Out of conviction

Five employees share what sustainability means for them.

Sustainability is integral to Helaba's very identity as a public law institution with a mission to act in the public interest. What might at first appear a rather abstract concept turns out in practice to be a leading motivation for countless employees day-in, day-out and at home as well as at work. Five employees share what sustainability means for them.

Martina Middendorf

HR Services & Business Partnering

Martina Middendorf attaches great importance to empathy, humanity and a thoughtful approach to interactions with others – and this applies equally in her working life in HR at Helaba and in the voluntary role she performs away from the office. 

Middendorf has been a volunteer with the Bärenherz charitable foundation, which operates two children's hospices and a home for children with severe disabilities in the Taunus hills near Frankfurt, since 2013. A mother herself, she particularly appreciates the broader perspective afforded her by the voluntary work she does with the children's charity. 

Inevitably the insights she gains in this way flow through into her day job at Helaba, which is something the Bank very much encourages: never has it been more valuable for employees to bring new ways of looking at the world into their teams.

"The subject of diversity is becoming more important all the time at Helaba. One of the most noticeable signs of this is the ever-greater enthusiasm shown for different approaches and outlooks – for example when selecting new colleagues and when people change job within the Bank."

Martina Middendorf

Martina Middendorf, HR Services & Business Partnering
Martina Middendorf, HR Services & Business Partnering

Ulrike Münz

Helaba Vital

Ulrike Münz has been speaking out for sustainability and social awareness since the 1980s, when she was involved in the "Jute not Plastic" movement. Her commitment to protecting the natural environment is matched by her concern for her own wellbeing and the wellbeing of the people around her, a mindset that carries over into her work at Helaba. 

Münz's role as head of the "Helaba Vital" programme involves endeavouring to ensure colleagues remain fit and well in all respects and take care to allow themselves little breaks from the sometimes-stressful world of work – to enjoy a few minutes of "Business Yoga" perhaps or find out more about healthy eating, exercise and mental equilibrium via the Helaba-Vital site on Helanet. 

Münz believes it is very important that these resources and opportunities should expressly be accessible for all colleagues.

"Maintaining the right balance is very important for me – and that goes for my work as well. I want the opportunities that we provide to be genuinely helpful for colleagues and not to end up being just one more stress factor, and I consequently make a priority within Helaba Vital of self-management and self-efficacy."

Ulrike Münz

Ulrike Münz, Programme Helaba Vital
Ulrike Münz, Programme Helaba Vital

Rainer Neidnig

Sustainable Finance Advisory

Rainer Neidnig sets great store by sustainable growth. The father of two, a Sustainable Finance Advisor at Helaba, has no doubt that the fate of future generations depends on our ability to create an economy governed by responsible attitudes and caution in our use of natural resources. 

Neidnig, who worked for one of the big rating agencies before coming to Helaba, helps to develop financing solutions compatible with this belief in his role as intermediary between corporate customers and colleagues at the Bank. 

More and more customers are actively looking for just this type of solution – and from green issues to promissory notes with interest rates linked to ESG indicators to special-purpose sustainable finance arrangements like investments in projects to transform the energy system, there are certainly now plenty of options from which to choose.

"Us putting sustainability on the agenda at company finance departments can make a tremendous difference. Once the finance people start talking about these issues, there is real potential for meaningful change."

Rainer Neidnig

Rainer Neidnig, Sustainable Finance Advisory Helaba
Rainer Neidnig, Sustainable Finance Advisory Helaba

Anja Pacem

Project and Change Management at WIBank

WIBank's two mobile shelving systems hold over 400,000 files. Thanks to Anja Pacem, that number will be shrinking rather than growing in future. The Head of Project and Change Management and her team put in place one of the key prerequisites for paperless working last year when they introduced an electronic file system at the development bank.

The roll-out finished just in time because once COVID-19 arrived and a large part of WIBank's staff transferred to working from home, the ready access to customer data from anywhere provided by the electronic file and electronic mailbox systems became essential. 

WIBank intends to adopt more and more digital processes based on the electronic file system in future, with customer documents delivered exclusively electronically and development programme applications submitted through an online portal. It should go without saying that in principle the creation of new paper documents will cease as part of this process. 

"The pursuit of sustainability is enabling us progressively to reduce resource consumption in our work, and stimulating the ongoing development of processes into the bargain. The electronic file, which fits in very well with company-wide sustainability management, is just the first step here for WIBank."

Anja Pacem

Anja Pacem, Project and Change Management at WIBank
Anja Pacem, Project and Change Management at WIBank

Anja Peter

Real Estate Finance International Clients Germany

Anja Peter and her team finance commercial real estate in the office, logistics and retail segments for international and institutional investors. Peter has also been working in the HelabaSustained programme since autumn 2020 making preparations so that customers can be offered financing solutions factoring in the ESG criteria in the future. 

She believes it is important to cover the full scope of these sustainability criteria and to consider social aspects such as the quality of corporate governance as well as the possibly more obvious environmental aspects. Sustainability plays an important role for Peter away from the Bank too: her life partner runs an organic vineyard in Groß-Umstadt to the south west of Frankfurt and Peter is always heavily involved there from winter pruning through to harvest the following autumn. 

Working among the vines provides a welcome and grounding contrast to the financial centre of Frankfurt and gives her a different perspective on managing natural resources and the value of agricultural produce.

"It is important never to lose sight of the fact that everything I do has consequences. I need to know what happens as a result of my actions and I need to be able to live with that knowledge."

Anja Peter

Anja Peter, Real Estate Finance International Clients Germany
Anja Peter, Real Estate Finance International Clients Germany

Additional topics

Values with impact

"Values with impact", Helaba's bold new corporate tag line, consciously emphasises the “how” of our approach to achieving our objectives.

Further Stories

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