SFDR)?

The Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) imposes comprehensive disclosure obligations on financial market participants and financial advisors regarding sustainability risks. The aim of the SFDR is to ensure that all financial market participants integrate ESG aspects into their advisory process. This is to ensure that (institutional) investors include ESG considerations in their investment decisions. Among other things, disclosures on ESG strategies and ESG characteristics of financial products must be made on the website, in pre-contractual information and in periodic reports. In this context, Oberbank discloses its strategy for dealing with sustainability risks on its website, and the pre-contractual information can also be found online, directly linked to the individual products.


What guidelines do we follow in preparing the sustainability report?

With the report, we comply with the requirements of the Austrian Sustainability and Diversity Improvement Act (NaDiVeg), which transposes the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD) into Austrian law. Large corporations of public interest are required to report on non-financial topics in the sustainability report. These include environmental protection, social and labour issues, human rights, anti-corruption and diversity.

Regarding the contents of our sustainability report, we also follow the GRI standards, the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative. These standards are voluntarily applied worldwide and support companies and organisations in all sectors with sustainability reporting requirements in a wide range of topics. This enhances the transparency of the disclosures and the comparability of the reports.


To the current Sustainability Report



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These materials are for current information purposes only and are based on the knowledge of the persons entrusted with their preparation at the time of preparation. These materials are neither an offer nor a solicitation to buy or sell the investments or (banking) products mentioned herein. None of the statements contained in this document should be construed as general recommendations. Although we consider the sources we have used to be reliable, we do not accept any liability regarding the completeness and accuracy of the information presented herein. In particular, we expressly reserve the right to errors in figures.