SCHUFA has been providing credit information since 1927 – making it an important part of Germany’s economy and society. Trust and responsibility are at the heart of everything we do at SCHUFA – and are closely linked. Because we can only create trust if we also carry responsibility: for our business operations and for society at large.
Acting responsibly has a long history at SCHUFA. We focus our activities on areas where we can achieve the most with our expertise. As a medium-sized company with special significance for the economy, we are firmly embedded in Germany’s business world and society. Taking responsibility for both our services and the impact of our actions on society forms part of our sense of identity. This is the ethos behind our Corporate Responsibility (CR) activities.
We align our CSR activities strategically and organise our core business sustainably. As a long-term partner, we are a reliable ally to our clients and treat the data that is entrusted to us with care. And for our staff, we are a responsible employer. We are environmentally conscious, actively involved in society and seek to engage in dialogue with policymakers.
We believe that a high level of customer satisfaction is an important gauge of successful business. Our top priorities are keeping the dataentrusted to us secure, handling it sensitively and continuously improving the quality of the associated systems. Data is processed in accordance with the General Data Processing Regulation (GDPR). Furthermore, as well as having the functionality of our compliance processes checked and certified by TÜV Rheinland Cert GmbH every three years, we regularly train our staff on compliance with relevant legislation and guidelines.
SCHUFA is the only credit bureau in Germany which has set up an ombudsman procedure for consumers. We seek dialogue at various levels to incorporate all stakeholders’ interests into our activities and ensure transparency:
The digital transformation gives rise to new technological opportunities and business models which SCHUFA can use to the benefit of its customers and stakeholders. However, digitalisation also entails risks such as data misuse, which SCHUFA is tackling with its strong expertise and innovative products to protect identities and prevent fraud. In this way, SCHUFA is helping to protect businesses and private individuals from fraud and its consequences. Our key position in an increasingly digital credit and consumer economy goes hand in hand with a huge responsibility. In the interests of Corporate Digital Responsibility (CDR), we have formulated principles which guide our actions and form the basis for our contribution to the digital debate.
The processes we use are reliable and are constantly verified by our experts.
We have our processes verified regularly by external auditors and disclose them to supervisory bodies. We ensure our actions are comprehensible to consumers and provide them with information about the general principles of credit scoring.
We have set ourselves the goal of enabling as many people as possible to participate in economic life and fostering autonomy. In doing so, we want to avoid unlawful discrimination and use credit-relevant information to predict the probability of repayment.
SCHUFA is committed to taking responsibility for the ecological impact of its business activities and continually reducing its environmental footprint.
We established an environmental management system back in 2005, which we manage and constantly expand using a concrete system of KPIs. Our efforts in this area are supported and regularly commended by the city of Wiesbaden’s cooperation project “ÖKOPROFIT”. These steps enable us to reduce both our environmental impact and our operating costs. As a result, we have saved 2.568 m3 of drinking water since 2005 by using a service water system and fed 1.031 kWh of electricity into Wiesbaden’s power grid in 2020. Almost all of our sites have been using 100 percent green power since 2015 and we continue to forge ahead, such as replacing our lighting with energy-efficient LED bulbs and running our external servers with 100 percent renewable energy.
Green electricity is also used for our employees’ business trips on the Deutsche Bahn rail network. Staff members who are entitled to a company car can also choose from a wide range of electric, natural gas and hybrid vehicles. This enabled us to reduce the carbon emissions caused by our business travel and company cars by 13 percent in 2020 in comparison to 2018.
In addition, we installed two electric charging points at our underground car park in Wiesbaden and another two at our outdoor parking areas. Using sustainable paper and raising staff awareness of treating paper responsibly is another important means of conserving resources. We have already switched to using nothing but paper with the Blue Angel ecolabel for our internal processes and set all printers and photocopiers to print on both sides of the page. This allowed us to curb our internal paper consumption by 50 percent in 2020 in comparison to 2018. Furthermore, we choose sustainably manufactured options when purchasing services and goods such as office supplies and advertising materials. We are paying closer attention to producers’ social and environmental standards as well.
We also strive to be a responsible, reliable partner to our employees: 91 percent of the contracts which we sign with our staff members are permanent. With employees spending over ten years at the company on average and a low staff turnover rate of 3 percent, SCHUFA is clearly an attractive employer.
Our staff and their knowledge, dedication and ideas are the cornerstone of our company’s success. We introduced an internal agreement on mobile working in 2019, offering our employees the chance to do their jobs flexibly and independently wherever they like. 26 percent of our workforce chose to work part-time in 2020. We also help our members of staff to balance their professional and family commitments. This earned us certification as a family-friendly company in the “audit berufundfamilie” in 2014, followed by recertification in 2017 and 2020. As part of our work in this area, we offer ten childcare places in Wiesbaden in conjunction with a nursery provider and provide parent-and-child offices at all our sites.
For us, fulfilling our social responsibility means taking action where we can make the biggest difference with our expertise – such as by providing financial education for young people. Since 2013, we have reached more than 10.2 million youths and young adults with the WirtschaftsWerkstatt (W²) – online and via social media.
On top of this, we have provided teachers and schools with approximately 42,000 free teaching resources via our “SCHUFA macht Schule” initiative.
We also give interested members of the public access to facts and trends relating to retail borrowing, consumption behaviour and financial culture in the SCHUFA “Risiko- und Kredit-Kompass”. Here you can find valuable information about credit scoring procedures.
SCHUFA is active in the “CSR Regio.Net Wiesbaden” network along with other regional companies. The firms work together to integrate societal aspects into all areas of their business activities more systematically. With this commitment to their employees, the environment and the community, the companies of “CSR Regio.Net Wiesbaden” are dedicated to more responsible corporate governance in the region. One of the network’s initiatives is “WiesPaten”. This offers special support lessons for children and youths – especially those from migrant families – along with activities for the children with “WiesPaten” mentors at the partner firms.
Staff volunteering is also an important part of SCHUFA’s Social Responsibility activities. Corporate volunteering days were held at five sites in 2019, which saw a total of 58 volunteers completing 464 hours of charity work. Due to the Corona pandemic, the number of activities was limited in 2020, but shall be increased again as soon as possible
We also promote charity projects which our employees support in their free time with our “Corporate Volunteering Award”. In 2019, the jury selected six projects, each of which received €1,000.
Since 2016 we voluntarily report our Corporate Responsibility (CR) activities within the framework of the German Sustainability Code (DNK), which is based on the indicators of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the European Federation of Financial Analysts