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Germany: KfW banking group opens one of the most climate-friendly office buildings in the world – the 'Westarkade'

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On 7 July 2010 the KfW Bankengruppe opened a new and climate-friendly office building on Zeppelinallee in Frankfurt. Its primary energy consumption of less than 98 kWh makes the new Westarkade one of the high-rise office buildings with the highest environmental standards in the world. As well as including a conference centre, the building also provides office space for up to 700 staff members.
'By building the Westarkade, KfW has created a distinctive new icon at the gateway to Frankfurt that is designed to set standards in a variety of ways. Protecting the climate and the environment are key challenges that we as a society face. KfW is not only promoting the use of new energy-saving technologies, it is also leading by example', said Dr. Ulrich Schröder, Chairman of the Managing Board of KfW Bankengruppe.

The unusual colour scheme and the fluid architectural forms are special external features of the new Westarkarde. The building's aerodynamic design prevents air streams and swirls of air from arising, thus avoiding the heat losses this would cause. The discrete choice of colours for the new KfW campus complex enables it to blend in with its immediate urban environment and the neighbouring Palmengarten botanical garden, while retaining its own unique identity.

KfW is a 'green bank', and sustainability forms part of its gobal promotional mandate. Whether for wind parks in Africa and Asia, or solar power and heat insulation in Germany, KfW in 2009 provided just under EUR 20 billion for projects to protect the climate and the environment. This was virtually one third of the entire voulme of promotional funding made available by KfW Bankengruppe. KfW Bankengruppe's operations have been climate neutral for several years. For its staff of 4,300 it procures only certified green electricity, which means an annual saving of 9,400 tonnes of CO2. As a result of this engagement, KfW is achieving top international rankings more and more often. For instance, it has just been rated as 'excellent' in terms of economic, ecological and social criteria by the sustainability rating agency oekom. This places KfW among the international leaders in direct comparison with other banks.

To find out more, please click here: http://www.kfw.de/campus.