Sustainable Banking in Europe

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Banks can bring positive impacts to society and the environment. They can help people and businesses prosper and grow. The value created through banking operations can be shared with the broader circle of stakeholders: particularly, local communities and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). What is more, the value thus redistributed results in greater client trust towards the bank and, consequently, more business opportunities for the banks. A virtuous circle of sustainable banking.
This sustainable value can be created through unique channels available to banking institutions, for example:
– supporting capital needs of SMEs
– opening access to financing for underbanked groups or communities
– providing attractive banking rates for companies with high ESG impact.
Following Global Alliance for Banking on Values (2021).
The concept of sustainable (or ethical, green, social, etc) banking is evolving rapidly. Today sustainable banking gains more attention than ever, as sustainability in finance takes the spotlight.
Cyan Reef aggregates some of the most sustainable names in banking.

Selected Sustainable Banking Institutions

Official Web Logo wdt_ID Name Full Name Short Description Official Web

LA NEF (France)

For nearly 30 years, La Nef offers savings, credit and participatory financing solutions focused exclusively on social, ecological and / or cultural projects. La Nef supports projects to build the society of tomorrow: organic farming, renewable energies, social entrepreneurship, organic sectors, work integration, local development, associations, alternative pedagogies, social housing, fair trade.

Official Web (external)
2 Triodos

Triodos (Netherlands)

The bank was founded on the conviction that banking can be powerful force for good. Triodos offers a range of financial and banking services to savers, investors and entrepreneurs who want to change the world for the better. By connecting these groups, the bank is building a community of people united in their desire to make a positive impact on society, culture and environment.

Official Web (external)

FMO (Netherlands)

FMO is a Dutch entrepreneurial development bank that invests in over 85 countries, supporting jobs and income generation, and improving people’s lives in those parts of the world where this makes the biggest difference. They invite others to partner with them – lowering thresholds for other financiers, opening up new markets and opportunities.

Official Web (external)
4 GLS Bank

GLS Bank (Germany)

GLS Bank was the first social-ecological bank in Germany, founded in 1974. The bank aims to support a variety of projects and businesses like organic farms, institutions for natural health, nursing homes, projects for the unemployed, health food stores, communal housing projects, sustainable businesses, as well as independent schools and kindergartens.

Official Web (external)
5 EthikBank

EthikBank (Germany)

EthikBank focuses on ecology and ethical investing. Despite the developed socio-ecological investment policy, the bank meets its strict investment criteria.

Official Web (external)
6 Tomorrow

Tomorrow (Germany)

Started in 2018, Tomorrow offers smartphone banking with modern products. As a certified B Corporation, they reconcile purpose and profit. The bank is committed to taking into account the impact of its decisions on its stakeholders, society and the environment. Currently, the bank has more than 50000 customers and protected almost 17 million trees with 20 million euro invested in sustainable projects.

Official Web (external)
7 UmweltBank

UmweltBank (Germany)

UmweltBank combines finance with ecological and social responsibility. In over 20 years, the company has financed more than 23,500 environmental projects, from the wooden house to the solar park. Through its subsidiary UmweltProjekt AG, UmweltBank bundles its business with ecological and socially responsible holdings.

Official Web (external)
8 Hefboom

Hefboom (Belgium)

Hefboom helps building a social and sustainable society in Flanders and Brussels. The organization is an intermediary between investors (both individuals and organizations) and professional initiatives from the social and sustainable economy. With a varied range of financing, management advice and services, Hefboom actively contributes to the good governance and efficient operations.

Official Web (external)
9 Merkur Cooperative Bank

Merkur Cooperative Bank (Denmark)

Merkur Cooperative Bank is a Danish value-based bank that combines classical banking with a vision of a sustainable society. Merkur give and facilitate financial advice and financing to both personal and business customers. To personal customers the bank lends and arranges mortgages. On the business side Merkur finances profit making enterprises within sustainable production and not-for-profit institutions and associations within cultural and social fields.

Official Web (external)
10 Banca Popolare Etica

Banca Popolare Etica (Italy, Spain)

Banca Etica is a cooperative bank that operates in Italy and Spain. It was established thanks to the commitment of a number of individuals and organizations who joined forces to create a credit institution based on Ethical Finance principles. Banca Etica offers the main banking products and services, in addition to complete online service accessible to all clients.

Official Web (external)
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