Practical action and contribution to society and the environment emphasizing the implementation of sustainable practices
LEADING the transition to the green economy, Hellenic Bank adopts sustainable operating practices, finances “green” businesses and participates in green initiatives. The Bank's strategy mandates that environmental awareness be integrated at all levels with the aim of minimizing its environmental footprint, both internally and for its customers.
Hellenic Bank has defined specific criteria for assessing social and environmental risks in the process of approving new financing, while it has proceeded to create a specialized group for sustainability and ESG (Environment, Society, Governance) issues. Offering quality products and comprehensive services with advice and incentives to its customers, it encourages them to improve their environmental performance with sustainability measures.
Considering that the development of the Group goes through the well-being of the Cypriot society, Hellenic Bank has developed an integrated program of Corporate Social Responsibility, which is based on the axes: Environment, Society, People and Market.
Hellenic Bank focuses on reducing its environmental footprint, through the design of its building facilities and the implementation of systems that promote the reduction of paper, water, electricity consumption and the production of pollutants through its activities. According to the Sustainability Report, the Bank managed to reduce its energy consumption by 16% (kWh/m2), carbon dioxide emissions by 16% and electricity costs by 52% from 2012 to date. In addition, it encourages its customers to receive their account statements in electronic form, helping to save paper.
Focused on the green economy, Hellenic Bank offers quality products and integrated services with advice and incentives to its customers, encouraging them to improve their environmental performance. The Bank offers preferential pricing for the granting of mortgage loans for the purchase/construction and renovation of energy class A and B homes. It is the first domestic bank to offer more favorable pricing for mortgage loans for the purchase/construction of a “green home” in addition to the renovation/energy upgrade of an existing home . In addition, it offers a lower interest rate for the financing of electric/hybrid cars, as well as a discount on the insurance of such vehicles through Pancyprian Insurance.
At the same time, it is the first bank in Cyprus to join the Priceless Planet Coalition, also proceeding to issue ecological cards. The Priceless Planet Coalition is an environmental initiative sponsored by Mastercard, which brings together leading banking institutions from around the world to coordinate their environmental actions. As part of the collaboration, Hellenic Bank proceeded to issue Mastercard ecological cards, using materials from Mastercard's Sustainable Materials List, specifically a biodegradable and environmentally friendly material, for the production of which 82% less PVC is required. The same green practice will be applied to Visa cards. Within the framework of the program, tree planting was recently carried out in the village of Tochni by the Bank's Volunteer Team. Specifically, 1800 saplings and plants were planted, while a significant amount was donated which was collected by the Priceless Planet Coalition campaign together with the Bank's annual sponsorship to the Cyprus Philanthropic Association for the 4th consecutive year. The Bank has also been supporting the “Ecological Schools” program for more than 20 years, while participating as a strategic partner in the “Let's Do It Cyprus” campaign.
Among the most recent actions was the voluntary participation in the cleaning of Landa Beach in Ayia Napa, in the framework of the World Cleanup Day, during which more than 43.4 kg of waste was collected, and in the cleaning of the section of the Athalassa National Forest in the framework of Let's Do It , Cyprus, where 5,656 liters of garbage were collected.
Hellenic Bank supports the work of the Karaiskakei Foundation and takes part in the “Life Alliance” program. The sponsorship of the Donor Award Ceremony, the sponsorship of “Leukemia Month”, the creation of Self-Recruitment Stations and the donation of a modern CFX Opus System molecular analyzer by Bio-Rad at the Children's Cancer Research Center of the Karaiskakei Foundation are some of the actions.
At the same time, the Hellenic Bank Volunteer Group constantly undertakes actions aimed at strengthening vulnerable groups and charitable organizations. In fact, the Pan-Cypriot Volunteering Coordinating Council has been awarding Hellenic Bank for the last two years for the #HBVolunteersChallenge initiative that takes place within the framework of the Pan-Cypriot Volunteering Week. Additionally, it supports organizations with important social work such as Hope for Children, Sophia Foundation for Children, Elpida Foundation, PASYKAF, Europa Donna, Unicef, , Telethon, Red Cross, Social Grocers, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Miniature Horse Therapy “Majestic”, Fairy Tale Museum, etc.
Hellenic Bank offers employment and career opportunities to approximately 2,000 people. The evaluation system has been upgraded with the aim of continuous improvement of staff members, recognition of their contribution and focus on corporate values. The HB Skill Development Lab and Credit Academy programs focus on enhancing skills and improving the customer experience.
“Market” – Supporting the economy and society
As part of its customer-centric strategy, the Bank finances the development of the economy, supporting sustainable businesses and households. The Bank lends to large renewable energy production projects, while applying social and environmental risk assessment criteria in the process of approving new financing. Enhanced profitability and a strong capital position demonstrate that Hellenic Bank has a sustainable business model, which protects customer deposits and creates value for its shareholders.