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Nonfinancial Report 2019

Nature conservation projects

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Socially responsible behavior

Sustainability is a recurrent theme across our promotional mandate

As land is an essential resource which cannot be regenerated, a long-term orientation over generations has always been of particularly high priority within agriculture and forestry. The term ‘sustainability’, in the sense of the perpetual use of a natural resource, was originally coined within German forestry by Hans Carl von Carlowitz.

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The agricultural and forestry sectors offer a variety of approaches to achieving sustainability goals. Here the production of renewable energy and the reduction of direct emissions, such as methane from animal husbandry for instance, make a major contribution to climate protection. The preservation and promotion of biodiversity in areas used for agricultural and silvicultural purposes also combine aspects of both ecological and economic sustainability in equal measure.

For Rentenbank, socially responsible behavior and the protection of the environment are of particularly high priority. Our promotional activities are geared toward the long term. In addition, essential aspects of sustainable farming were explicitly incorporated in the bank’s governing law in 2002.

In our guiding principles, we also subscribe to our responsibility for the sustainable improvement of economic, ecological and social aspects. This comprises not only the guiding ideas behind our promotional policy but also the way we behave within our organization.

Sustainability in our core business



How does Rentenbank promote sustainability?

Six examples from our promotional activities

Sustainability has always been one of our core business activities. In addition, key aspects of ecological sustainability have also been explicitly enshrined in our statutory promotional mandate in 2002. In 2018, we gave financial support to sustainable initiatives to the tune of a total of EUR 1.8 billion, including the promotion of renewable energy. As part of the ‘Sustainability’ and the ‘Environmental and consumer protection’ programmes, we support a broad range of initiatives to improve animal welfare, energy efficiency and to reduce emissions. The direct and regional marketing of agricultural products, the ecological farming and humane animal husbandry also come under these programmes. An additional priority is the promotion of renewable energy as part of our promotional programme called ‘Energy from the countryside’. Here, the focus of investments is on the production, storage and distribution of renewable energy. In this programme, we also promote community wind farms, which are each owned by a majority of local citizens, companies and property owners. The following sustainable investments reflect this variety.

About the specific projects

Special nature conservation projects



Climate protection and species protection

Sustainable silviculture in Buchenborn Forest

In addition to our sustainable promotional projects within special promotional loans business, which we run in collaboration with the local banks, we also initiate projects ourselves to contribute to sustainability and maintain close ties with agriculture and rural areas. An example to illustrate this is a habitat development geared toward natural processes in forested and open areas. To this effect, Rentenbank and the Institute for Federal Real Estate Bundesanstalt für Immobilienaufgaben (BImA) have concluded a framework agreement on the long-term ecological cultivation of 550 hectares of forest in the region of Wetterau in Hesse.

The BImA manages the forest and provides expert advice for developing projects within the initiatives. They cultivate the areas in accordance with strict ecological principles revolving around the retention, rather than removal, of old and dead wood to decompose naturally, the complete abstention from biocides and a commensurate population of game.

BImA organizes additional projects within this framework agreement which contribute to nature conservation.

About the specific projects


UN Decade on Biodiversity

Award for red deer grazing to maintain open landscapes

It is a considerable challenge reconciling biodiversity with military use. Grafenwöhr military training base north-east of Nuremberg is part of one of the most valuable areas of land within the European network of nature protection areas known as NATURA 2000. This area plays host to numerous plant and animal species that are endangered or threatened with extinction - some of these habitats are deemed important at a pan-European level.

Therefore, Grafenwöhr federal forestry agency and its partners have broken new ground by corralling the red deer into clearings and limiting hunting at the base to a few days every year. The funding for a study which monitored the project over a five-year period comes from the Federal Republic’s Special Purpose Fund which is funded and administered by Rentenbank. The results prove that ecologically valuable open landscapes can be maintained if red deer can graze there. At the same time, the deer are blazing a trail for numerous protected and endangered species. The project was awarded the title ‘United Nations Decade on Biodiversity’ on October 19, 2019.

To the project website


F.R.A.N.Z. Project

Working together for more variety in the agricultural landscape

Wild flower strips at the edge of fields are not only pleasing to the eye but also to the natural world. They contribute to biodiversity on intensively farmed areas and are therefore one of many measures currently being developed and tested by the nationwide F.R.A.N.Z. Project (Future Resources, Agriculture & Nature Conservation/Für Ressourcen, Agrarwirtschaft und Naturschutz mit Zukunft). The aim of the project is to maintain and increase biodiversity in farmed regions. Since 2017, intensive ecological and socioeconomic research has been taking place at ten representative farms. The project which Rentenbank jointly funds is under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft, BMEL) and the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und nukleare Sicherheit, BMU) The joint project is run by the Michael Otto Foundation for Environmental Protection in conjunction with the German Farmers’ Association (Deutscher Bauernverband, DBV). The three federal Thünen Institutes for rural areas, for biodiversity and for business administration as well as the University of Göttingen assess the project from a scholarly point of view.

The previous research results from the project and further information can be accessed from the project website.

To the FRANZ website

Climate change challenge – Rentenbank’s Edmund Rehwinkel Foundation presents research results

June 5, 2019

Frankfurt. According to Dr. Martin Banse and Dr. Viktoriya Sturm from the Thünen Institute for Market Analysis team in Braunschweig, the contribution made by the 28 EU member states to the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agribusiness is relatively small.

Herausforderung Klimawandel | © Rawf8 / Adobe Stock

The scientists said that measures to prevent them were nevertheless important. What would be most effective is a CO2 tax on GHG emissions which relate specifically to agribusiness. Banse and Sturm are putting together three options for a CO2 tax at EU level. At the same time, a study undertaken by the Lower Saxony Chamber of Agriculture under the tutelage of Talke Heidkroß affirms that the release of gases from agriculture cannot be completely avoided. They added that the production could, however, be set up in a more efficient way whereby fewer gases that are harmful to the climate are released. The research team carried out joint climate assessments with pig farms and consultancies as part of the project and identified measures to improve climate efficiency within pig farming.

Both studies presented in Berlin today form part of the ‘Climate Change Challenge – impacts on agriculture and adaptation strategies’ research project supported by Rentenbank’s Edmund Rehwinkel Foundation. In addition, Professor Jana Zinkernagel of Hochschule Geisenheim University as well as Professor Uwe Latacz-Lohmann and Professor Friedrich Taube (both from Kiel University) presented their research results at the conference. While Zinkernagel has been carrying out research into how climate change affects the cultivation and irrigation requirements of outdoor vegetables, Latacz-Lohmann has been focusing on how the farmers affected embrace contractual moor protection. Taube has been analyzing the root turnover of regular fodder plants and the resultant CO2-emissions and has established that different grassland types have the potential to help raise the carbon stocks in the earth.

Dr. Horst Reinhardt, Chairman of the Management Board at Rentenbank and of the Edmund Rehwinkel Foundation commended the five projects for making important contributions to the current debate around climate change. ‘Ever since the heatwave in the summer of 2018, we have all become aware of the immense challenges presented by advancing climate change. Those working in agriculture have been conscious of its role and its responsibility. It’s about protecting their productivity,’ according to Reinhardt. He added that the research projects had provided a raft of specific recommendations for action.

The conference was compèred by editor-in-chief of ‘top agrar’, Dr. Ludger Schulze Pals.

The evening before the symposium, the attendees were able to benefit from an exchange of ideas with the former astronaut Ulf Merbold. In his keynote speech, Merbold pointed out the type of contribution global research can make to climate protection. He went on to say that global observation from space had provided particularly important information. Satellites were already providing efficient management processes and remote monitoring, specifically for agriculture. Science would also provide important findings on climate change in the future. On this basis, he added that it was up to politicians to make the right decisions toward reducing emissions.

 

The research contributions are published in volume 35 of Rentenbank’s publication series and may be ordered free of charge (tel 00 49 69/2107-363; fax 6447; www.rentenbank.de).

 

Service:

Rentenbank’s Edmund Rehwinkel Foundation was created in 1974 in memory of the former president of the German Farmers’ Association and long-time chairman of Rentenbank’ s Supervisory Board. The purpose of the foundation is to support science and research related to agriculture. Once a year the foundation invites tenders which relate to its current topic of focus. Candidates can apply for funding by sending in a project proposal. In addition, the foundation provides grants to students studying for their master’s degree at a German university if they are focusing on agriculture or food sciences. Under the banner of ‘Science, practice and dialogue’, the foundation also promotes dialogue between those conducting research and those actively working in the agriculture and food industry. More information atwww.rehwinkel-stiftung.de.

This press release as PDF

Climate Change Challenge – an invitation to the Edmund Rehwinkel Foundation symposium

May 20, 2019

Rentenbank’s Edmund Rehwinkel Foundation seeks attendees for its next symposium in Berlin on June 5, 2019. Academic studies supported by the foundation on the highly topical subject of ‘Climate Change Challenge – impacts on agriculture and adaptation strategies’ are to be presented.

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The research provides an analysis of the introduction of market-based tools (price setting) to reduce GHG emissions from agribusiness, potential for improving the climate efficiency in pig farming and impacts of climate change on the irrigation requirements for outdoor-grown vegetables. The authors provide a raft of recommendations for action with their results for dealing with climate change. At the same time, they are looking at the possible contribution made by agriculture to the Federal Government’s climate protection policy.

The attendees can look forward to an exciting morning with the presentation of the research, which also offers a panel discussion with high-caliber experts. There is no charge for attending the conference. If you are interested in attending then please register here: www.rentenbank.de/symposium-tagung2019. You can access the conference programme there.

Service:

Rentenbank’s Edmund Rehwinkel Foundation was created in 1974 in memory of the former president of The German Farmers’ Association and long-time chairman of Rentenbank’ s Supervisory Board. The purpose of the foundation is to support science and research related to agriculture. Once a year, the foundation invites tenders which relate to its current topic of focus. Candidates can apply for funding by sending in a project proposal. In addition, the foundation provides grants to students studying for their master’s degree at a German university if they are focusing on agriculture or food sciences. More information at www.rehwinkel-stiftung.de.

This press release as PDF

Rentenbank creates new ‘Forestry’ promotional line

May 17, 2019

Frankfurt. Rentenbank is concentrating its activities on promoting forestry by creating a new promotional line. Forest management is facing huge challenges particularly when set against the background of climate change. Increasing weather extremes are causing ever greater damage.

Forstwirtschaft | © Manfred Ruckszio / fotolia

‘Through our new ‘Forestry’ promotional line, we are expanding the existing promotional offering from the federal government and states and supporting initiatives to make our forests more resilient and better suited to their location,’ said Horst Reinhardt, Chairman of Rentenbank’s Management Board.

The promotional loans are targeted at forest owners, forestry commissions and forestry cooperatives as well as leaseholders of forest areas, regardless of the legal format selected.

Federal Minister for Forestry, Julia Klöckner, welcomes Rentenbank’s commitment: ‘Our forests have endured a great deal of damage due to the storms and the sustained period of drought last year as well as attacks by bark beetles. It is imperative that forest owners and foresters are supported in the task of making the forest eco system more resilient to climate change. We all stand to benefit from healthy forests protecting the climate, maintaining biodiversity and providing everyone with a place to go and relax. The federal government along with the federal states have launched new measures to bolster the new promotional line.’

Spending on afforestation, restructuring of forests to make them more suited to the climate or the specific area, machinery for collective use or storage depots for timber, for instance are funded at our best rates. We also provide financing for the costs arising from storage and reforestation after extreme weather or other loss events.

As is the case with all promotional loans provided by Germany’s development agency for agriculture and rural areas, applications for loans must be submitted through local banks. They grade applicants into Rentenbank’s price categories subject to credit rating and recoverability of collateral.

Customer service number for loan enquiries: 0049 69 2107-700

 

Background information:

Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank is Germany’s development agency for agribusiness and rural areas. Under its statutory promotional mandate, Rentenbank provides loans at favorable interest rates for agriculture-related investments via other banks on a competitively neutral basis. Rentenbank provides funding for banks, savings banks, and local authorities with regard to rural areas. The appropriation of profits is also subject to the promotional mandate. The bank is a public law institution whose capital stock was formed by contributions paid by the German agricultural and forestry sectors. The bank is one of the few triple-A rated institutions in Germany and raises funds primarily in the international capital markets.

 

 

This press release as PDF

Rentenbank issues inaugural Kangaroo Renewable Energy Bond

January 2, 2018

Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank, Germany’s Development Agency for Agribusiness, issued its inaugural AUD 100 million Renewable Energy Bond placed exclusively with Mitsui Life Insurance Company Limited. The 15-year bond marks Rentenbank’s first Kangaroo issuance in Socially Responsible Investment (SRI).

Windkraft

“Mitsui Life’s involvement helps to promote renewable energy projects in Germany. The issue proceeds are fully allocated to the promotion of wind farms with an installed capacity of around 79 megawatts, leading to an average annual reduction of about 89,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions,” said Horst Reinhardt, Spokesman of Rentenbank’s Board of Managing Directors.

“We strive to focus our portfolio on sustainable and safe investments. This is exactly what Germany’s triple-A rated development agency for agriculture and rural areas offers. Therefore, we are very happy to contribute to the promotion of renewable energy in Germany by investing in green bonds issued by Rentenbank,” said Tetsuo Kushibe, Executive Director, Executive Managing Officer of Mitsui Life.

Deutsche Bank was the sole bookrunner of this Renewable Energy Bond. “Mitsui Life is a key supporter of socially responsible investments. Deutsche Bank is very delighted that we could facilitate the refinancing of German wind power projects in the international capital markets and help to add Rentenbank as a top-rated SSA issuer to the investor’s SRI portfolio,” said Stefan Reiner, Director, Global Capital Markets at Deutsche Bank


Service:
Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank is Germany’s development agency for agribusiness and rural areas. Under its statutory promotional mandate, Rentenbank provides low-interest loans for agriculture-related investments via other banks on a competitively neutral basis. The appropriation of profits is also subject to the promotional mandate. The bank is a public law institution whose capital stock was formed by contributions paid by the German agricultural and forestry sectors. The bank is one of the few triple-A rated institutions in Germany and raises funds primarily in the international capital markets.

This Press Release as PDF

Rentenbank issues a new Renewable Energy Bond

October 2, 2017

Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank, Germany’s Development Agency for Agribusiness, issued a USD 50 million Renewable Energy Bond placed exclusively with Nippon Life Insurance Company (Nippon Life, Japan’s leading private life insurer). The ten-year bond marks Rentenbank’s first issuance for a non-European institutional investor in Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) private placement format.

Windkraft

“Rentenbank is delighted about Nippon Life’s involvement in a new SRI bond which is a great help to finance renewable energy projects in Germany. As part of our promotional mandate we are contributing to Germany’s ambitious long-term climate protection goals by promoting renewable energy projects,” said Horst Reinhardt, Spokesman of the Board of Managing Directors at Rentenbank.

Rentenbank will use the bond proceeds to finance loans that help promoting wind power. “I am pleased to contribute through this investment in a SRI bond to the promotion of renewable energy in Germany. Nippon Life will foster the better understanding of environmental initiatives and continue to seek global ESG investments which will satisfy our policyholders,” said Hiroshi Ozeki, CIO at Nippon Life.

Commerzbank was sole lead manager on the SRI bond. “Nippon Life is a key investor in this market, and we are happy that with Rentenbank, Commerzbank was able to facilitate a top-rated SSA issuer to be added to the investor’s SRI portfolio”, said Sylvia Moussalli, Head of Public Sector & Frequent Borrowers at Commerzbank.

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More than 1,000 Kauri trees planted for Rentenbank’s New Zealand bonds

May 24, 2017

Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank, based in Frankfurt am Main, also raises funds in New Zealand’s domestic capital market. This so-called Kauri market is named after the largest native tree in New Zealand. Ten years ago, Germany’s development agency for agribusiness and rural areas issued its first Kauri bond of 275 million New Zealand dollars (NZD). This equals roughly EUR 170 million at the current exchange rate. Since its Kauri debut, Rentenbank has become a regular issuer in the NZD market. With almost NZD 4 billion (equivalent to roughly EUR 2.49 billion) Rentenbank is one of the most important issuers.

Kauri trees, which are protected and play an important role in Māori mythology, are not just the market’s namesakes. They also benefit from the Kauri market via a program launched by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ). Together with the Kauri 2000 Trust, a non-profit NGO, BNZ plants 100 Kauri trees on the Coromandel Peninsula for each transaction arranged. To date, 11 of Rentenbank’s Kauri transactions have been led by BNZ, creating a small forest of 1,100 young Kauri trees over the course of the past ten years.

“We permanently strive to broaden and diversify our investor base in the international capital markets. Raising funds at favorable rates is a prerequisite for effectively fulfilling our statutory promotional mandate. We are, of course, very pleased that our funding activities also contribute to a nature conservation project on the other side of the world,” said Horst Reinhardt, Speaker of Rentenbank’s Board of Managing Directors.

A decision by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) served as an initial catalyst for the birth of the Kauri market for foreign issuers. Due to its low public debt, New Zealand kept scaling back government bond issuance, which led to a severe lack of liquidity. In response, the RBNZ decided to add Rentenbank’s bonds, among others, to the local repo-eligibility list in 2007. Due to its status as a public law institution benefitting from the explicit guarantee of the Federal Republic of Germany for its obligations, Rentenbank is triple-A rated by the three major rating agencies.

Service:

Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank is Germany’s development agency for agribusiness. Under its statutory promotional mandate, Rentenbank provides low-interest loans for agriculture-related investments via other banks on a competitively neutral basis. The appropriation of profits is also subject to the promotional mandate. The bank is a public law institution whose capital stock was formed by contributions paid by the German agricultural and forestry sectors. The bank is one of the few triple-A rated institutions in Germany and raises funds primarily in the international capital markets.

 

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Contact

Dr. Christof Altmann

Dr. Christof Altmann

Phone: +49 69-2107-393

Fax: +49 69-2107-6447