Rabobank: Working with clients to raise the bar for sustainable development

Rabobank is defining the focus in its sustainability policy en route to 2020 through its ‘Sustainably Successful Together’ strategic memorandum and in doing so is once again raising the ‘sustainability bar’. The cooperative bank is committed to accelerating the process of making agriculture and the food supply more sustainable and to strengthening the vitality of communities. Rabobank aims to connect its own financial services, knowledge and networks in the field of sustainability with clients’ ambitions. The bank is initiating numerous concrete activities in this respect, such as a sustainable ‘client photo’ for companies in order to realise the ambitions. Sustainability is expressly being made an even more integral part of the services both in the Netherlands and internationally.

Rabobank is defining the focus in its sustainability policy en route to 2020 through its ‘Sustainably SuccessfulTogether’ strategic memorandum and in doing so is once again raising the ‘sustainability bar’. The cooperative bank is committed to accelerating the process of making agriculture and the food supply more sustainable and to strengthening the vitality of communities. Rabobank aims to connect its own financial services, knowledge and networks in the field of sustainability with clients’ ambitions. The bank is initiating numerous concrete activities in this respect, such as a sustainable ‘client photo’ for companies in order to realise the ambitions. Sustainability is expressly being made an even more integral part of the services both in the Netherlands and internationally.

Rabobank Executive Board Member Berry Marttin: ‘Sustainability is essential to the long-term success of businesses, communities, agriculture and the food supply. Our clients make the difference in all these areas. Rabobank is dedicated to making a substantial contribution to bringing about sustainable development. We contribute by financially supporting, advising and connecting clients who have a positive and sustainable impact both on society and their own profitability and prosperity. We view these activities as a vital part of our services that correspond with our broader ‘Banking for Food’ ambition to play a meaningful role with respect to solving the global food issue. Rabobank is undertaking a number of activities in order to realise the ambitions set out in ‘Sustainably Successful Together’. They include:

New products and services

  • New financial solutions for frontrunners in the field of sustainable development; sustainable frontrunners are given priority with respect to financing and Rabobank is doubling the scale of services provided to frontrunners.
  • New products with a direct relationship between savers and investors and innovative and sustainable businesses.
  • Financing and deploying knowledge and networks for collective local initiatives in the Netherlands with respect to the self-employed without personnel, healthcare, housing and sustainable energy.
  • The development of new financial services aimed at vulnerable retail clients in the Netherlands and abroad.
  • Transparency concerning the percentage of loans that temporarily do not fulfil the bank’s sustainability policy, what is being done to correct this and how the percentage is changing.
  • New products and services for retail clients that focus on both financial returns and on generating positive social impact.

Connecting to achieve greater sustainability

  • Actively participating in Round Tables that give farmers, companies and NGOs a forum for providing input on how to make agricultural value chains more sustainable.
  • Providing a vision on opportunities for increasing the sustainability of the agricultural value chains of soy, palm oil, cane sugar, forestry, beef, dairy, fish, coffee, cocoa and organic materials. Sharing this vision with clients in Round Tables with a view to accelerating the process of increasing sustainability in these chains.
  • Providing a platform for frontrunners and knowledge networks via thematic meetings, social media and virtual networks and in this way capitalising on opportunities for clients and sharing risks in the chain. 
  • Informing clients about the possibilities and financial consequences of making their homes more sustainable, connecting them with business clients who can carry out this work for them and making a proposal for financial products and services that will enable this.
  • Utilise the ‘client photo’ to enter into dialogue with clients and advise them on the degree to which their company is either in the lead or lagging behind in terms of sustainability; use this strategic knowledge to encourage businesses to improve their sustainability performance each year.

Active dialogue

‘Sustainably Successful Together’ builds on what Rabobank has already achieved in the field of sustainability over recent years. Even more than in the past, Rabobank will enter into active dialogue with clients about making their business processes and living and working environment more sustainable. Rabobank Sustainability Director Bas Ruter: ‘The conversation with business clients about their “client photo” for sustainability will soon become a fixed component of our meetings with clients. We will inform homeowners about the possibilities for making their home more sustainable. This will make sustainability an even more integral part of our services than it is now. We are held to account for this and do indeed render accountability. This is all aimed at making a visible and tangible contribution to a more sustainable society.’

Exemplary role

Rabobank as an organisation obviously plays an exemplary role itself. In order to continuously improve its own sustainability performances, Rabobank has its efforts in this field assessed by RobecoSAM each year.

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For further information
Press Office Rabobank
Marie-Christine Reusken
+31 30 21 68622