Making it work (governance)

Our sustainability governance:

We have anchored sustainability at the different levels within our group, guaranteeing that it receives attention from the highest decision-making bodies while also being broadly integrated into our operations.

A simplified overview is provided below. For more details and our specific governance in respect of climate change, we refer to our Sustainability Report.

The Board of Directors is kept informed by the Executive Committee about the sustainability strategy. The Risk & Compliance Committee oversees sustainability-related risks. The Board evaluates the implementation of the sustainability strategy using a Sustainability Dashboard and expresses its opinion on major changes to sustainability policies.

The Executive Committee is the highest level with direct responsibility for sustainability. It ratifies the decisions of the Internal Sustainability Board and the Sustainable Finance Steering Committee.

The Internal Sustainability Board (ISB) is chaired by the Group CEO. It also includes:

  • the Group CFO who, in his capacity as chairman of the Sustainable Finance Steering Committee, is the vice-chairman
  • the Senior General Manager for Group Corporate Sustainability
  • and senior managers from all business units and core countries

The ISB is the most important platform for managing sustainability at group level and takes decisions on all matters relating to sustainability.

The Group Corporate Sustainability Division is headed up by its Senior General Manager and is responsible for developing, implementing and supervising the sustainability strategy. It reports to the ISB and prepares the Sustainability Dashboard.

As part of its overall sustainability strategy, KBC has set up a separate Sustainable Finance Programme. Initially, it was set up to focus on KBC’s approach to climate mitigation and adaptation. Since then, however, we have extended the scope to include other environmental themes such as biodiversity, water and circularity. 

The Sustainable Finance Programme Core Team handles the day-to-day implementation of KBC’s approach to the environment and supports its business departments in these endeavours. The core team, headed up by a programme manager from Group Corporate Sustainability, is made up of specialists from the Finance, Credit Risk and Risk functions, along with sustainability experts.

The Sustainable Finance Steering Committee supervises the Sustainable Finance Programme, is chaired by the CFO and reports to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors. It monitors the overall progress and technical implementation of the Sustainable Finance Programme. Various departments at group level work closely together for this purpose. On top of that, a separate Data and Metrics Steering Committee was set up to specifically manage climate-related data collection and reporting. Finally, the CSRD steering committee oversees and manages the implementation of the new European reporting legislation CSRD. 

We have placed local accountability at management level by appointing a General Manager for Sustainability in each core country. The Country Sustainability Managers are responsible for integrating the decisions taken by the ISB on KBC’s sustainability strategy in their country. They work closely and
frequently with the Group Corporate Sustainability Division, and functionally
report to its Senior General Manager.

Country sustainability departments and committees provide support in integrating the sustainability strategy and in organising and communicating local initiatives in this area. Local senior management steers these committees.

The external advisory bodies advise KBC on various aspects of sustainability and consist of experts from the academic world. An External Sustainability Board
advises the Group Corporate Sustainability Division on sustainability policy
and strategy. An RI Advisory Board supervises the screening of the socially responsible character of KBC Asset Management’s RI funds.