Climate Impact in our Business Processes
Our biggest climate impact is generated through our financing and investments and directly through our business travels and in-house operations.
A climate risk assessment is conducted in connection with all corporate loan applications over SEK 5m in Sweden and EUR 0.8m in the Baltic countries. For corporate loans below the limit, sustainability related factors are assessed as part of the customer analysis. In dialogue with the customer, we are also able to identify new business opportunities, such as investment needs tied to an industry’s sustainable development. As a complement to the sustainability risk assessment, we have established internal sector guidelines that describe sustainability, including climate, risks within each sector as well as environmental policies and position papers and international standards and norms for interactions with customers.
In accordance to the new Position Paper on Climate Change Swedbank will divest all companies mining and producing coal to more than 30 per cent of its turnover from our investment portfolios. All divested companies will also be excluded from new financing and no direct financing of coal power plants will be accepted.
Green bonds, which are earmarked for sustainable development, have grown strongly in recent years in Sweden and internationally. We work with several independent institutions specialised in reviewing and classifying green bonds. Through this type of bond we played a role in 2015 as issuing institution for financing an array of international environmental projects valued at over SEK 3.2bn.
In fund management, sustainability and climate risks are seen as financial risks. As part of our financial analysis, we identify companies' sustainability risks and opportunities for improvement. Engagement and dialogue with companies are the most important tools in our work with Responsible Investments, both related to corporate governance and sustainability.
Swedbank Robur offers in-house managed Sustainability Funds with strict sustainability criteria. Climate change related risks are one prioritized area analyzed prior to any investment. Swedbank Robur applies strict climate criteria on high-impact sectors such as oil and gas, and has a zero-tolerance policy for investing in tar sands since many years. During 2015, the sustainability funds divested from fossil-fuels.
In 2015 Swedbank Robur signed the Montreal Carbon Pledge, which is an international initiative where the signatories commit themselves to report the carbon footprint of its mutual funds. This will help our customers to take financial decision with consideration to climate change. Swedbank Robur reported on the carbon footprint of equity funds and mix funds, in total 50 funds, twice during 2015.
Find out more about Swedbank Robur’s methodology for responsible investments and criteria for investments here.
Our direct climate impact is fairly limited, but it is our responsibility, to the best of our ability, to minimise and report our carbon footprint. To minimizing greenhouse gas emissions from our energy use and business travel is a prioritized area to reduce our direct climate impact.
We measure and follow-up on our emissions in all countries where we operate. By monitoring and managing our emissions we are systematically reducing our climate impact over time. Swedbank has set group-wide targets to reduce emissions from our direct operations on a short, medium and long term perspective. Since the base year 2010, we have cut our greenhouse gas emissions in half. Consequently, the goal for 2018 has been revised and the new goal is to cut emissions by 60 per cent based on the 2010 level. The large share of our emissions is generated through energy consumption in our properties and through business travel. It is important therefore to increasingly use renewable energy, especially in properties in the Baltic countries, where consumption is usually more CO2 intensive than in Sweden.
In addition, we are working to reduce emissions generated from our business travel. We should, for example, always travel by train within Sweden, when it is possible. We are also trying to change the way we meet by holding more meetings on digital platforms. We also work actively to reduce internal resource consumption by increasing our electronic archiving and distribution. The move of the head quarter in Sweden to a new very energy efficient building also contributes to reduce our operational carbon emissions.