As a financial player, we have an important role to play to accelerate the transition to a sustainable low carbon economy. We therefore integrate climate considerations into our lending process, investment process, customer dialogue and business operations.
Swedbank has a group-wide approach to climate change; we reduce our exposure to coal in both investments and financing, we continue to encourage portfolio companies and corporate clients to improve their climate management as well as measure and disclose the carbon footprint of investment portfolios and we work to minimize our operational environmental impact and our carbon emission.
Actions to combat climate change:
- The bank received ISO 14001 environmental certification in 2003, the first listed bank in the Nordic region to do so.
- The bank has reduced its exposure to coal both in its investments and in new financing. We will not invest in companies that generate over 30 per cent of their revenue from coal production.
- We have also decided not to directly finance coal-fired power plants.
- By signing the Montreal Carbon Pledge, we have committed to disclose our funds’ carbon footprint and make it easier for customers to make sustainable choices.
- Swedbank has made it a priority to continue to finance investments in renewable energy and promote reductions in coal extraction and greenhouse gas emissions. In 2017 we broadened our range of sustainable financial products by launching a framework for green financing and issuing the bank’s first green bond.
- In 2018 Swedbank began buying carbon offsets, mainly for air travel, and signed the Science Based Target Initiative, pledging that the bank’s future climate goals will align with the Paris Agreement.
- Swedbank has announced its support for the TCFD recommendations, a concrete tool to increase awareness of climate-related risks and opportunities in a time of uncertainty.
- Swedbank has adopted a group-wide climate target to reduce our own greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent between 2017 and 2022.
- All electricity used in our Swedish operations is environmentally certified with Bra Miljöval.
Swedbank has announced its support for the TCFD recommendations, a concrete tool to increase awareness of climate-related risks and opportunities in a time of uncertainty.
Swedbank’s strategy is based on a long-term focus and customer value through a responsible core business and rests on four pillars: available full-service bank, personalised offers, high cost efficiency and low risk. The bank believes that climate change could play a major role in the near term and therefore intensified the efforts to identify climate risks back in 2015, after the Paris Agreement was signed. The result of the bank’s initial analysis of the credit portfolio shows that lending to the most impacted sectors, such as fossil fuels and industries with large industrial processing emissions (such as steel and cement), is around 1 per cent of total lending. For these industries, the bank’s strategy is to focus on future investments to help reduce climate impacts. About 75 per cent of Swedbank’s lending relates to buildings, where energy efficiency will play an important role to reach lower emissions. This provides Swedbank a great opportunity to help customers invest in energy efficiency.
Within the fund management company, Swedbank Robur, approximately 77 per cent of the portfolio shareholdings in 2018 were invested in sectors with less climate change exposure. The biggest of the climate-exposed sector investments are in manufacturing, energy, auto and real estate companies. Swedbank works actively to encourage production upgrades by these companies to increase energy efficiency and shift to renewable energy.