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List of Selected Contacts

Banks | Insurance Companies| Rating Centers | Financial Consultants | Organizations


This reference page is no longer being updated and is shown here for archive purposes only. Neither the Pagemaster"(e-mail:ruddyconsult@imailbox.com) 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.

Warning to investors:

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 
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
44789  Bochum 
Tel. +49-234-30793-0
Fax  +49-234-30793-33

The new Umweltbank has been successfully founded.

Laufertorgraben 6
D-90489 Nuremberg
Fax +49-911-5308-119
Email: umweltbank@t-online.de



Insurance Companies

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
Fax +49-211-9737-110
oeco capital Life Insurance Company AG
Karl-Wiechert-Allee 55
30625 Hannover
Fax +49-511-5701-2191
Email: info@oeco-capital.de

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.

See also this recent development in the mainstream insurance industry.

Rating Centers

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: oeko-invest@teleweb.at

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:

Oekom GmbH

D-80337 Munich, Germany
Phone:   +49-89-544184-0
Fax:     +49-89-544184-99
E-mail: info@oekom.de)

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.


Rue de Romont 2 
CH-1700  Fribourg
Tel. +41-37-220614 
Fax  +41-37-223962
E-mail: centreinfo@bluewin.ch

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.


Eco-Rating International

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.

Financial Consultants

Seyengasse 2
50678 Cologne
Fax +49-221-3318383

Juergen Conrads, Cologne, has a Website.

tel. +49-221-630552


Umbrella Association of Critical Shareholders

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.

fax +49-221-5991024

There is also an e-mail contact for more information: Mr.Mathews (e-mail:100451.1401@compuserve.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:100327.1464@compuserve.com). 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.