NLB Group Improves its ESG Rating

December 01, 2023

Pursuant to the Rules of the Ljubljana Stock Exchange and Article158 of the Market in Financial Instruments Act, relating to the Article 17 of the Regulation (EU) No 596/2014, NLB d.d., Trg republike 2, 1000 Ljubljana announces:

Do you ever wonder what kind of trace would you leave behind if your world were to stop spinning today? In the NLB Group, where we focus our effort on creating better footprints, we ask ourselves this question every day. We are namely well aware of the responsibility we bear as one of the key banking and financial institutions in Southeast Europe, our home region. We are proud that our efforts and our progress have been recognized once again and are also reflected in the improved ESG rating by one of the leading independent ESG research, ratings and data firms in the world – Sustainalytics.

At NLB, we received our first ESG Risk Rating from Sustainalytics just under a year ago. The second time around, we have improved it significantly. Namely, our banking group received a new ESG Risk Rating of 16.0 and was assessed by Sustainalytics to be at low risk of experiencing material financial impacts from ESG factors. We have thus improved last year's rating by 1.7 points, and the improved rating ranks us among the 13 percent of the best banks among all companies assessed by the Sustainalytics.

We improved our sustainable operations the most in the area of considering ESG risks and opportunities in the entire financial business, human resources and ethical operations. Furthermore, the Sustainalytics found that no event occurred in the Group or its operations that would have a negative impact on stakeholders, operations or the environment. You may find the report here.

"Sustainability is not a buzzword to play around with casually and in reality, forget about it. It is a very tedious process, continuous and really long-term. It is built of small steps and changes that may seem insignificant individually, but when viewed as a whole, they merge into a large, unstoppable movement. And this is actually even more important than the risk rating itself, albeit we are, of course, extremely proud of, as it is the result of our efforts and the review of independent and world-renowned experts, and last but not least, it is also a motivation for us and an incentive for our stakeholders to continue to trust our business decisions and actions," said NLB’s CEO Blaž Brodnjak upon receiving the new ESG risk assessment.

ESG risk rating, similarly to credit rating, is a measurement of evaluation of a company, fund, or security's performance, except that it focuses on fulfilment of environmental (E), social (S) and governance (G) standards, instead of credit ability. In the financial world, it is becoming an increasingly important category, which investors and analysts monitor ever more closely and, on its basis, assess which companies to invest in and in which not. A year ago, NLB was the first bank with headquarters and an exclusive strategic interest in Southeast Europe which has obtained this rating, as well as the first among the companies, listed on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange.

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