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, , this might be shown through applying to the heating requirements and the CO2 emissions – two data points that can be derived from a property’s energy performance certificate (EPC).


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 April 2024 part of Annual Report) we provide a comprehensive overview of all our activities in this area.


An external sustainability rating by the rating agency ISS ESG now confirms that Oberbank is also among the best in the industry in terms of sustainability:

The rating agency ISS ESG has awarded Oberbank the coveted Prime Status. The sustainability rating was confirmed again in December 2023 with the Prime Status, whereby Oberbank was able to improve its rating grade from C to C+.


According to ISS ESG, Oberbank AG is thus among the TOP 10 of 287 rated institutions worldwide in the Financials/Public & Regional Bank sector (as of the 28th of december 2023):

Further details on the recent ratings


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 corporate 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 private customers
    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?

    In 2023 an ESG-linked loan was developed in which the respective companies agree to individual sustainability targets, such as the reduction of CO₂ emissions or the reduction of occupational accidents. Sustainability ratings or an ESG-certificate from recognized providers can also be used as a basis. If set targets are achieved, the loan interest rate is adjusted to the benefit of the customer.
    For further information on ESG-linked loans (only available in german)
    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, as well as the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS)


More information on sustainable finance and the EU action plan can be found via 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.


From 2024 on, financial institutions within the EU will have to provide comprehensive evidence of the proportion of sustainable business in reporting the Green Asset Ratio (GAR). The GAR is a new KPI intended to provide a harmonized metric showing environmentally sustainable assets as a percentage of lenders banking books. In order to calculate the GAR, the share of sustainable financing of a group of customers, definded by the EU taxonomy (companies that must publish the share of their taxonomy-aligned business in accordance with the NFRD and in the future in accordance with the CSRD), private customers and local authorities is compared with the bank’s total exposure as defined by the directive. In the coming years the proportion of companies whose financing will be assessed for the GAR will increase due to the new reporting regulations through the CSRD ( for further details on the CSRD please see question 13)


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?

As part of the Green Deal, a clear objective of the European Council and the European Parliament is to revise and strengthen the rules of the existing non-financial reporting directives (NFRD), in Austria implemented through the NaDiVeG (Sustainability and Diversity Improvement Act). The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) thus replaces the NFRD.

In Austria, the CSRD will be transposed into national law by the Sustainability Reporting Act (NaBeG) and will therefore replace the NaDiVeG in future.

The CSRD, the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, ensures that companies provide their stakeholders with reliable, comparable and transparent sustainability information to enable them to assess their non-financial performance. Transparent and standardized reporting is intended to support the redirection of investments in more sustainable technologies and companies in accordance with the Green Deal. The corresponding European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) were developed by the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG).


The CSRD provides for very comprehensive mandatory and externally audited sustainability reporting in the future. The number of medium-sized and large companies subject to reporting requirements will also increase significantly. The new reporting requirements of the European Union will apply to Oberbank from the financial year of 2024 on. In future, the sustainability report will be presented as a sustainability statement within the management report. For the 2023 reporting period, Oberbank has carried out a materiality analysis in accordance with the requirements of the ESRS. Based on the new materiality analysis, the sustainability reporting was reorganized and the Sustainability Statement 2023 was structured according to the ESRS structure. Oberbank thus fulfills part of the regulatory requirements one year earlier than required.


To the sustainability statement in the Annual Financial Report 2023 (from page 30) / German



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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.