The sweeping changes seen since the turn of the millennium, which have been driven by the trend that has emerged in the past few decades towards more responsible use of social and natural resources, have strengthened HYPO NOE’s commitment to live up to the ethical and environmental demands placed on modern companies, such as the need to minimise climate change.
Ethical business principles
HYPO NOE is committed to the international and national climate targets and, within the framework of its environmental and climate strategy, is guided by the current climate and energy strategy ("#mission 2030") of the Republic of Austria. These form the basis for the positive criteria regarding any initiation of new business relations and simultaneously act as the strategic guidelines for the entire HYPO NOE organisation:
This includes the financing of social infrastructure and housing construction: Particular backing is provided for transactions promoting the construction of socially and environmentally sound housing projects (non-profit housing).
A further focus is on the promotion of the use of sustainable energies and environmental protection as well as the promotion of education and cultural activities .
Furthermore, HYPO NOE aims to identify business opportunities that potentially have a strong impact on climate change and high CO2 emissions in order to address these with its business partners.
Inclusion criteria – guiding our actions
By principle HYPO NOE excludes the following areas from all financings.
- Financing of nuclear power plants (as well as suppliers of core components and corresponding infrastructure
- Financing of operations involving environmental hazards
- Financing of arms trade
- Financing of pornography and prostitution-related activities
- Financing to warring countries according to OeKB coverage guidelines
- Financing of operations involving human rights abuses as defined by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Financing of transactions involving labour rights violations in accordance with ILO core labour standards (including freedom of assembly/association, forced labour, child labour, discrimination)
- Financing of transactions that contradict the bank's own business ethics and compliance guidelines and transactions involving suspected corruption
- Financing of coal-fired power plants and coal mining
Reputational risks may arise in particular in the case of loans to borrowers operating in sectors that are not compatible with the image or values of HYPO NOE or the owner, the Federal State of Lower Austria. A particular standard of care must also be applied in this respect and, when in doubt, a business relationship should be avoided.
Ecologically and socially sensitive sectors
HYPO NOE is particularly careful with sustainable financing in the ecologically and socially sensitive sectors of "energy production", "raw material extraction", "forestry" and "agriculture". HYPO NOE considers avoiding any environmental and social risks in these sectors to be essential for the responsible and sustainable development of its target markets.
In addition, avoiding major interventions in existing social and ecological structures as well as protection of water are aspects that must be taken into consideration.
The effects of climate change and CO2 emissions of financing transactions were equally identified as a key issue.