About this report
Since 2012, Argenta has reported on its sustainable activities via the Activities and Sustainability Report, with these activities increasingly interwoven with the traditional annual report topics. This form of reporting is in line with the Argenta philosophy, in which sustainability is viewed as an integral part of the banking and insurance activities. The sustainability reporting is intended for all customers, branch managers, employees, cooperative and family shareholders, institutional investors, regulators, social representatives and other stakeholders who are interested in the sustainability strategy and performance of the Argenta Bank- en Verzekeringsgroep and all underlying companies.
The report covers the period from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021. It has been drawn up on the basis of the most recent reporting standard of the GRI, being the GRI Standards. The sustainability reporting is also linked to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals ('Sustainable Development Goals' or 'SDGs').
Content and materiality
The Activities and Sustainability Report covers sustainable topics that have a material impact on Argenta's policy. These topics were already identified back in 2012. Every two years, Argenta organises a stakeholder survey to map the sustainability expectations of customers, prospects, branch managers, employees, shareholders and interest groups. The results of these surveys have formed each time the basis for adjusting the sustainability action plan. A new stakeholder survey will be carried out in 2022. This update will be used to evaluate and adjust the material topics. The key sustainability pillars covered in the 2021 Activities and Sustainability Report relate to employees, products and services, society, environmental impact, ethics and integrity.
Scope and boundaries
The Activities and Sustainability Report contains the non-financial reporting Bank- en Verzekeringsgroep, including the subsidiaries and the branch in the Netherlands, for the 2021 financial year ending 31 December 2021. This reporting is mandatory with the implementation of Directive 2014/95/EU as regards disclosure of non-financial and diversity information, transposed into Belgian law on 03/09/2017 and introduced into the CCA in Articles 3:6,§4 and 3:32,§2. The scope of the 2021 Sustainability Report consists of Argenta Bank- en Verzekeringsgroep nv and the underlying companies (Argenta Spaarbank nv, with its branch office in the Netherlands, Argenta Asset Management sa, and Argenta Assuranties). The independent branches are not included, as these fall under the direct responsibility of the self-employed branch managers. Argenta nonetheless encourages them to endorse the commitments set out in this report. In this they are also supported by Argenta. There are no substantial changes in scope and boundaries from previous reporting. The previous Activities and Sustainability Report of 2020 can be found here.
Reporting and Governance
The information was gathered from the following Argenta departments: Commercial Marketing, Distribution, Distribution Support, Strategic Marketing, IT, Financial Management, Organisation & Talent, Legal Affairs, Procurement & Facility Management, Compliance, Internal Audit, Treasury & Investment and the operational departments. The underlying companies and the branch in the Netherlands were also consulted where necessary. The information used for reporting on sustainability in this annual report has been monitored by the Sustainability Manager, reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The CEO is also responsible for the field of corporate social responsibility. The Board of Directors is also involved in corporate social responsibility and reporting on it. In this way the sustainability reporting came into being with the help of the various business and sustainability managers at Argenta. The report has been reviewed by senior management and approved by the Executive Committee. On 29 March 2022, the Activities and Sustainability Report was finally approved by the Board of Directors.
This report has been certified by the independent professional practitioner KPMG Bedrijfsrevisoren. The certification relates to a limited review of the selected information in accordance with International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 (Revised), “Assurance engagements other than audits or reviews of historical financial information”.
The selected information that has been verified for this limited assurance attestation has been identified throughout the 2021 Activities and Sustainability Report with the symbol A: