Sat. Feb 4th, 2023

The Aim is to improve understanding of how the Taxonomy Regulation is being handled

How can state-owned banks best help with climate action? What role can the EU taxonomy for sustainable activities play here? A survey commissioned by the Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) aims to deliver answers to these questions. Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze sent a letter this week to 134 promotional banks and other public financial institutions in the EU, requesting their participation in this year’s European Sustainable Finance Survey. The survey results promise a better understanding of best practices for public financial institutions in using the taxonomy to support the EU sustainability and climate targets. The EU taxonomy is a European classification system of sustainable economic activities.

Federal Environment Minister Schulze commented: “Promotional banks are a key player in climate action. They distribute some of the money that we are currently investing in climate action, innovation and jobs of the future via the COVID-19 recovery package. It is important that public banks specifically promote sustainable transformation and align their products with environmental protection. That is why it is now important to gauge where they stand in terms of sustainability.”

The survey asks financial institutions, for example, about their efforts to make concrete contributions to the EU climate targets and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Other questions address how they are promoting sustainable economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Another topic of interest is whether the institutions offer sustainable financial products as defined in the taxonomy. The aim is to gain an understanding of how best to use the taxonomy and how it can be improved.

The European Sustainable Finance Survey is an annual survey carried out on behalf of the BMU to analyse the sustainability of stakeholders in the financial markets using the new EU taxonomy. In 2020, the survey focused on large publicly-listed companies. In 2021, it is aimed at public financial institutions in the EU, particularly promotional banks. The survey begins today and will conclude on 30 September 2021.

The analysis of the survey will be published at

Further information

According to the Taxonomy Regulation, economic activities are sustainable when they make a substantial contribution to at least one of a total of six environmental objectives without having a detrimental impact on the others (‘do no significant harm’ principle). They must also meet minimum requirements, e.g. with respect to social aspects and human rights. The environmental objectives of the taxonomy are: (1) climate change mitigation, (2) climate change adaptation, (3) the sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources, (4) the transition to a circular economy, (5) pollution prevention and control and (6) the protection and restoration of ecosystems and biodiversity.

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