UTRECHT, Netherlands, Sept. 8, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- The Rabobank Group has retained its position as Europe's most sustainable bank. Rabobank has furthermore continued to hold the number-two position worldwide. These rankings are revealed by comparing the results of the Swiss Asset Management Group's biennial assessment of Rabobank with the results of the SAM 2005 Corporate Sustainability Assessment that were announced today. SAM is the leading international company performance assessment organisation in the field of sustainable enterprise. The agency assesses the Corporate Sustainability Performance of the companies listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) each year. Rabobank is a non-listed company and as such is not included in this index. Rabobank consequently requests SAM to provide a separate "rating" of its Corporate Sustainability Performance every two years. SAM employs the same criteria to assess Rabobank as it does for the DJSI companies.
Rabobank has succeeded in improving its sustainability score from 74% in 2003 to 80% in 2005. This confirms Rabobank's number-one position in Europe. Rabobank furthermore holds the number-two position worldwide, coming in just after the Australian Westpac Banking Corporation, which raised its score from 79% to 84%. Hans ten Cate, the member of the Executive Board of the Rabobank Group who is responsible for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), responded enthusiastically to Rabobank's new SAM rating. 'Our ambition is to continue to hold a leading position in the field of corporate social responsibility in the future. With a view to realising this objective, we are currently further integrating CSR into our core financial activities and setting related concrete targets.'
Economic, environmental and social categories
The SAM rating of a company's Corporate Sustainability Performance is based on a combination of scores in the economic, environmental and social categories. In conducting its assessment of a company's operations in the social and environmental fields, SAM not only examines the activities themselves, but also assesses their significance for a company's continuity and value in the long term.
Customers and investors
A high Corporate Sustainability Performance rating sends a strong signal to customers and investors that a company is responding effectively to social and environmental developments. More and more customers and investors attach a great deal of importance to this.
Note for editors:
The background data regarding the SAM assessment will be published in the course of next week on www.rabobank.com. The 2004 Annual Responsibility and Sustainability Report is also available on www.rabobank.com.
Jan Dost, Rabobank Nederland Press Office 030 - 216 24 11, 06 - 53149877, email@example.com