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This reference page is no longer being updated and is shown here for archive purposes only. Neither the Pagemaster"(e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org) nor Eco-Invest nor Ethical Business takes any responsibility for the reliability or ethical conduct of the organizations referred to here. With such a broad interpretation, the list can be expanded to include as many institutions as possible which regard themselves as associated with SRI.
Germany does not currently have a regulatory body like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission SEC. However plans are underway to install a requirement that brokers be certified. Meanwhile Green financial markets are considered easy hunting grounds by unscrupulous marketers. Max Deml of Eco-Invest acknowledges that the problem exists, but would limit the extent of such dealmakers at 10 - 15%.
The European Union has legislation requiring member states to enact laws to protect investors better, the financial services directive from 1993. In addition to certifying brokers, it also calls for better control of insider trading. Member states were to follow suit by 1996, but Germany's national law will not go into effect until 1998. The EU is suing the Federal Republic for its late follow-up, and investors may also file claims for damages amounting to millions of DM (per the daily Schwaebisches Tagblatt dated August 30, 1997, "Bund droht Prozesslawine").
The "Eco-Bank" in Frankfurt was the classic among the three German environmentally oriented banks. It funded alternative projects, and expanded with new branch offices in cities such as Freiburg.
Oekobank Frankfurt P.O. Box 101739 D-60017 Frankfurt/Main Tel.+49-69-29987011 Fax +49-69-29987098
The Eco-Bank used to be also described in German at this Website.
The "Community" in this bank's name ("Gemeinschaft") is comprised mainly of persons associated with the teachings of Rudolf Steiner. It has invested in the acquisition of a local electrical grid by the citizens in Schoenau, Black Forest:
Gemeinschaftsbank Bank, GLS Attn Thomas Jorberg Oskar-Hofmann-Str.25 44789 Bochum Tel. +49-234-30793-0 Fax +49-234-30793-33
The new Umweltbank has been successfully founded.
Umweltbank Laufertorgraben 6 D-90489 Nuremberg Tel.+49-911-5308-123 Fax +49-911-5308-119 Email: email@example.com
This green insurance company, associated with the Eco-Bank, offers both life insurance and disability policies. In the case of the latter the German Insurance Supervisory Office limits Versiko from investing more than 10% of its reserves in nontraditional forms, of which ecological investment is considered one. Versiko has organized the "Oekowerk" Interest Group of Self-Managed and/or Ecologically Oriented Businesses.
In late April 1996 Versiko announced its new international Eco-Vision fund. It is to be screened by an independent committee including FOE-Germany, WWF and TransFair. No investments are to be made in defence or nuclear energy, animal testing or activities detrimental to the environment or human rights. Eco-Fin, London is fund manager.
Versiko Insurance Co. Fichtenstr. 42 D-40233 Duesseldorf Tel.+49-211-9737-111 Fax +49-211-9737-110
oeco capital Life Insurance Company AG Karl-Wiechert-Allee 55 30625 Hannover Tel.+49-511-5701-2191 Fax +49-511-5701-2191
was formed in late April '96. A press conference was held at the Schweisfuerth Foundation. Three established insurance companies are backers for half of the DM 8 mill. equity and DM 12 mill. start-up costs: Gotha (30%), Schweizer (10%) and Manufacturers' Life (10%). 25% will be held in stocks, and screened by Eco-Rating in Munich. No investments are to be made in automobiles, chemicals, defence or nuclear energy. 25% will be placed in fixed income securities, 25% in mortgages and loans for ecological construction projects, and 25% for infrastructure in eastern Germany.
In Austria and Switzerland there are centers that rate companies for their adherence to environmental or social criteria. This is useful for screening investment portfolios:
ECO-INVEST Publishing Ltd. Schweizertalstr. 8-10/5/1 A-1130 Vienna, Austria Phone: +43-1-315696-0 Fax: +43-1-315696-1 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Max Deml, managing editor of ECO-Invest, also writes a column in the German monthly Natur. This latter publication introduced the Nax index of green stocks on April 1st, 1997. Die Zeit reported that the Nax was welcomed by EthIK, Cologne, the Eco-Bank, Frankfurt/M., and the Umweltbank, Nuremberg. Companies have to fulfil the following criteria for inclusion in the Nax:
Max Deml is one of the members of the advisory council of the Sustainability Foundation, http://www.stiftungzukunft.de. It was set up during a period in which a number of new foundations were established in Germany, reason enough to hold a conference in Cologne on this topic alone. Founder and chairman of the board is Klaus Milke. Other well-known members are Loske and Stroetmann. Other members of the advisory council are Boelkow, Flavin , Udo Simonis, Toepfer , E.U.von Weizsaecker and Zahrnt.
Eco-Invest has mainly U.S., Austrian and German companies rated through:
Waltherstr.29 D-80337 Munich, Germany Phone: +49-89-544184-0 Fax: +49-89-544184-99 E-mail: email@example.com)
Oekom's division Eco-Rating Consulting, Munich , has been selected to rate the holdings of the new Oeco Capital Life Insurance Co. set up in Munich in late April 1996.
Centre-Info Rue de Romont 2 CH-1700 Fribourg Tel. +41-37-220614 Fax +41-37-223962 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
rates primarily Swiss pharmaceutical companies from its offices in French-speaking Switzerland. It has recently entered a "Global Partners Working Group" with the Council on Economic Priorities (CEP) in New York and London.
Dr. Robert Chanson Ackersteinstr. 45 CH-8049 Zurich tel. +41-1-3421039 fax +41-1-3421639
does primarily technical analysis from its offices in German-speaking Switzerland, Germany and the U.S.
EthiK Seyengasse 2 50678 Cologne Tel.+49-221-9312520 Fax +49-221-3318383
Juergen Conrads, Cologne, has a Website.
This site is mostly German, but contains an English version of the association's objectives. In German there are summaries of recent presentations of shareholder resolutions at the annual meetings of blue-chip companies. Shareholders' voting rights can be transferred to the association for concerted actions.
tel.+49-221-5995647 fax +49-221-5991024
There is also an e-mail contact for more information: Mr.Mathews (e-mail:email@example.com).
This German Website contains a description in English of the Institute for Financial Services in Hamburg. It is an organization devoted to consumer protection and the social implications of such developments as the current German online banking boom. Its main printed and now online publication is called BankWatch.
The site contains a brief explanation (in German) of the main barrier to development of German ethical investment funds: too few of the country's innovative environmental companies are large enough to be listed on the public exchange.
Unlike its European neighbors, Germany's economy depends heavily on its small to medium sized companies. Some of the "greener" ones among them are banded together in UnternehmensGruen. It was founded in 1992 in Stuttgart, and now has a German-language Website. There is also an e-mail contact for more information: Mr.Angele (e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org). UnternehmensGruen describes its objectives as follows:
Screening investment portfolios for their adherence to environmental or social criteria, as the rating centers do above, requires taking a look at companies' policies. Evaluation of a company's policies, though, tended to be highly subjective until the European Union adopted it voluntary environmental management system EMAS.
This page was once part of the "Ethical Business" Directory.