ProCredit group reaches key milestones in its comprehensive sustainability strategy in 2023 and defines further targets

  • Publication of the Impact Report Package for the 2023 financial year
  • Opening of the ProCredit “ProEnergy” solar park in Kosovo demonstrates the group’s commitment to achieve climate neutrality
  • Head office of ProCredit Bank Ukraine awarded EDGE certification for green buildings, bringing the total number of our head offices receiving this distinction to six
  • Development of Gender Action Plan and the first steps for an inclusive finance concept strengthened by joining the 2X Global initiative
  • Strategy to achieve net-zero emissions and SBTi-validated near-term science-based emission reduction targets defined

The ProCredit group, which operates mainly in South Eastern and Eastern Europe, evaluates its activities not only in terms of client needs and profitability, but also in terms of the potential impact of its actions on society and the environment. The Impact Report published today documents the ProCredit group’s ESG performance and initiatives in 2023 in accordance with the standards set by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). In addition to its compliance with these standards and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the group also took into account other voluntary initiatives, such as the UN Global Compact, the Principles for Responsible Banking (UNEP FI), the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) and the Joint Impact Model (JIM), when preparing the Impact Report Package for 2023. The structure of this year’s report focuses on economic, social and environmental priorities, such as job creation and investment, diversity and inclusion, green energy and climate action, and is based on the following five UN SDGs, which are particularly relevant to the ProCredit group: SDG 5 Gender equality, SDG 7 Affordable and clean energy, SDG 8 Decent work and economic growth, SDG 9 Industry and innovation, and SDG 13 Climate action.

Ethical and environmental considerations have been part of the ProCredit group’s DNA since its inception. This foundation has given rise to an integrated, comprehensive sustainability approach that is reflected in strict ecological and ethical requirements for the selection of clients, service providers, suppliers and other business partners.

With the inauguration of our own “ProEnergy” solar park to the electricity grid in Kosovo in July 2023, the ProCredit group took an important step towards achieving climate neutrality. The expected annual output of the photovoltaic system is 3,711 MWh and should make a significant contribution to offsetting future Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions across the group to the greatest extent possible. In addition, nine ProCredit institutions are equipped with photovoltaic rooftop systems with a peak output of 466 kWp. The combined capacity of the photovoltaic projects financed by ProCredit amounts to 859 MW, enabling the group to contribute to the transition to sustainable energy in its countries of operation. Overall, more than 20% of the group’s portfolio is already geared towards supporting its clients in their energy efficiency, renewable energy and environmentally friendly investments. In the medium term, this share is to be increased to 25% of the portfolio.

A number of other initiatives contributed to the reduction of ProCredit’s ecological footprint in 2023 and thus reinforced the group’s sustainability strategy. The share of e-cars and hybrid plug-ins in our own vehicle fleet was increased from 52% in the previous year to 61% in 2023. In addition, ProCredit continued to maintain its publicly accessible e-charging network, whose stations are easy to find using the associated app. In 2023, ProCredit Bank Ukraine’s head office in Kyiv was awarded green building certification by EDGE, bringing the total number of head offices of ProCredit banks that have achieved this distinction to six. Furthermore, the ProCredit group was able to maintain its 100% recycling rate for paper waste and electronic waste in 2023.

Our staff are essential to the success of our sustainability strategy. Last year, the number of employees increased visibly to 3,951 (2022: 3,543). Within its own workforce, the ProCredit group greatly emphasises a positive working environment characterised by diversity, flat hierarchies and open communication. To further strengthen the importance of diversity and inclusion as part of our core values, all employees participated in a Code of Conduct training session in 2023, totalling more than 21,600 hours of training. Beginning in 2024, regular training sessions on diversity and inclusion will be conducted on an annual basis. To further promote gender equality, the ProCredit group developed a Gender Action Plan in 2023 and joined the 2X Global initiative, which will support capacity-building and alignment with the best international practices. For the first time, the numbers behind the group’s commitment to women-owned businesses were unveiled: slightly more than 20% of the loans we disbursed to our MSME clients in 2023 have directly supported companies with at least 50% of female ownership.

