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German Bank KfW Forms Sustainability Strategy Department, Names CSO: 4 Things to Know

May 20, 2024 by Joe Panettieri

KfW Group has formed a Sustainability Strategy department, and promoted Jürgen Kern (pictured above) to chief sustainability officer (CSO), the German bank announced.

Here are four things to know about Kern's experience and KfW Group's sustainability strategy.

1. Business Scope and Scale: KfW Group, founded in 1948, is based in Frankfurt, Germany. The company also has offices in Berlin, Bonn and Cologne. The KfW global network spans almost 80 local and representative offices in roughly 70 countries. The bank is an institution under public law -- 80% of which is owned by the German Federal Government, with the remaining 20% owned by the German Federal States.

2. Sustainability Strategy: KfW Group’s Sustainability Report has been published every year since the reporting year 2017. The 2023 Sustainability Report -- a massive, 245 page document -- arrived on April 30, 2024.

In addition to its own net-zero carbon emissions goals, KfW remains active in the green financing market. For instance, the company plans to raise up to €13 billion (roughly $14 billion) in green bonds in 2024, Environmental Finance reported.

3. Jürgen Kern's Experience and CSO Responsibilities: Kern joined KfW as principal policy officer in 2007. From 2009 through 2013, he was director of KfW Office Brasília. From there, he shifted to head of division, Energy and Transport for KfW Entwicklungsbank (2013-May 2024). He also held the additional role of director, corporate strategy and sustainability (2018-May 2024). Next up, Jürgen Kern now heads the newly formed Sustainability Strategy department.

Stefan Wintels, CEO, KfW

4. Executive Perspectives: in a prepared statement, KfW CEO Stefan Wintels said: "We are delighted to be able to appoint Jürgen Kern, an experienced manager, as Chief Sustainability Officer. He has extensive experience in strategy and sustainability management as well as in project financing. The sustainable orientation of our financing is at the centre of our strategic transformation agenda and we also want to be a driving force in this area."

KfW Group Chief Sustainability Officer: Why Technology Partners Should Care

By 2027, 25% of Global 2000 companies will have assigned a chief sustainability officer (CSO) responsible for meeting their organization’s ESG goals and making ESG-related IT purchasing decisions, according to IDC.

The bottom line: Technology partners need to extend their sales, marketing, engagement and support strategies to successfully fulfill those CSO customer needs, Sustainable Tech Partner believes.

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