Making cultural change visible

Culture is one of the five levers of Strategy 2015+ because a strong corporate culture based on shared values and beliefs is essential to Deutsche Bank’s long-term success. Through our broad-based cultural change program, we endeavor to integrate our values and beliefs deeply in the way we do business. This process benefits clients, shareholders, and employees, and ensures that we are a responsible partner that serves the wider interests of society.

Acting responsibly requires a balance between economic, environmental and social objectives. Our future economic success will also depend in part on how we and clients address environmental and social challenges such as climate change, food insecurity, poverty, and barriers to education and employment. The right response can turn challenges into opportunities and help us “future-proof” Deutsche Bank, tap into additional earnings potential, manage risks, improve relationships with stakeholders and enhance Deutsche Bank’s reputation. Our new Code of Business Conduct and Ethics reflects this approach to corporate responsibility by putting sustainability at its core. Our responsibility extends well beyond our core business. As a global universal bank, we are extremely well-positioned to bring to scale new ideas that address acute global challenges.

This report explains how we are changing the way we operate in our core business and beyond. It is based on a refreshed materiality analysis (see Assessing materiality) of those non-financial factors that have a direct or indirect impact on our ability to create, preserve or erode economic, environmental and social value for ourselves, our clients, employees and society at large.

Our Controls

Responsible management and efficient control are the foundation of our success

Strengthening responsible management and implementing more efficient control structures will materially strengthen the foundation on which we are building our success. As a result, they were priorities in 2014. Our House of Governance initiative and Three Lines of Defense program are the cornerstones of our effort to build a strong culture of risk management, control and compliance and increase the transparency of internal organization and responsibilities.

Our Risk Culture initiatives emphasize that a strong risk culture depends on employee awareness and conduct, as well as on robust processes and controls. The Risk Culture program promotes five essential behaviors that are consistent with our values and beliefs and based on placing Deutsche Bank and its reputation at the heart of all our decisions.

Being rigorous, forward-looking and comprehensive is one of the five essential behaviors, which requires a thorough understanding of environmental and social risk. Our Environmental and Social Risk Framework is part of our control framework. It provides our employees with tools to evaluate potentially critical transactions and business relationships based on their environmental and social impacts as well as on financial risk. Thus, we aim to improve the impact that our business has on climate change and on many other important concerns, from agriculture to human rights. We cannot always present ready-made solutions, but we look for answers by engaging in political and public debates and through dialog with customers, shareholders, regulators and representatives of national and international organizations.

Our core business

Our success depends on the satisfaction and loyalty of our clients. This is why our new culture is centered on client needs. Putting clients first means constantly analyzing who our clients are, what they require and how well we currently meet their needs and how we can add value to them in the future. In line with this commitment, we have continued to change the way in which we do our business in 2014. We introduced mortgages that protect private and business clients from the impact of rising interest rates in today’s very low interest rate environment. We restricted the sale of complex derivative products to some corporate client groups and discontinued business with certain clients who represented a reputational risk or whose business did not fit with our values.

We continue to change the way in which we do our business

We help clients meet challenges arising from world-wide trends, such as globalization, shifting demographics and consumer behavior, digitalization and the impact of resource scarcity and climate change. We are augmenting our offering of responsible products and services, ranging from Green Bonds to environmental, social and governance (ESG) funds.

The momentum of international action on climate change was lost during the financial and economic crisis, but 2015 is an important year to accelerate action towards a low carbon economy. Governments increasingly recognize the urgency of this issue. Nearly 500 national binding climate change policies are now in place, up from just 90 in 2008. These policies are helping to increase clean energy investment, which rose to US$ 310 billion in 2014, a 16 % increase from the previous year and more than five times greater than 2004.

However, governments cannot solve these problems alone; they need the constructive engagement of the private sector. Our client relationships provide us with an opportunity to make a positive contribution. We are seizing opportunities to address climate change and to play our part in reducing its risks.

We are one of the top six European-based private sector project financiers of clean energy, and our financing and advisory services support other low carbon and clean tech businesses. We joined twelve other major financial institutions in supporting the Green Bond Principles, which provide a framework that promotes the transparency of this product and are the lead manager of several Green Bond issues. We finance energy-efficient buildings and renewable energy with private and smaller business clients. Our asset managers help investors direct funds to companies that are participating in the creation of the low-carbon economy, and in 2014 we developed a new software solution to integrate social and environmental considerations in investment decisions.

Our people and society

The commitment and engagement of our employees is essential to embed the culture we aspire to

Our employees are one of our most important assets. Their commitment and engagement is essential to successfully implement the culture to which we aspire. With increasing competition worldwide, attracting and retaining the best talent has never been more important. We aim to be a first-choice global employer in the financial sector. We are pursuing this goal through our strategic human resources agenda. Our corporate values and beliefs are at the core of what we do, and provide us with a framework of good conduct. We have embedded these values and beliefs in recruitment, interviewing, and on-boarding processes as well as in all stages throughout our employees’ careers. In 2014, we focused on applying our values to our daily work. We actively encourage visible and measurable changes in behavior, policies, processes and practices.

We also encourage employees to volunteer their time to support community organizations and social enterprises. In 2014, around 17,000 colleagues (21 % of global staff) volunteered more than 190,000 hours, demonstrating in a tangible way how Deutsche Bank and its employees combine a culture of performance with a culture of responsibility.

With a total investment of € 80.5 million in 2014 (2013: € 78.2 million), Deutsche Bank and its foundations continue to be among the world’s most active corporate citizens. More than 5.8 million people benefitted from our corporate citizenship initiatives last year.

Our social investment programs, which range from microfinance and impact investing via community development to building enterprise initiatives and support for the disadvantaged have made a difference in the lives of about 1.6 million people around the world.

Last year marked the global roll-out of our Born to Be youth engagement program, which focuses on removing barriers to young people’s education and personal development and prepares them for the professional world. In 2014, Born to Be reached more than one million young people around the globe, raising their aspirations, providing them with new skills and improving their access to education and employment.

The Alfred Herrhausen Society’s Urban Age conferences, now in their tenth year, tackle the problems of the world’s megacities. They have recognized two exemplary waste management initiatives in India in 2014. The Landmarks in the Land of Ideas competition has championed more than 2,700 innovative concepts that promote urban and rural development in Germany since 2006. We also make cultural experiences available to a wider audience and provide a platform for talented young artists and musicians via initiatives such as the Deutsche Bank Collection or strategic partnerships with renowned cultural institutions such as the Berliner Philharmoniker. Our art and music programs reached more than three million people in 2014.


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