Deutsche Bank

Corporate Responsibility
Report 2015

Our materiality assessment

In order to focus our efforts on the areas that matter most to our internal and external stakeholders, we assess the issues material to our business. These non-financial drivers, or material issues (shown below), are those that may have a direct or indirect material impact on Deutsche Bank’s ability to create, preserve, or reduce economic, environmental, and social value for itself, its stakeholders and society—now and in the future.

These issues are shaped by global developments See chapter Global change and forward-looking research in order to identify what could significantly influence our business practice. Therefore, we apply a comprehensive process of materiality:

Stage 11: Issue identification guided by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 standard

Potential topics and indicators identified from:

  • Sustainability Accounting Standards Board maps
  • Desk research and peer analysis
  • Review of current internal indicators
  • Documentation of remarks from stakeholders engagement processes
  • Priorities identified under Strategy 2015+

Stages 2 and 3: Prioritisation and validation

  • Input of Stage 1 exercise used to pre-select aspects and potential material topics
  • Workshops with an external expert and an internal working group to determine eleven priority clusters
  • Internal validation using a survey of approximately 270 employees—selection based on their scope of work, region, and corporate level (41% at Managing Director level) —with a response rate of 25%

In 2015, we continued the materiality process by conducting an external validation. Through a market institute, we distributed an online survey to 400 external stakeholders (response rate: 21%). The vast majority of respondents (90%) said they engaged with sustainability-related topics at least daily. More than half were ESG/sustainability professionals (58%).

Using the results of this survey, we created a materiality matrix, comparing the topics prioritized by external stakeholders with the business impact according to Deutsche Bank managers. Beyond the statistics of the survey results, our analysis of how we manage the confirmed material issues revealed their inter-relationships and detected how some lacked conciseness. As a result, for example, we grouped more topics under ethical conduct & governance. We also included topics such as human rights and climate change more clearly, based on stakeholder feedback. See chapter Responsible governance

Material ESG topics for Deutsche Bank
Material ESG topics for Deutsche Bank (chart)Material ESG topics for Deutsche Bank (chart)

Note: The management approach of business continuity is not disclosed in the CR report.

To further discuss these results, we conducted a number of investor talks during the second half of 2015 in order to gauge their perspectives. Their feedback mostly confirmed the material issues. See chapter Stakeholder dialog

Our materiality process covers the activities of all business units and infrastructure functions globally. It assesses the impacts with regard to the boundaries within and outside Deutsche Bank, recognizing that each business unit and stakeholder is impacted differently depending on the material issue. For example, in asset management and corporate banking, most ESG issues arise through the companies we invest in and their locations, while retail banking risks tend to relate to our clients. Our corporate citizenship activities address a number of wider issues for the communities in which we operate. See chapter Society

A continuing challenge for us will be the incorporation of differing stakeholder views and management opinions into our prioritization process. Through our continuous stakeholder engagement processes, we will extend the materiality assessment further in 2016.

1 For details of the first process stage see CR report 2014:

Which sustainability topics do you care about most? (Up to three answers are possible.)

In your opinion, what global developments will influence the financial sector in the next decade? (Up to three answers are possible.)

Which group do you belong to?

None of the above: