With these institutes you invest your money sustainably

Über Ethikbanken unterstützt dein Geld soziale und ökologische Initiativen. Hier findest du nachhaltige Banken in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz.

When your money is in the bank, it doesn’t sit still, but is used for all sorts of investments and loans. If you want your deposits to benefit environmentally friendly and social projects instead of going to the arms or nuclear industry, for example, it is best to switch to one of the following ethical banks.

What is special about ethical banks?

In contrast to many conventional institutions, an ethical bank, also known as a sustainable bank, eco-bank or green bank, specifically discloses which sectors and companies it invests its customers’ money in and which it excludes.

For this purpose, positive and negative criteria are formulated, which relate to the business area as well as to corporate management and business practices. Investments, for example, in the armaments industry, in narcotics, biocides, factory farming and other ethically and ecologically questionable practices are generally ruled out. Compliance with human and labor rights as well as sustainable corporate goals are also required.

Ethics banks in Germany

In Germany there is now a whole range of green banks, many of which are organized as cooperatives and have been established for several decades.

Ethics Bank

The EthikBank was founded in 2002 and initially focused on offering support accounts for social and ecological purposes. In the meantime, private and business customers can use the sustainable bank to carry out all the usual financial transactions, from checking accounts to investments and loans to investment funds.

According to a long list of negative criteria, the ethics bank does not grant loans to companies that are associated with factory farming, nuclear power and gambling, for example. Child labor and violations of environmental standards are also excluded. Here you will find the investment criteria of the ethics bank.

GLS bank

The GLS-Bank is also aimed at private individuals and companies alike. It was founded in 1974 as the first social-ecological bank in the world. The offer of the GLS-Bank includes current accounts, home savings contracts, models for old-age provision and various forms of investment. The bank’s loans promote, among other things, ecological-regional agriculture, sustainable construction projects, renewable energies as well as environmental education and social projects.

You can read more details and the positive and exclusion criteria for investments on the website.


The social-ecological Bank Tomorrow is still comparatively young. It was founded in 2018 with the aim of using money as a lever for positive change. The bank offers various account models as well as crowd investment. If you opt for the slightly more expensive Premium Account Zero, you are also investing in offsetting your personal CO₂ footprint.

You can find out more about the bank’s investment criteria here.

Triodos Bank

Founded in 1980, Triodos Bank aims to support businesses and projects that bring about positive change for people and the environment. The money entrusted to the bank flows, among other things, into alternative education projects and renewable energies, but also into microloans for people in so-called emerging countries. The Ökobank excludes the financing of non-sustainable products, services, production processes and working conditions. More details are available here.

environmental bank

The environmental bank has existed since 1995 and now offers all major banking transactions for private customers, companies and associations. The investment and financing principles formulated on the website give you an insight into how the bank uses the money entrusted to it. In addition, the environmental bank takes a stance on current ecological and social issues in its blog Bank & Environment.

Ethical banks in Switzerland

In Switzerland, too, ethical banks are committed to ecological change and a fair society and offer alternative account models and investments for this purpose.

Alternative Bank Schweiz AG

Alternative Bank Schweiz (ABS for short) also bases its investment decisions on ecological and socio-ethical criteria. It was founded in 1990 and is aimed at private customers, companies and other institutions. Details on the funding areas and exclusion criteria can be found here. ABS relies on transparency and fairness both externally and internally. No bonuses are paid within the workforce, salaries are disclosed internally and the ratio between the lowest and highest wages must not exceed 1:5.

community bank

The free community bank was founded in 1984, is the oldest alternative bank in Switzerland and is organized as a cooperative. In its principles, the ethical bank defines money as a means to help people achieve their goals. She therefore categorically rules out speculation on stock exchanges and financial markets. Here are more details on the values ​​and principles.

Ethics banks in Austria

If you are looking for an ethical bank or a way to invest your money sustainably in Austria, you will also find it. Various initiatives and actors oriented towards the common good have joined forces to develop meaningful financial products.

community for the common good

The cooperative for the common good offers its members a common good checking account and a common good savings account. The money entrusted to us flows exclusively into projects oriented towards the common good. To do this, she works with the environmental center of Raiffeisenbank Gunskirchen. You can read more about the use of the funds and the investment criteria here.

In our book you can discover numerous other sustainable and everyday alternatives:

Which (sustainable) bank do you trust? We look forward to your experiences and thoughts in a comment!

More practical tips for green living:

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