Our value chain comprises various stakeholders, including clients, investors, employees, and suppliers, as well as governments and regulators, communities, media, and civil society, including as non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
While the interests of our stakeholders may be conflicting, and we have to negotiate between these interests. We are open to constructive critique, while showing this with sensitivity when conducting due diligence and improving our sustainability approach.
Constructive engagement is integral to understanding the expectations and concerns of our stakeholders. It helps us to comprehend the positive as well as negative impacts of our business activities more broadly, and promote acceptance for what we do, as we strive to strengthen trust and partnerships, and improve our sustainability performance.
In 2017, our stakeholder engagement included:
- Deutsche Asset Management’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Summit in Berlin, Germany. Bringing together some 300 participants, including more than 200 Deutsche AM clients and numerous speakers who are leading voices in the ESG field, the inaugural event aimed to foster discussion about trends, risks, and opportunities in responsible investing.
- Our Corporate Investment Banking division organized 250 client conferences and events with about 35,000 participants across all industries with the aim to connect with clients as well as society, including the 11th Annual Deutsche Bank Utilities, Power and Clean Tech Conference 2017 in New York, and the dbAccess China Environmental Protection & Clean Energy Corporate Day in Hong Kong.
- We spoke with investors about sustainability topics at sustainability roadshows, in individual meetings, and phone calls. We explained Deutsche Bank’s strategic approach to sustainability, and business opportunities, as well as how we manage environmental and social risks. Investors raised topics such as climate change, and human rights, among others. Governance topics remained a key topic focusing on resolving past litigation cases and strengthening the bank’s control environment.
- The works council is the elected representative of employees of the company and acts as a mediator between the bank and its employees. German Labor Law is a highly complex and comprehensive field of law with special needs and requirements. The works council has strong participation rights. We involve our works councils early and comprehensively. In doing so, we go beyond the mandatory legal requirements. The participation of the works council takes place at different levels: local business, corporation, Group, and European Union. To ensure a regular communication between the bank and the work councils, and in order to follow the participation rights, meetings take place frequently. In 2017, over 50 meetings took place with the General, Group, and European works council, including their respective committees.
- As recommended by the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, our engagement with NGOs is a two-way communication. We are open to listening to concerns raised by NGOs on certain topics, and we provide information as long as we are able to while respecting our legal obligations on the confidentiality of client information. In 2017, we received approximately 70 letters and e-mails from NGOs on a broad range of topics with a focus on climate change and human rights. We replied either in writing or by organizing face-to-face meetings to discuss the issues in more detail.
- As in previous years, we formally responded to public debate and played an active role in global and regional trade associations through our memberships. We participated in events that brought policymakers together with academic and industry representatives to discuss current policy issues. For example, we were actively involved in discussions on sustainable finance, particularly the consultation by the European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group. We acknowledge the emphasis that the newly-formed Central Bank and Supervisors Network for Greening the Financial System, and the Hesse state government (to name only a few) have placed on this. We will continue to coordinate the bank’s internal policy work, specifically to contribute to the creation of a European standards framework.
- During the 2017 COP 23 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, employees from our business units participated in panel discussions about sustainable finance.