The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Home / case studies / Case study: How DGB Financial Group promotes and protects human rights

Case study: How DGB Financial Group promotes and protects human rights

DGB Financial Group is a leading South Korean banking holding company founded in 2011 with Daegu Bank, one of the largest regional banks in the country, as Its flagship company. DGB Financial Group is firmly committed to supporting global human rights protection standards  Tweet This!, including the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the convention banning child labour established by the International Labour Organization (ILO). 

This case study is based on the 2018/2019 Sustainability Report by DGB Financial Group published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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DGB Financial Group seeks to defend human rights as a matter of priority and has signed up to the UN Global Compact declaring that it will faithfully implement social responsibilities related to human rights and labour, also carrying out activities to protect the rights of its workers. In order to promote and protect human rights DGB Financial Group took action to:

  • establish the DGB Human Rights Centre
  • implement a “traveling counsellor” system
  • strengthen the expertise of Human Rights Managers

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2018/2019 Sustainability Report DGB Financial Group identified a range of material issues, such as retaining customers through customer satisfaction services, developing eco-friendly financial products and services, expanding anti-corruption activities and measures, achieving stable business performance centred on profitability and integrity. Among these, promoting and protecting human rights stands out as a key material issue for DGB Financial Group.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards              

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups DGB Financial Group engages with:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Employees (incl. labour union)



·      Intranet (Please Help, Please Change/ Employees’ Wish Letters)

·      Employee Satisfaction Survey

·      Labour – Management Meeting and Conference

·      Vice-manager Meeting / CEO Meeting




·      Website

·      ‘DGB Chamsori Advisory Panel’

·      Customer Satisfaction Survey

·      Financial Service Customer Protection Education

·      Customer Protection Report, ‘Caring Companion’

·      CEO Forums (Daegu, Gumi, Pohang, Gimcheon)

·      Honorary Branch Manager Meeting

·      Superior Small & Medium Business CEO Meeting

·      Business Consulting Service

Shareholders and investors



·      DGB Financial Group Website (DGB IR)

·      General Shareholders’ Meeting

·      Board Meeting

·      IR Activities

Local communities



·      Website (Online Civil Petition, Financial Accident & Irrationality Report)

·      Business Partners’ Meeting

Partner Companies



·      Website (DGB Social Contribution to Local Community)

·      DGB Daegu Bank Social Contribution Activity Report

·      DGB Companion Corps/DGB Economic Education Corps

·      Love Your Hometown Campaign

·      Dream Education Project

·      DGB University Student Supporters

·      DGB Wednesday Lecture

Central/local government and related organisations


·      Website

·      Government-Funded Research Project

·      Hearing & Conference

·      Interview and Survey

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics DGB Financial Group carried out an online/offline survey with 752 internal and external stakeholders.

What actions were taken by DGB Financial Group to promote and protect human rights?

In its 2018/2019 Sustainability Report DGB Financial Group reports that it took the following actions for promoting and protecting human rights:

  • Establishing the DGB Human Rights Centre
  • DGB Financial Group deeply regrets a human rights violation that occurred in 2017 at a DGB Financial Group affiliate, DGB Daegu Bank. Wrongful practices have been abolished and to prevent a recurrence of such an incident, the DGB Human Rights Centre was established, under the direct responsibility of the bank President. The DGB Human Rights Centre is the first of its kind to be established by a general company as opposed to a national institution, and has been working in practical ways to protect the rights of the Group’s employees. The Centre’s main activities include:
    • Counselling on human rights and sexual harassment /abuse
    • Management of human rights-related tasks for the heads of every branch office
    • Appointment and management of staff for human rights counselling (female manager)
    • Human rights-related tasks (monitoring, prevention activities, reporting, counselling)
    • Human rights violation reporting, consulting, aid, etc.
  • Implementing a “traveling counsellor” system
  • The DGB Human Rights Centre operates a “traveling counsellor” system under which the director of the Human Rights Centre personally visits office branches around the country, to provide counselling for any employees facing difficulties. This makes the reporting of violations more accessible, and through one-on-one, face-to-face discussions, it protects the anonymity of the informants. The DGB Human Rights Centre analyses the outcomes of these consultations and incorporates them into action plans, to protect human rights.
  • Strengthening the expertise of Human Rights Managers
  • DGB Financial Group is working to strengthen human rights expertise within the company, in order to better systematise counselling and human rights-related tasks. The Group’s Human Rights Managers have earned teaching licenses on sexual harassment prevention, and have strengthened their capabilities through training courses with specialist organisations such as the Korea Management Association. DGB Financial Group plans to continue sending managers to specialist training courses and to expand such training to other directors and administrators, as part of its continuing efforts to strengthen human rights management within the company.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standard addressed in this case is: Disclosure 412-2 Employee training on human rights policies or procedures

Disclosure 412-2 Employee training on human rights policies or procedures does not correspond to any SDG.


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1) This case study is based on published information by DGB Financial Group, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:


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