Ranking of Austrian Online CSR Reports

Results 2019: Erste Bank - Annual Report 2018

For the ranking in each category (Strategic Approach, Open Information and User Orientation) click on the respective link below.

1. STRATEGIC APPROACH2121.411.942.8
a. Were the material aspects identified according to the criteria of the GRI standard?
b. Does the company take responsibility for its impact along the entire value chain?
c. Does the corporate strategy include a management approach to all material topics?
d. Are both harm reduction strategies and maximization of benefits pursued?
e. Have appropriate structures and processes for sustainability management been set up and sufficiently presented in the report?
2. OPEN INFORMATION2310.96.226.9
a. Does the report make clear and complete statements? (Key figures on all material topics, interpretation of development, definition/evaluation of goals)
b. Is the report balanced? (positive / negative developments, solved / unresolved problems, etc.)
c. Are internal and external stakeholders appropriately involved and are the relevant structures and processes disclosed?
3. USER ORIENTATION264.64.017.0
a. Is the report clearly structured according to the material topics?
b. Is the text clear and precise, easy to understand and read?
c. Is the visualization appealing and does it support the understanding of the content?
d. Is the report user-friendly and are online features sufficiently utilized? (Target group specific approach, optional information, links, timeliness, interactivity etc.)
TOTAL RANK & SCORE2536.953.686.2
Erste Bank


(provided by students, how the company should improve its report)

There is a need for optimization in the area of "management approach to all material topics". Erste Bank could take an example from PORR and insert a paragraph on "Management Approach" for each topic. This creates more understanding and a higher flow of information.

The approaches are listed but missing the "path to the goal". The company should describe and explain the individual measures in the report in order to understand how the goals of the company should be achieved.

I think that this report, as a target group, has the capital market players who want to read the most detailed information possible about the course of business and the strategy. There is a lack of personal / sympathetic touch which addresses CSR experts alike, as do customers, employees, the general public and other more or less critical target groups. Erste Bank should find an innovative solution for the report.

I got the feeling that this report only focuses on the company presentation and the documentation of the achievements and goals for the future. The focus is on seamless processing according to the GRI Content Index. It was very quick to spot, because the report has no special, innovative, unique design elements or a special personal touch. The company should pay more attention here and create a conceptual idea with a certain degree of innovation. Also, the company should set a personal touch to create a memory value but also to create an emotionality.

The negative aspects should be described in more detail. Every company has issues and fields of improvement and if I recognize that they work on that issue I see that they really want to change something. I would suggest a comparison page as the Mondi Group has. You can see what changed from year to year. Some issues increased and some decreased but in the end the stakeholders can see that they have it on their mind.

They should include a more detailed stakeholder focus, e. g. which stakeholders and how was the engagement.

More transparency and openness: Maybe a bit more elaborating on the solved and unsolved issues.

It is very much described, which is basically good and provides a high transparency, but it is "too much text". It is advisable to provide a brief summary of the most important facts before each chapter.

The report has too much text and almost no illustrations or graphics. It would be much easier to read when the text paragraphs are next to graphics.

There could be a directory which answers all the important CSR, GRI and responsibility matters. It could be named after the FAQ: Frequently searched topics (FST). The searching part is the hardest part in this report because the topics are often split up. A standardized CSR report form would be great, so you can compare the reports to one another.

The report consists of a lot of information and it is seen that the auditors were clearly worth their money but sometimes less is more. As a customer I would love to see less information but therefore structured in a less complex way.

I would also recommend that the report should be provided in a more interactive way. The PDF is good if you want to print it or save it on the computer but while reading it a more interactive approach would be great. Further information and optional links could provide a really great experience.

In my opinion the report on the one hand put interest on aspects that will play a major role in the future but on the other hand I found tons of texts that described statements that could have been formulated better – also with more KPIs and more graphical elements. Points should have been described more to the point with less text and more visualizations.

As the banking branch is in a radical change with other banking software solutions that often communicate with their stakeholders more intensively (e.g. N26, holvi,…), the Erste Group tried to position themselves as a modern bank that has its eyes directed in the future but what remains in my opinion is a company that tries to innovate itself by adding goals for the future but on the other hand fails to write them down in an appealing way that also attracts younger potential stakeholders.

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