ENVIRONMENT

BUSINESS: 203 PRACTICES


TOPIC:

Initiative

Environmental Management System throughout Eurobank Group

Environmental Management System throughout Eurobank Group
SUBMITTED FROM:

Eurobank S.A.

The Eurobank Group, consisting of Eurobank S.A. (Eurobank) and its subsidiaries, is a strong banking group active in six countries, with total assets of €67.7 billion and 11,394 employees. Eurobank Ergasias Services and Holdings S.A. (Eurobank Holdings) is the parent company of Eurobank Group. With a total network of 625 branches in Greece and abroad, Eurobank offers a comprehensive range of financial products and services to its retail and corporate customers. In Greece, Eurobank operations encompass a retail banking network, dedicated business centers, a Private Banking network and a dynamic digital presence. Eurobank also has presence in Bulgaria, Serbia, Cyprus, Luxembourg and United Kingdom (London). Eurobank’s philosophy focuses on providing quality services to its customers, paying attention to their particular and diverse needs. Beyond core business activity Eurobank, responding to the needs of today’s everchanging environment, consistently designs actions relating to social and environmental issues, adopting responsible practices that promote transparency and business ethics. Eurobank links its business decisions to environmental sustainability, social responsibility and corporate governance (ESG).


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Objective Action

The Systemic Management of Environmental issues related to the operations throughout the Group (Greece and abroad).

 

Target Audience

Throughout Group employees, with an indirect impact on other stakeholders such as customers and suppliers.

 

Duration

Since 2003 until today


Description

At Eurobank, all environmental issues are assigned to an Environmental/Sustainability Committee, in which the heads of all the Bank's units involved in the implementation of environmental policy take part, to ensure strategic coordination of policies and environmental management actions.
 

Group Environment & Quality Division (GEQD) is responsible for the consistent and integrated day-to-day management and implementation of environmental policies and procedures, for the fulfillment of pertinent objectives and for the coordination of the proper operation of the Environmental Management Systems (EMS) throughout the Group. Moreover, it provides support, expertise and audit coordination for other management systems such as Quality Management Systems, Information Technology Services, Societal Security-Business Continuity and Operational Health and Safety. In addition, Environmental Officers are appointed to both central administration units and branches, who are responsible for the environmental management system’s smooth operation and for relevant indicators monitoring. An Environmental Officers meeting is taking place in an annual basis to highlight the issues on which decisions will be taken on Environmental/Sustainability Committee.
 

Having identified the direct and indirect environmental aspects and by implementing a number of environmental programs (such as recycling, energy saving, etc.) designed to reduce the environmental footprint, the Bank applies a green procurement policy, recognizes the environmental risks of its customers, promotes green products and supports environmental protection programs through sponsorships and partnerships with Non Governmental Organizations.

A tailor-made software application has been developed in order to monitor the environmental management, which brings together data of the Branches’ environmental performance and the findings of internal audits that allows environmental data management, collected from a large number of sites, branches and different units of the group. It calculates the environmental profile of each branch separately, according to its environmental indicators performance, the most important of which is the energy consumption index. The communication and information feedback between the unit responsible and all the branches and units, aiming their continuous improvement, is constant and continual. Environmental indicators are collected every six months in order for corrective and preventive actions to be made in time to fulfill targets. The environmental performance is verified annually by an accredited Certification Body and communicated through the Bank’s Environmental Report.

It is worth pointing out that Eurobank is the first bank in Greece certified (2004) in accordance with the International Standard ISO 14001 and registered (2009) in the European Register (EMAS) of Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Climate Change implementing an EMS. For the specialized needs of its subsidiaries abroad (Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria), local Environmental Offices have been created to maintain close cooperation with the GEQD. An assessment tool, for the integration progress and the relevant environmental programs and initiatives of the subsidiaries’ EMS determine the action planning for the improvement of their environmental profile.


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Impact on Society

Implementing EMS has led to significant improvements of the organization’s environmental performance including reductions of its environmental impact. Indicatively, during 2004-2013 the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were decreased by 10.33% while paper recycling was increased by 79.76%. The environmental performance improvement was achieved mainly due to employees’ environmental awareness and everyday actions.

Indicative changes mentioned achieved during 2004-2013:
 

• Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in tn/per employee: -12.41%.
• Electricity consumption per employee (kWh/employee): -1.60%.
• Quantity of paper recycled per employee (kg/employee): + 73.33%.
• Use of paper per employee (kg/employee): -25.99%.



Initiative Location

Greece, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria


Working with Organization

Eurobank’s main principle is that international commitment to Sustainable Development can only be achieved through partnerships. Specifically:
 

• It has joined (2005) the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), and has taken up senior management positions, at the Global Steering Committee, the Banking Commission, as well as the Chairmanship of the European Task Force of UNEP FI (2010-2014) undertaking the coordination of promotional campaign of Sustainable Banking at EU level and actively contributing, amongst others, to the drafting and publication of the first of its kind Sustainable Banking Guide, which is a best practice manual for banks worldwide. It is a member of the standing experts’ working group (EEFIG), institutionalized by the European Commission for financing Energy Efficiency.

• Eurobank was a founding member of the Sustainability Committee of the Hellenic Bank Association, it has undertaken the coordination of this Committee’s work, and has also been a member of various expert committees at the Ministry of Environment Energy and Climate Change on the review of environmental legislation and pertinent initiatives.


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Workers Participation

Apart from Environmental/Sustainability Committee Group members, GEQD employees and the Environmental Officers, all employees take part in the whole environmental effort with daily contribution to the group environmental programs (resource consumption reduction, recycling etc.).

Informing and motivating employees is performed via intranet site, emails, and GEQD’s helpline, distinct ideas submission platform for environmental issues e-learning programs, and campaigns. Eurobank won the first European EMAS Award in 2011 for its EMS specifically on the topic: "Stakeholder involvement, including employees' involvement, leading to continuous improvement".


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Benefits for Οrganization

1. The way Eurobank Group’s EMS is structured and supported, contributes to the composition and monitoring of the overview of the Group’s environmental issues, the harmonization of environmental policies, the dissemination and exchange of expertise while incorporating best practices in full range of group.
 

2. The systematic monitoring and compliance with environmental legislation within the framework of EMS have contributed among others, to the better control of credit, legal/regulatory, operational and reputation risks of the Bank.
 

3. The promotion of the Group’s environmental responsibility positively reinforces the image of the Bank not only towards the general public but also to employees themselves.
 

4. The new green products development.
 

5. The limitation of operating costs related to the environmental indicators performance. In particular, during the years between 2008 (beginning of energy saving program implementation) and 2013, a total amount of 30.980.359 kWh of electricity was saved with a significant corresponding of greenhouse gases release avoidance.




Connection with Global Goals



No Connection with Global Goals found





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