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Sustainability and responsibility

What is corporate sustainability?

For us, corporate sustainability means doing business in an economically, ecologically and socially sustainable manner.

  • Corporate sustainability means enjoying long-term business success while at the same time acting in a way that is ecologically and socially responsible (the so-called "three dimensions of sustainability").

  • Acting responsibly is the foundation of sustainable business; but acting responsibly is impossible without long-term business success.

  • Sustainability is a matter of course in business: Factors necessary for business success include sustainable customer loyalty, sustainable business relationships and sustainable employee loyalty.
  • From an ecological perspective, corporate sustainability means that a company should not harm the environment, but should contribute to improving it.

  • From a social perspective, corporate responsibility means that a company must treat its employees well and encourage positive developments in the environment in which it operates (e.g. through educational initiatives, donations, etc.).

Our approach: Combining the three dimensions of sustainability in a way that makes sense

The values of the Integrity Charter guide our actions. Based on these values, we see responsibility and sustainability as concepts with three dimensions. In order to act responsibly, one must integrate the three dimensions of economy, ecology and society.

Seeing and approaching the three dimensions of sustainability in an integrative way is a complex business challenge because economic, ecological and social interests are not always in harmony with one another. Finding the appropriate balance requires clever, measured decisions, as does managing the relationship between short- and long-term goals or the balance between profit and security.

In this context, Bank Austria is constantly striving to act responsibly and do business in an economically, ecologically and socially sustainable manner.

An ongoing process

Our guiding values are not least values of sustainability. The financial market crisis has demonstrated that sustainability should be a matter of course: Companies that do business responsibly strive to achieve long-term business success and are aware of the fact that this success has significant social and ecological dimensions. Current developments clearly show that economic sustainability is the basis of all business success and that this sustainability must be taken seriously if business activities are to benefit society.

The current situation also demonstrates the importance of the trust of customers, employees and other groups within society (“stakeholders”). Particularly now, trust and credibility are proving to be essential values that must be handled carefully – especially in the financial sector. This means not only recognising the ecological and social aspects of doing business, but systematically taking them into account when making strategic and operational decisions.

Responsibility as an integral component

To this end, we are developing our corporate social responsibility strategy into a comprehensive concept of corporate sustainability. Specifically, we see our social responsibility as an integral component of our business success. And vice-versa: We know that we can only act responsibly and in the interest of society on a long-term basis if we are successful in business. As a member of UniCredit Group, we are part of an international corporate group that assigns a high priority to responsibility and sustainability.