Acting on our commitment

NORD/LB is a sustainable bank. Integrating sustainability into its core business is an essential lever for securing the forward-looking orientation and competitiveness of the NORD/LB Group, its clients and business partners for the long term.

In its North German business territory, NORD/LB is closely linked with the business sector in Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. The economic profile of these two federal states with their shipbuilding, aircraft manufacturing and renewable energy engineering industries, agriculture and a strong small and medium enterprises (SME) community has a direct influence on NORD/LB's business model, with its deliberate focus on the Corporate Customers, Ship and Aircraft Customers and Energy and Infrastructure Customers business segments.

As a lender, NORD/LB has a business model which is closely entwined with the real economy and finances enterprises in all sectors of the economy.

Along with its regional orientation, the bank's corporate goal is to be a dependable financial partner for its customers. NORD/LB is a member of the Sparkassenverbund association of savings banks and cooperates closely with the regional savings banks to create comprehensive solutions for the SME sector.

As a bank and public-law institution, NORD/LB bears a special responsibility for economic development and social cohesion. NORD/LB regards both its social engagement and its conscientious business practices, with clear ethical principles and the status of role model for integrity and legal compliance, as part of this social responsibility.

The ten principles of the UN Global Compact

By signing, NORD/LB undertakes to uphold the ten internationally recognised principles of the UN Global Compact in its business activities.

The UN Global Compact addresses the issues of human rights, labour conditions, environmental protection and corruption. For NORD/LB, upholding these principles is an essential element in our responsibility to our customers and employees as a financial service provider, and to our society as a corporate citizen. The graphic shows the principles of the UN Global Compact (in the left-hand column) along with NORD/LB's approach to fulfilling each of the principles (in the right-hand column).

1. Businesses should support and respect the protection of international human rights. 

2. Businesses should make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.

After the signing of the UN Global Compact in May 2013, the human rights clauses were incorporated into our supplier management systems and the ten principles were taken up in our purchasing guidelines and supplier contracts. This obliges vendors and service providers also to act in accordance with the principles (referred to below as the "Sustainability Clause"). No violations of the Sustainability Clause are known. Indirect risks are identified by means of the ESG guidelines, among other tools, particularly in the Guideline for Hydroelectric Power and ESG requirements for project financing. The Guideline for Hydroelectric Power prescribes adherence to international standards such as the recommendations of the World Commission on Dams and UNESCO's Guidelines on Integrated Water Resources Management at the River Basin Level.

3. Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.

4. Businesses should support the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour. 

5. Businesses should support the effective abolition of child labour.

Due to the bank's structure, the NORD/LB Group's activities represent no risk in respect of child labour or forced labour. NORD/LB has incorporated this principle in its supplier management system by including a Sustainability Clause in its master contracts. No violations of the Sustainability Clause are known. Indirect risks are identified by means of the ESG Guidelines, among other tools.

6. Businesses should support the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

By signing the Diversity Charter, NORD/LB supports the initiative to advance recognition, respect and inclusion of diversity in Germany's corporate culture. Indirect risks are identified by means of the ESG Guidelines, among other tools.

7. Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges.

8. Businesses should undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental awareness.

9. Businesses should encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.

To optimise the environmental impacts of its business activities, NORD/LB adopted the Guideline for Environmental Impact in September 2013. The objective is to prevent or reduce both direct and indirect environmental impacts of business activities as far as possible. Direct impacts are measured, assessed and managed by a corporate environmental management system based on the ISO 14001 environmental management standard. The system includes suppliers. The Sustainability Clause in NORD/LB's standard and master contracts specifies the corporation's own requirements for vendors and service providers in the areas of environmental protection, minimising environmental impacts, improving internal environmental protection systems and use of environmentally friendly products.

Sustainability Strategy 2020

For the NORD/LB Group, sustainability is first and foremost a question of attitude. Direct and indirect support for stable development through its own business practices is part of its public mandate.

The NORD/LB Group is convinced that many aspects of global change will bring opportunities and risks for its clients and will therefore influence our business activities. The Sustainability Strategy addresses the key aspects of global change for the NORD/LB Group and its clients and shows ways to efficiently utilise emerging opportunities and responsibly manage risks. By taking a systematic approach to sustainability, the NORD/LB Group ensures that the necessary sustainability aspects are taken into account in its business activities.
The NORD/LB Group and its employees therefore see themselves above all as supporters of their clients, enabling them to more firmly anchor their business activities and investment decisions in the context of "sustainable development".

Further information
>Sustainability Strategy (PDF, 37 KB)

Integrating sustainability

As a bank and public-law institution, NORD/LB bears a special responsibility for economic development and social cohesion. NORD/LB regards both its social engagement and its conscientious business practices, with clear ethical principles and the status of role model for integrity and legal compliance, as part of this social responsibility.

The Erweiterter Konzernvorstand (Extended Group Managing Board) is the supreme representative of the sustainability strategy. The CEO bears primary responsibility for sustainable development at NORD/LB. The Managing Board is supported in its duties by the Sustainability Control Committee. This committee is made up of the sustainability management group along with representatives of various business units.
Together with the sustainability management group, members of the Control Committee analyse requirements in each unit, develop objectives and action plans and submit them as proposals to the Managing Board for implementation. Concurrently, they implement these action plans in their respective areas of responsibility.
All management levels are included in the discussion and decision processes by the Sustainability Control Committee and the sustainability management group, and they also contribute their own ideas. This broad knowledge base is continually expanded through internal communication channels and consultations on specific sustainability topics.
The diagram below shows the organisational structure along with functions and accountabilities.

Sustainability management at NORD/LB

Among other things, sustainability means assuming responsibility for one's own conduct of business in order to survive on the market in the long term. Accordingly, the term "sustainability" can also be understood to include the future viability of an enterprise. If NORD/LB is to secure jobs and remain competitive not only in the present, but also in the future, sustainability management will play a major role.

The sustainability management group engages in a continual dialogue with NORD/LB's stakeholders and addresses important social and business issues which impact on the bank and must therefore be taken into account in its conduct of business. Besides absorbing important information, the sustainability management group also disseminates information so that NORD/LB processes can be continually improved.

Significance of ESG risks

ESG risks are risks that can arise in a business or business relationship in consequence of environmental, social or governance factors.

ESG risks contribute to reputational risks, which in turn are classified and summarised under operational risks.

For more information on NORD/LB ESG risks see the chapter "Governance" in the >2016 Sustainability Report (German) (PDF, 1,4 MB)

NORD/LB ESG guidelines

NORD/LB has established guidelines to direct and govern the economic, environmental and social aspects of its conduct of business (ESG approach).

The ESG guidelines supplement existing guidelines and principles of strategy and governance, thus enabling comprehensive management of the portfolio. Among other things they define exclusion criteria for transactions in which NORD/LB will take part.

For more information on NORD/LB ESG guidelines see the chapter "Governance" in the> 2016 Sustainability Report (German) (PDF, 1,4 MB)


UN Global Compact
Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitsindex
Charta der Vielfalt
Mission Statement NORD/LB



Guideline for Environmental Impact of our Business Activities
Environmental Guideline
Guideline for Corporate Environmental Protection
Guideline for Climate Change
Guideline for Human Rights and Labour Standards
Trading Strategy Financial Markets
Purchaising Guideline
Guideline for Prevention of Money Laundering
Fraud Prevention Policy
Principles for Staff Transactions
Guideline for Dealing with Stakeholders
Guideline for Dealing with Tax Law Requirements
Framework for financial sanctions
Guideline for Responsible Marketing



Guideline for Hydrolectric Power
Guideline for ESG Requirements for Project Finance
Guideline for Sustainable Ship Financing
Guideline for Dealing sustainably with renewable/ not renewable Resources
Guideline for Sustainable Real Estate Financing

Guideline for Sustainable Aircraft Financing

Guideline for Weapons and Armament Transactions
Guideline for Pornography





Sustainability Rating: neutral CCC
Uncovered Bonds: CCC
Public Sector Pfandbrief: positive BBB
Mortgage Pfandbrief: positive BB
Ship Pfandbrief: positive B







Corporate Rating: C+ Prime

Corporate Rating: AA

       64 of 100 points