Additionally, the group-wide guideline for sustainable suppliers, which covers various ESG criteria, was used to screen 90% of our suppliers, out of which 40% were classified as sustainable.

As a bank committed to fostering economic growth and social progress in South Eastern and Eastern Europe, ProCredit drives innovation, contributes to building resilient communities, and supports job creation and wealth accumulation through the empowerment of MSMEs. For example, using the Joint Impact Model, we estimate that by the end of 2023 more than 193,000 jobs had been created through our loan portfolio. Around 42% of these jobs are held by women, underscoring our dedication to gender inclusivity. Additionally, 7% of the jobs empower youth, thereby reducing brain drain and driving economic progress in our countries of operation.

As a member of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, the ProCredit group has developed a comprehensive strategy to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 based on current best practices and in conjunction with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). As part of this strategy, near-term GHG reduction targets were defined last year using the SBTi method and recently validated by the SBTi as scientifically sound and in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. The ProCredit group’s near-term targets include a commitment to reduce its own emissions (Scope 1 and Scope 2) by 42% by 2030, with 2022 as the base year. Furthermore, the group will focus on supporting the decarbonisation efforts of the clients who contribute most heavily to Scope 3 emissions. The first part of ProCredit Holding’s Scope 3 target is to work with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), primarily in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors, which account for 28% of the emissions in the group’s portfolio, to assist them in setting their own science-based targets by 2027. The second part of ProCredit’s Scope 3 target is a commitment to continue to exclusively finance electricity projects in the field of renewable energies until 2030. As soon as the SBTi guidelines for setting long-term net-zero targets are made available, ProCredit will also have its long-term targets validated by the SBTi.

Hubert Spechtenhauser, Chairperson of the Management Board of ProCredit Holding AG, emphasises: “With the most recent validation of our near-term emission reduction targets by the SBTi, we have reached another milestone in our sustainability strategy. As a commercial bank for SMEs, we are in particular committed to supporting our clients in their transition to more efficient and less environmentally harmful business activities. Our seventh Impact Report demonstrates that we are successfully driving forward our guiding principle of sustainable development at various levels and through numerous actions.

The Impact Report Package 2023 consists of two parts. The Impact Report itself provides a detailed overview of ProCredit Holding’s sustainability strategy as well as its sustainability performance, initiatives and goals for the future, taking particular account of the five SDGs mentioned previously. The Impact Report is supplemented by the Impact Report Datasheet, which is intended to contribute to the continuous improvement and comparability of reporting.

In the Annual Report, also published today, information on the standards E1 “Climate change” and S1 “Own workforce”, which have been identified as relevant, will be disclosed as a first step towards adopting the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), which will form the regulatory framework for the ProCredit group in the area of sustainability in the future. Reporting on further ESRS standards will follow in the publication for the 2024 financial year. This will also include the findings of a double materiality test in accordance with the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).

The Impact Report Package 2023 of the ProCredit group as well as the Annual Report 2023 are available as of today on the ProCredit Holding website in the Investor Relations section at: and

Andrea Kaufmann, Group Communications, ProCredit Holding, Tel.: +49 69 951 437 138,

About ProCredit Holding AG
ProCredit Holding AG, based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, is the parent company of the development-oriented ProCredit group, which consists of commercial banks for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). In addition to its operational focus on South Eastern and Eastern Europe, the ProCredit group is also active in South America and Germany. The company’s shares are traded on the Prime Standard segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The main shareholders of ProCredit Holding AG include the strategic investors Zeitinger Invest GmbH and ProCredit Staff Invest GmbH & Co KG (the investment vehicle for ProCredit staff), KfW, the Dutch DOEN Participaties BV and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). As the group’s superordinated company according to the German Banking Act and as the parent financial holding company of the ProCredit financial holding group, ProCredit Holding AG is supervised on a consolidated level by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht, BaFin) and the German Bundesbank. For additional information, visit: