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Andreas Treichl, AT

Chairman of the Management Board Erste Group Bank AG

What does sustainable entrepreneurship mean to you personally?

I feel absolutely obligated to be involved. However, to me sustainability isn't merely a product that we sell, but something that gradually becomes an integral part of every area within our enterprise. We, as a bank, want to act responsibly. We want people to see that it does make a difference which bank they entrust with their financial matters. But as a bank, we also feel duty bound to this topic in our role as a lender. The energy transition, for example, needs to be financed and the requirement of funding in this area is going to be enormous. We want to provide these financial means.

In your opinion, to what extent is it possible to reconcile being economically successful with creating added value for society? And what challenges do you see in this connection for the financial sector in particular?

Of course this can be reconciled. The Sparkasse banks were established for this reason; it was laid down in our founding principle and we still live up to it today. Just think of the Zweite Sparkasse, which helps people to find their way back into a regular financial life.

Erste Bank is an important partner of the SEA. What made you decide to support this project?

We believe drawing attention to sustainable business practices is important and the right thing to do. The SEA is a good platform for this.