Internal Operations

In 2022, important inroads were made towards more gender equality, greater diversity and inclusion, updated compliance policies and more environmentally and socially responsible procurement. Attention was also paid to the environmental footprint of the CEB’s internal operations including business travel, energy consumption or waste recycling at the Paris office.

Fostering a cohesive working environment

Edge_Seal_Assess_English_72In 2018, following the approval of the CEB’s Gender Strategy, the Bank obtained EDGE Global Certification for Gender Equality.

The Bank has launched an EDGE Gender Equality recertification process, with a third-party audit in 2023, which successfully concluded beginning of March 2023 with the second level of EDGE called ‘Move’, thus joining other IFIs such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank or the Inter-American Development Bank

In 2022, the CEB Gender Diversity Group which was created in 2018 following the adoption of the CEB Gender Equality and Diversity Strategy by the Administrative Council evolved into a Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Group. The Group’s objective is to raise awareness and promote a multi-dimensional approach on D&I at the CEB, including gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, physical ability, neurodiversity, education, social and national origins.

The Group will provide inputs to D&I strategies, policies and actions and monitor their implementation at the Bank. To that end, the Group will continue to advise and engage with all relevant internal stakeholders and aims to regularly report to staff on the implementation and impact of D&I actions. The Group is composed of staff members from across directorates and job functions.

Overall, women accounted for 34% of the appointments in 2022. Nine of the 14 external hires in 2022 were men, and five were women. At the support level, all three new hires were men, showing some progress towards the objective of increasing male representation among support staff. Two women were hired at senior or management level functions (grade A4 and above). The Bank thereby continued to reach its goal of achieving a more gender balanced representation at the senior and management level functions, progressing to 34% in 2022 (32% in 2021 and 30% in 2020). This is aligned with the CEB’s Gender Diversity Strategy.

Procurement at the CEB

The organisation’s supply chain for its own operational needs is governed by the CEB’s Guidelines on the Internal Procurement of Services, Supplies and Works.

Moreover, the CEB’s Environmental and Social Safeguards Policy has now been complemented by the Environmental Statement, which underlines the importance of enhancing environmental and social considerations in procurement decisions for its own operational needs.

In this respect, the existence of ecological labels or the use of environmentally friendly products (e.g. in cleaning services) is taken into account when selecting a provider.

During 2022, the CEB also partnered with the University of Zaragoza to analyse its procurement practice and prepare a Green and Social Procurement Implementation Strategy. Once adopted, this will provide the CEB with enhanced tools and skills to further incorporate environmental and social considerations in procurement for the Bank’s own needs.

For more on procurement, see here.

The CEB’s own environmental footprint

The CEB’s approach for addressing its own environmental impact, and for setting priority areas for further improvement, is laid out in the Environmental Statement. At the Bank, the main focus is on responsibly handling business travel, waste management, office heating and cooling, materials consumption such as water, plastic and paper.

In 2022, the CEB’s Environmental Statement and its commitments were complemented by the work of a new task force set up within the Bank’s Paris alignment framework, with the view to limiting the Bank’s own carbon footprint compared to a pre-COVID ‘baseline’.

With the Bank-wide roll out of the Paris alignment framework, the new Task Force on Aligning Internal Operations (TFIO) was established to further advance the commitments taken in the Environmental Statement.

In parallel with TFIO’s work on how to prioritise and manage future actions to align the Bank’s internal operations with the Paris Agreement, in 2022 the CEB made significant progress on the Environmental Statement including through:

  • The Governor’s call on staff to make an extra effort to save energy, given the current energy crisis
  • A third-party audit of the office building’s ‘thermal performance’
  • A tender for more renewable electricity in the Paris office which was launched, although not completed due to volatility in the electricity markets
  • The ongoing development of the Bank’s new sustainable procurement implementation strategy
  • A survey on commuting to inquire into staff’s commuting habits and the CEB’s commuting-related environmental footprint.

The continuing work with TerraTerre on carbon compensation, with two projects expected to save emissions higher than the Bank’s own internal carbon footprint (526 tonnes of CO₂ emissions against 501 tonnes emitted during the year).

Operational footprint in 2022

After the exceptional circumstance of COVID in 2020, and the gradual return to more normal business conduct in 2021, the environmental footprint of the Bank’s operations saw an uptick over the past 12 months. Business travel has rebounded, although not to pre-pandemic levels, while the office presence saw a further take up and, with it, heating, materials and water consumption.

Compared to 2021, the main factors contributing to the change in emissions were:

  • a 72% increase in emissions from business travel,
  • a 36% decrease in emissions from heating and cooling.

In total, the Bank’s GHG emissions for 2022 stand at 501 tonnes of CO₂, representing 2.4 tCO₂e/employee, up from 453 tonnes of CO₂ (2.1 tCO₂e/employee) in 2021, but down compared to pre-COVID levels of 924 tonnes of CO₂ (4.5 tCO₂e/employee) in 2019, all according to the Bilan Carbone methodology.

GHG emissions per employee from 2018 to 2022 in tonnes of CO₂ equivalentGHG_emissions.png

Climate contribution

For the Bank’s greenhouse gas emissions from internal operations, e.g. travel, commuting, office heating and cooling, a pilot programme for climate contribution was launched, also referred to as ‘carbon offsetting’. The CEB’s partner for the offset is a young, innovative carbon start-up called TerraTerre. The approach is closely aligned with the CEB’s core focus as a development bank: to provide funding to small enterprises, to support rural regions and lower income groups in Europe, and to accompany the shift to a more sustainable economy.

Building up on the earlier pilot scheme, in 2022 the CEB chose farmers in Belgium that work to improve their soil and water quality, as well as biodiversity, benefiting from the solutions and assistance provided by Gaïago, an innovative agrotech company. The expected emission savings from the two farms (526 tonnes of CO₂ emissions), enabled through CEB’s financial support, go beyond the Bank’s own internal carbon footprint (501 tonnes of CO₂ emitted during the year).

For more on the CEB’s offset, see the TerraTerre website.

Related publications
  • CEB_ TCFD_2022_Cover.png
    Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Report 2022
    CEB’s first report presenting the Bank’s activities and objectives supporting a just and socially inclusive climate transition among its member states, in accordance with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Published: June 2023 Read
  • Cover Sustainability Report 2022
    Sustainability Report 2022
    Published: May 2023 Read
  • 2022_CEB_GRI_Report
    GRI Report for 2022
    Published: April 2023 Read