Hungarian Bankholding to lead the way in sustainability
Hungarian Bankholding has established an environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy. The objectives of the group include financing investments that contribute to sustainability, reducing ecological footprint of the company and further increasing the number of female managers.
The aim of Hungarian Bankholding is to be a market-leading group of companies and to be at the forefront of the Hungarian banking sector in terms of sustainability. As a key step, the banking group has developed an ESG Strategy.
"As an engine and financier of the economy, the banking sector has a particularly important role to play in achieving the sustainable development goals. The banking group wants to play a key role in creating a sustainable economy in Hungary," said András Puskás, Advisor to the Chairman at Hungarian Bankholding.
A strategy built on solid foundations
Global financial trends are increasingly bringing ESG considerations to the forefront of banking operations. ESG is a contraction of the English words "Environmental”, “Social” and “Governance”. The internationally used criteria aims to monitor and encourage companies to operate in a socially and environmentally sustainable way.The member banks of Bankholding, MKB Bank – which merged with Budapest Bank – and Takarékbank have launched a number of exemplary initiatives in recent years, which have provided the basis for the group's ESG Strategy. The Budapest Bank Green Program, the MKB Group Sustainability and Climate Strategy and the Takarék Mortgage Bank Green Covered Bond Framework are all results of the strong commitment to sustainability that was already in place.
Aim for carbon neutrality
The ESG ambitions of Hungarian Bankholding stem from its role as a responsible financial institution on the one hand, and as a responsible corporate group on the other.
"We believe it is important to provide an appropriate strategic framework for our existing and future initiatives. We want to meet not only the current regulatory requirements, but also the future consumer needs, and we plan to actively raise awareness among our customers and employees," added András Puskás.
Hungarian Bankholding as a major market player aims to give priority to the agricultural sector, which contributes to the country's food security, the renewable energy sector and the financing of environmentally friendly real estate. ESG risk aspects will be given greater weight in the assessment of loan applications. Member banks of Hungarian Bankholding currently offer ESG investment funds and are planning to increase their share.
The banking group plans to introduce green energy into its energy mix as much as possible and is also reviewing the energy needs of its branches and office buildings. Achieving carbon neutrality is an important element of the ESG strategy, which includes assessing the group's ecological footprint and developing a detailed plan to continuously reduce it.
Hungarian Bankholding is committed to the well-being of its employees and attaches great importance to the physical and mental health of its employees.The group plans to launch various programmes to raise awareness and knowledge of ESG among employees. The group remains one of the market leaders in terms of the number of female senior managers and is committed to further increasing the proportion of female managers as part of its strategy.
The international and domestic environment also provides support
International and national professional expectations and legislation are setting clear and increasingly stringent sustainability criteria for market players. In line with EU regulations, the MNB has been increasingly active in recent years in promoting the climate-proofing of the domestic financial system and, indirectly, the economy as a whole. There is also a growing consumer expectation for banks to be as sustainable as possible, to take extra care for the environment and to contribute to a more sustainable future.