“In the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has compelled us to rethink the way we do many things and to respond rapidly to ongoing developments”, says Management Board Chairman and CEO Christian Sewing in his letter for the Non-Financial Report 2020, published on March 12. This also applies for our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives around the world. “In light of school closures, social distancing and charity partners working under pressure – we are especially proud that our CSR projects impacted a total of 2.4 million people in 2020 (vs. 1.6m in 2019). We have embraced the current dynamics, have flexibly adapted and re-designed existing CSR projects to maintain the support for our communities”, explains Lareena Hilton, Global Head of Brand Communications and CSR at Deutsche Bank.
Our commitment to impact and transparency drives us
“Our CSR programmes even came close to or exceeded their multi-year targets”, Hilton adds. With our Made for Good programme we have supported over 23,000 social ventures since 2016, ahead of our target of 20,000. Our community initiatives have made a positive impact on the lives of more than 4.2 million people since 2015, exceeding the 4 million target by 200,000. And our Born to Be youth engagement programme has reached 4.93 million young people in total since 2014, just shy of its 5 million target. The decrease of Born to Be beneficiary numbers in 2020 can be seen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; for instance 94 percent of students worldwide were temporarily unable to attend their schools or educational institutions.
2020 key performance indicators
Despite the pandemic, our CSR teams were able to engage some 13,000 colleagues (17 percent of staff worldwide, excl. Postbank brand) in its Plus You volunteering and giving community last year. Overall, (remote) volunteers invested some 158,000 hours of their time, and matched giving and employee giving schemes helped raise 8.8 million euros for charities. The bank also far exceeded its goal of planting 150,000 trees for the 150th anniversary of Deutsche Bank, with over 300,000 trees planted in total.
Reaching higher and further
Going forward, we aim to further strengthen the impact of our CSR initiatives by prioritising our strategic pillars and engaging our colleagues as corporate volunteers. We have set ourselves the following targets for the five-year period
- with our Born to Be youth engagement programme, we aim to make a positive impact on the lives of two million children and young people;
- for our Made for Good enterprise programme, we aim to reach a total of 25,000 enterprises;
- with our community initiatives, we aim to make a positive impact on two million people’s lives;
- we aim to keep the annual corporate volunteering rate above 20 percent and maintain annual giving totals in matching and payroll giving programmes at around 10 million euros (employees and bank combined); and we will continue to focus on skills based volunteering and virtual engagement opportunities in an increasing share of our projects.
“Despite all its challenges, COVID-19 allowed us to enhance our reputation as a reliable corporate citizen in uncertain times and be part of the solution. But we need to stay focused, efficient and respond to rising societal issues. The pandemic has had a disproportionate effect on young people, exacerbating existing inequalities, weighing on their mental health and risking the productive potential of an entire generation. We want to offer relief to that situation ", says Lareena Hilton.