There are global events, such as the financial crisis of 2008/2009 or the current COVID-19 pandemic, that leave an abrupt and lasting mark on economic development. And there are far-reaching developments in economic life, megatrends, that will bring about lasting changes in our world: globally, across all sectors and over the long-term.

The shift in values that is currently affecting the whole of the international economy and consequently the financial markets too, is one such development. At the heart of this is a cosmos of factors that can be divided into the areas of Environmental, Social and Governance – ESG for short.

We are committed to making fundamental improvements - in line with the current IMO2020 Guidelines or the ambitious plans to make Europe climate neutral by 2050. We attach great importance to the sustainability of our investments!

Enviroment

We invest in the shipping sector which is where our core competence lies. International freight shipping transports around 90% of world’s commercial goods and each ship replaces a large number of HGVs and their extraordinarily large amount of harmful emissions.

Seagoing vessels are the most important means of transport for the international exchange of goods and have the lowest CO2 footprint. To transport a container over one kilometre, a truck emits around 14 times more CO2 than a modern cargo vessel. German ship-owners provide more than 480,000 jobs and their work contributes to creating value of over EUR 30 billion.

The shipping industry has set itself the goal of becoming completely emission-free by 2050. We support this goal and take account of criteria for achieving it in our investment decisions. Our fleet has been fully converted to run on low-sulphur and economic fuels and does not use heavy crude oil. We ruled out the use of exhaust gas purification systems (‘scrubbers’) for our fleet at an early stage due to the negative environmental balance. In conjunction with technical managers and crewing companies, we also deliver regular training for crews on economic and efficient use of lubricants and fuels.Umwelt

We have already taken the introduction of new emissions regulations in 2023 as an opportunity to identify the potential of existing technology for reducing consumption
and emissions and to gradually realise this potential through appropriate investments.

For us, protecting the environment starts with the small things in day-to-day life, such as the daily commute to work. We provide all shore-based employees with free monthly passes for local public transport. We are also gradually expanding the number of electric cars in our vehicle fleet. Protecting the environment is also a big issue in our offices. We have, for example, banned plastic bottles from our offices completely and we are paper-free. Our aim is to make ongoing improvements in terms of environmental protection. Suggestions
and ideas for improvement from our employees are afforded highest priority here.

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At the heart of our ship operations are the people. We deploy significantly more maritime personnel on our ships than is required by law thus contributing to easing the burden on employees and to their well-being. The facilities and equipment for active recreation on board our ships are modernised on a regular basis. It goes without saying that we take the wishes of our crews into account here.

Crews benefit from a balanced and healthy diet on board our ships that has been designed by our crewing service provider together with selected nutritionists.

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2020 presented particular challenges for crew members. Measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic meant that it was not possible to comply with the usual crew change intervals. Consequently, we supported measures to enable our ship crews to return home to their families on special charter flights.

Treating our employees with respect is very important to us. In addition to individual remuneration structures, an attractive of fice location for our shore-based staff, including sports facilities and balanced and varied meals in our staff canteen, as well as other social benefits, are also incentives for our employees to develop a high level of commitment and thus contribute to the company’s long-term success.

Our aim is to promote our employees in accordance with their motivation and abilities.

Governance

At the ER Group, governance stands for responsible management of the company that is geared towards solid and sustainable growth. The Group is managed on the basis of a steady,
methodical approach.

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In order to identify and systematically record the areas that are relevant in terms of operational risk, the ER Group has a r isk management s ys tem. The most important task of the risk management system is to ensure that the company’s goals are achieved. The system helps, in particular, to identify significant risks that could jeopardise the company's success or existence in good time and to find an optimum balance between opportunities and risks, based on the risk preferences of Ernst Russ AG, and to apply these safely for the benefit and success of the company.

The activities of the ER Group are subject to various legal regulations and internal company guidelines. In terms of content, these guidelines cover in particular the handling of confidential information, data protection and a functioning anti-money laundering system. They also support a high level of IT security and include Ernst Russ AG’s core criteria for handling payments to business partners and employees.

The ER Group adopts a responsible approach to corporate taxation. Based on the internal control system used, tax processes are monitored on an ongoing basis and compliance with tax law is checked regularly.