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ESG Principles Applied in Business

Small farmer business. Organic home grown produce.

What does ESG mean?

One of the new expressions in the modern world is also the acronym ESG. Each of the three letters represents a segment of activities that as a whole create a better world with more responsibility:

E (environmental) – ecology, environment;
S (social) – society, community, social groups;
G (governance) – corporate governance, the way in which an organization manages its operation.

ESG business demands a focused approach in order to respond to global challenges and establish sustainable business. In Raiffeisen banka, we believe that accepting this concept is the foundation of being present in the 21st-century market. We are actively exploring all the ways in which we can apply ESG principles in our business. 

ESG proizvodi Raiffeisen banke

In order to contribute to the preservation of natural resources and reduce the degree of environmental pollution, we introduced payment cards made of recycled plastic. These are the first recycled plastic cards in our banking market.

Ecologically aware and responsible behavior means considering the effect of our business onto the environment. Using recycled plastic reduces CO2 emissions compared to the production of cards made of regular plastic: 15.79 grams compared to 3 grams. CO2 emissions are reduced by as much as 80 per cent compared to the production of cards made of non-recycled plastic.

The first payment cards made of recycled plastic issued by Raiffeisen banka will be available for VISA Gold and Platinum payment cards, while recycled cards will be replacing other payment cards the bank is offering in the forthcoming period as well. 

Team of two engineers installing solar panels on roof.

Sustainable business – ESG investment funds

Raiffeisen INVEST founded „Raiffeisen Green“, the first ESG investment fund in the Serbian market, in June 2022, soon followed by the second ESG fund „Raiffeisen Alternative“.

Investment funds Raiffeisen Green and Raiffeisen Alternative are investing into shares and bonds of companies taking care to protect the environment, treating their employees fairly, contributing to the social environment and with transparent corporate governance. The fund Raiffeisen Green is investing primarily into ESG bonds, while the fund Raiffeisen Alternative is investing primarily into ESG shares. 

Tax benefits for the annual citizens’ income tax are foreseen for investing into the fund Raiffeisen Alternative in the maximum amount of up to 50 per cent of the defined tax obligation. 


Green boats docked at the river bank of Sava in natural reserve Zasavica in central Serbia in spring time.


Upon invitation of the Ministry of Ecology and the Serbian Bank Association, Raiffeisen banka joined the project of protecting the Special nature reserve “Zasavica”. The bank donated RSD 3 million for the completion of building a mini solar power plant with capacity of 34kW in this nature park, and supported electricity cost reduction needed for the functioning of the “Zasavica” Visitors’ center, as well as electricity production on sustainable, ecological standards within the reserve. This donation is part of the strategy of Raiffeisen banka to support al initiatives directed towards reducing resource depletion and protecting the environment. 

Preteen Hispanic girl sorting donations with food bank bank volunteers

Stepic CEE Charity

According to data from UNICEF, almost 10 per cent of children aged 5-17 years in Serbia are victims of child labor misuse. Stepic CEE Charity, the charity foundation of the Raiffeisen Group, has been supporting the work of day care centers working with children and young people who are living/working in the streets of Belgrade, Novi Sad and Niš for more than a decade.

This support is aimed at improving the living conditions of this vulnerable group and providing a new perspective for children and young people from vulnerable social groups. These day care centers are primarily a safe spot where they receive the necessary help and support, as well as personal hygiene items and daily meals. They receive support in their learning and completing their regular school tasks, but also additional education and practical knowledge that will give them a good foundation for a better life. 

A sweet little boy and his mother are seen volunteering as they help pack food donations into boxes for distribution.  They are both dressed casually and are focused on the task.

”Budimir Boško Kostić“ charity foundation

The values of socially responsible business activities are indelibly woven into the values of Raiffeisen banka. Through our own charity foundation “Budimir Boško Kostić“, founded in memory of the first Chairman of Raiffeisen banka in Serbia, we are providing support to individuals with special medical and social needs, as well as to organizations working on promoting the living conditions of individuals from vulnerable social groups.

Apart from that, we are donating funds for various cultural, scientific and sports activities, as well as for projects focusing on reducing pollution and protecting the environment, all for the common good and with the aim of improving living conditions for all members of the society where we live and work. 

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Everyday implementation of ESG rules

Raiffeisen banka is committed to the goals of sustainable development and is investing efforts to contribute to the preservation of natural resources, i.e. reducing the degree of pollution and preserving the environment in every segment of its business activities. 

The head office of Raiffeisen banka in Novi Beograd has been designed and built fully in accordance with sustainable business standards for electricity consumption through a new system of lighting and heating, and we are introducing the same standard into our branch office network throughout Serbia. 

With the aim of reducing business-related CO2 emissions, Raiffeisen banka is using electricity produced from renewable sources at all its locations in Serbia. 

All waste is sorted daily in the head office for recycling purposes. At the parking lot in front of the building there is a charger for electric vehicles, and the electronic devices that are in use are all classified as A+++ energy efficient. Additionally, all business activities of Raiffeisen banka have been focused on the digitalization of all processes, which results in significant reduction of paper used in everyday activities. Our plan is that the next steps in our ESG activities bring an even wider range of projects that will additionally confirm our commitment to sustainable and responsible business activities in the Serbian market.