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The three old women sit shoulder to shoulder on the bench in front of their house. The sun is shining on their faces, still a little weak, but already pleasantly warm. “It’s beautiful here,” says the one on the left. The other two nod. The neighbors live in Haus Lukas, a senior-friendly apartment building in Mahlsdorf. The surrounding houses – Markus, Matthäus and Johannes – house an inpatient care facility, a diaconal ward, a hospice and a shared apartment for people with dementia. Together, the sand-colored buildings form the elderly care center of the Evangelisches Diakonissenhaus Berlin Teltow Lehnin (EDBTL).

The fact that the three senior citizens are able to linger in front of their apartments on this first spring day of the year is thanks, among other things, to the Bank for Church and Diakonia. Together with the Investment Bank of the State of Brandenburg, it financed the new 19 million euro elderly care building on the eastern outskirts of Berlin, which opened in May 2022.

The KD-Bank is a cooperative bank, its members are church, diaconal and social institutions. But the institute also offers “the full spectrum of banking services” to private customers who “respect Christian values.” Together we want to create sustainable values, i.e. to do business efficiently, socially and ecologically.

Sustainability is the buzzword of the moment, even in financial institutions. This does not mean that the money parked at the bank alone increases sustainably. Recently, people have been thinking holistically – this is partly due to European Union rules, but also due to the wishes of customers. Ethically questionable investments are out. Investors want to do good and invest in climate-neutral projects. Borrowers need financial injections for electric cars or climate-friendly home conversions. And they expect their bank to also be socially and ecologically friendly within the company. Because if money doesn’t grow on trees, it can at least make them grow.

However, laypeople can hardly understand which promises should be trusted. Many banks submit thick sustainability reports, but it is difficult to verify how seriously they really take the claim. Therefore, the Institute for Asset Development (IVA) and Capital surveyed the industry for the first time about green products and financing options as well as efforts to make their company sustainable.

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