A sustainable and inclusive organisation

Being a socially responsible organisation is an absolute must for us. As a central bank, we perform public service tasks and serve society. For us, “socially responsible” is no bumper sticker. Social responsibility is one of our key values, part of the DNA of the National Bank of Belgium.

What does corporate social responsibility (CSR) mean for us?

We want to be sustainable. This not only means that we want to be greener, for example in our energy consumption and waste management, but also that we apply a sustainable investment policy to our own portfolios, that we want to reduce the environmental impact of cash and that we include climate-related risks in our financial supervision.

We also want to be inclusive. The bottom line here is that we do not want to exclude anyone from our organisation: when filling vacancies for example, we look solely at candidates’ skills, not at their age, gender or origin. It also means that we want to promote a company culture where everyone feels good and where all employees can develop their talents. We also pay attention to the well-being, safety, training, mentoring and leisure of our employees. Looking outside our organisation, it also means that we want to give projects that we find socially valuable a financial boost, that we make sure that cash remains a readily available, efficient, safe, socially inclusive and accepted means of payment, and that we make our studies increasingly accessible to the general public.

Even though, as the central bank, we enjoy a large degree of autonomy and independence, we are part of society and cannot allow ourselves to stay in our ivory tower, looking down complacently on everything that is happening in that society.

Pierre Wunsch - Governor

As the National Bank of Belgium, we have defined eight themes – or eight focuses – to display our corporate social responsibility: diversity and inclusion; sustainable entrepreneurship; the assessment and management of climate-related and environmental risks for the financial system; socially responsible investment within our own portfolios; a human and safe working environment; sponsorship; safe cash and efficient payment systems; socially relevant economic and financial data and analyses.

Our commitments are also to be seen as our contribution to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), seventeen global goals by which organisations, companies and governments are committed to creating a better world by 2030.

We not only want to meet the quantitative targets of having more women at all organisational levels, but we also seek to promote a corporate culture in which everyone feels good and where all employees can develop their talents, irrespective of their gender, age, sexual orientation, origin or any disability.

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We want to be a sustainable and green central bank. We are putting a lot of effort into reducing our ecological footprint, for example looking at our energy consumption, waste management and mobility.

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In our role as supervisory and macroprudential authority, we have to ensure that the financial system is resilient to these climate-related risks.

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We have already made steady progress and plan to continue doing so in the future.

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We pay great attention to the training, mentoring of our employees – and to their relaxation and leisure. We also ensure their well-being and safety.

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Our sponsorship is designed to give socially valuable projects a financial boost, inter alia supporting artists from the Belgian art world.

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We ensure that payments are safe for consumers, that euro banknotes are checked for genuineness and cleanness and that cash remains an accepted means of payment.

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Forming the basis for decisions in our own policy fields, our analyses and studies can also be used by other policy-makers in support of their policy measures. Our data and analyses thus have a broad impact on society and on the prosperity of families and companies.

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