The most demonstrable effect on the NORD/LB Group's positive sustainability balance sheet to date in the sense of detailed measurable effects can be seen in the Commercial Real Estate Finance business segment under the Deutsche Hypo brand. Even before the United Nations development goals and the European Community's climate taxonomy were announced, Deutsche Hypo established its green value chain from lending to securitisation in securities and other debt instruments on the basis of the energy efficiency of the financed buildings and ultimately of the securitised portfolio.
Green Banking at "Deutsche Hypo, a NORD/LB company" 2015-2021, today continued as "Deutsche Hypo, NORD/LB Real Estate Finance".
In 2015, Deutsche Hypo realised that sustainability is more than just a "simple trend". Since the bank has always mainly financed the most modern real estate standards or renovation measures, it quickly became clear that the energy savings of these buildings create verifiable added value: in so-called "impact reporting", the energy savings are calculated on a portfolio basis and securitised in the form of securities. A new product process (NPP) was initiated, whereby a portfolio of energy-efficient buildings was identified according to strict energy consumption criteria (measured final energy demand in kWh/m2 per year) and these properties were marked in the portfolio management system. Furthermore, the credit processes from acquisition to disbursement were restructured and funding with green products was organised. The criteria were reviewed annually by the internal "Green Building Commission"; gradually, further investor-relevant criteria were added. Investors defined, for example, not only energy performance certificates and certificates for the respective financing object as significant, but also the proximity to public transport and the type of soil that may be sealed in the construction process (new construction on previously developed land vs. new construction on green space; so-called "brownfield" vs. "greenfield").
According to these criteria, the green portfolio was allocated, which then served as the basis for the issuance of green securities and debt instruments. In 2017, i.e. after two years of preparatory work, the first Green Pfandbrief in benchmark format was issued in the amount of € 500 million. "Grüner Pfandbrief" is a brand of the Association of German Pfandbrief Banks (vdp), which stands for a high quality standard. This was quickly followed by another Green Pfandbrief, also in benchmark format. Subsequently, Deutsche Hypo brought € 388 million in various private placements of smaller denominations to the market as unsecured bonds or raised liquidity in the form of green time deposits. All of these transactions met with lively investor demand. Deutsche Hypo quickly realised that this is an independent, sustainability-focused and therefore very loyal customer group, which noticeably broadens the investor base.
The bank also implemented the "Green Loan" product and thus strengthened its image as a competent business partner in the financing of energy-efficient buildings. It defined criteria such as energy consumption, year of construction, certification, distance to local public transport and building fabric and incentivised these sustainable characteristics by also positively influencing the margin and pricing of the positive building characteristics.
On 1 July 2021, Deutsche Hypo was merged with NORD/LB, so that the latter is now not only the universal successor, but is also continuing its green market presence. For further information as well as the Green Bond Reporting and the Second Party Opinion of ISS ESG see https://www.deutsche-hypo.de/en/green-banking.
To the Green Bond Framework