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Donating a tree for the rain forest's reforestation with the new "Bau(m)spar" building society savings agreement

  • By taking out a Wüstenrot building society savings agreement, Bank Austria customers can donate a tree for the reforestation of the Esquinas rain forest in Costa Rica
  • The innovative idea of the so-called "Bau(m)spar" agreement is the result of a project group of Bank Austria's talent management programme
  • The "Bau(m)spar" agreement supports the association Rainforest of the Austrians

The new "Bau(m)spar" agreement, developed  and exclusively offered by Bank Austria, is the result of a working team of Bank Austria's talent management programme. This talent project group, consisting of people working in the retail banking division, created the innovative "Bau(m)spar" agreement on the issue of sustainability in 2009: customers taking out a Wüstenrot building society savings agreement can decide for a "Bau(m)spar" agreement, thus supporting the association Rainforest of the Austrians in the reforestation of the Esquinas rain forest. The support concerns the cost necessary for buying and planting a tree through the tropical station La Gamba in Costa Rica. For further information please have a look at  www.regenwald.at.

The sustainability idea has become marketable within shortest time. Rainer Hauser, Bank Austria board member responsible for retail banking, says, "We were immediately  enthusiastic over the creative and innovative approach of that product idea and thus had did not find it difficult to make the "Bau(m)spar" agreement a marketable product immediately." Fred Luks, Bank Austria manager responsible for corporate sustainability, adds, "The "Bau(m)spar" agreement goes well with our model and we hope that we can make a contribution to the reforestation of the Esquinas rain forest in Costa Rica with it."

The Bank Austria talent management programme
The talent management programme is an initiative across UniCredit Group with regard to young talent planning and is launched again each year. The activities are very different in the respective countries. Austria was the first country to launch a two-year programme in 2008 which was taken as positive example by other retail banking divisions of UniCredit Group in 2009. The talent management programme thus is planning for the future of a new generation of managers.

About half of positions of leadership available at Bank Austria in Austria are in the retail banking division which has a great demand for managers – with about 40 to 50 positions being  filled a year.

Thomas Schwella, Bank Austria retail banking marketing, who was involved in the sustainability group which developed the "Bau(m)spar" agreement, says, "Our group among other things decided to set up a fictitious product catalogue oriented towards sustainability. And we are very proud of the concrete result achieved with the "Bau(m)spar" agreement after such a short period of time."

The association Rainforest of the Austrians
Rainforest of the Austrians is an association which promotes the rescue of the Esquinas rain forest in Costa Rica. The Esquinas rain forest on an area of 159 km² is in the Southwest of Costa Rica and among the last still existing lowland rain forests on Central America's Pacific coast. It moreover is among the world's forests with a rich animal and plant life. The association, founded by Konrad-Lorenz prize winner Prof. Michael Schnitzler, has been buying parts of the rain forest since 1991. The properties acquired with the help of donations are passed on to the national park administration of the Republic of Costa Rica. For a short period of time, the association has also committed itself to the creation of biological corridors between the Esquinas rain forest and isolated tracts of forest trough reforestation in order to secure the rich animal and plant life and make a contribution to climate protection with CO2 capture.

For further inquiries: Bank Austria Press Office Austria
Matthias Raftl, Tel. +43 (0) 50505 - 52809
E-Mail: matthias.raftl@unicreditgroup.at

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