We are creating better footprints: NLB receives first ESG rating

December 12, 2022

“To improve the quality of life in our home region, South-Eastern Europe, is one of the key strategic objectives of the NLB Group. We have embarked on this path with deliberation, determined to create better footprints in the region we consider our home, and we are extremely proud that our efforts and our progress are recognized in a way that they leave no doubt in the eyes of investors and the public,” emphasized NLB’s CEO Blaž Brodnjak upon revealing that NLB d.d. received its first ESG rating by one of the leading independent ESG research, ratings and data firms in the world – Sustainalytics.

In December 2022, NLB d.d. received an ESG Risk Rating of 17.7 and was assessed by Sustainalytics to be at low risk of experiencing material financial impacts from ESG factors, due to its medium exposure and strong management of material ESG issues. “The company is noted for its strong corporate governance performance, which is reducing its overall risk. Furthermore, the company has not experienced significant controversies,” Sustainalytics rating explains. In addition, NLB's ESG Risk Rating places it among the best 15 % banks assessed by the company.

Creating better footprints in our home region

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 asses which companies to invest in and in which not. NLB is 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.

“Although there is no lack of discussion about sustainability at every corner, ESG ratings are still relatively poorly known in our environment. Therefore, it is not surprising that NLB, as a pioneer and an organization that strives to be the driving force of development and progress in the SEE region, was the first to tackle this challenge,” explained NLB’s CEO. “ESG ratings are not just an empty letter on a paper – they are the result of a review by an independent and world-renowned experts, they are an incentive for us and they encourage our stakeholders to trust our business decisions and actions,” he added. 

NLB’s efforts in the field of sustainability encompass the environmental, social and management aspects. To name just a few:

  • In the past year, we have established the NLB Group Sustainability framework; the directions and goals of sustainable business, sustainable financing and contribution to society.

  • NLB is also the first bank from Slovenia to commit to the UN Principles for Responsible Banking, and in the spring of this year joined the United Nations Net Zero Banking Alliance, which aims to harmonise credit and investment portfolios with reaching zero net emissions by 2050 or earlier.

  • NLB has been considered one of the largest and most prominent promoters and sponsors of sports associations and events in Slovenia for decades, and above all, we are proud of the long-standing Youth Sports project.

  • We invest in culture and cultural heritage – the Bankarium, the first banking museum in Slovenia, was for instance, opened in June 2021 under the aegis of NLB.

  • We recognize opportunities and responsibility for helping the economy also outside the framework of banking, as demonstrated by the project #FrameOfHelp.

  • We donate extensively to the socially disadvantaged groups.

  • We intensively advocate equal opportunities, and independent and professional corporate governance.

In NLB Group, we have put the sustainability of our decisions and actions at the heart of our business. As systemically important actors in all the markets where we operate, we have the opportunity to truly influence the quality of life in our home region of Southeast Europe, and ensure for it to become not only more successful, but also more inclusive, diverse and sustainable. You can find out more about our practices here.

About Sustainalytics and its ESG Risk Ratings 

Morningstar Sustainalytics is a leading ESG research, ratings and data firm that supports investors around the world with the development and implementation of responsible investment strategies. For nearly 30 years, the firm has been at the forefront of developing high-quality, innovative solutions to meet the evolving needs of global investors. Today, the firm works with hundreds of the world’s leading asset managers and pension funds who incorporate ESG and corporate governance information and assessments into their investment processes. The firm also works with hundreds of companies and their financial intermediaries to help them consider sustainability in policies, practices, and capital projects. For more information, visit www.sustainalytics.com. 

Sustainalytics’ ESG Risk Ratings measure a company’s exposure to industry-specific material ESG risks and how well a company is managing those risks. This multi-dimensional way of measuring ESG risk combines the concepts of management and exposure to arrive at an assessment of ESG risk, i.e. a total unmanaged ESG risk score or the ESG Risk Rating, that is comparable across all industries. Sustainalytics’ ESG Risk Ratings provide a quantitative measure of unmanaged ESG risk and distinguish between five levels of risk: negligible, low, medium, high and severe. Learn more about the ESG Risk Ratings here.

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This article contains information developed by Sustainalytics (www.sustainalytics.com). Such information and data are proprietary of Sustainalytics and/or its third party suppliers (Third Party Data) and are provided for informational purposes only. They do not constitute an endorsement of any product or project, nor an investment advice and are not warranted to be complete, timely, accurate or suitable for a particular purpose. Their use is subject to conditions available at https://www.sustainalytics.com/legal-disclaimers.

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