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16-02-2024 21:07

Nordea named world’s best bank for sustainability-linked bonds

Global Finance has once again recognised Nordea’s sustainability leadership in its annual Sustainable Finance Awards for 2024 – this time at the global, regional and Nordic country levels.
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As the largest Nordic bank, Nordea has a significant role to play in promoting sustainable finance and contributing to the transition to a low-carbon economy. Our size and scale enable us to invest in sustainability initiatives and support our customers in achieving their sustainability goals.

In recognition of our achievements so far, Global Finance has named Nordea the best bank in the world for transition/sustainability-linked bonds, the best bank in Western Europe for transition/sustainability-linked loans and the best bank for sustainable finance in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. 

“It’s a great honour to be recognised as the sustainability leader, not only across all four Nordic home countries, but also globally and in Western Europe for the second year in a row. While we are a Nordic bank, we aim to drive the development of the broader sustainable finance market, and it’s gratifying to be recognised for those efforts,” says Martin Persson, Head of Large Corporates & Institutions at Nordea.

While we are a Nordic bank, we aim to drive the development of the broader sustainable finance market.

Martin Persson, Head of Large Corporates & Institutions

On track to EUR 200bn sustainable financing target

We have a goal of facilitating EUR 200bn in sustainable financing between 2022 and 2025 and have already facilitated over EUR 104bn in sustainable financing as of Q3 2023. We’re making strong progress on the climate ambitions, says Anne Schult Ulriksen, Head of ESG in Large Corporates & Institutions. 

“We now have sector-specific emissions targets that cover the majority of our lending portfolio,” she says. 

Jacob Michaelsen, Head of Nordea Sustainable Finance Advisory, notes that sustainable finance has entered a new regime, with the focus now on linking companies’ financing to their sustainability journeys.

“The next decade will be all about ‘transition finance.’ This makes the wins for sustainability-linked bonds globally and sustainability-linked loans in Western Europe all the more relevant,” he says. 

Moving forward, we’ll continue to leverage our strong position to facilitate our sustainable financing goal, deliver on Nordea’s financed emissions targets and be our clients’ preferred ESG partner. 

World’s Best Bank for Transition/Sustainability-linked Bonds

Best Bank for Transition/Sustainability-linked Loans in Western Europe

Best Bank for Sustainable Finance in Denmark

Best Bank for Sustainable Finance in Finland

Best Bank for Sustainable Finance in Norway

Best Bank for Sustainable Finance in Sweden

Sustainable finance highlights at Nordea

Innovation: Nordea’s Sustainability-linked Loan Funding Framework

In 2022, Nordea launched its Sustainability-linked Loan Funding Framework, further advancing the market for innovative sustainable finance product offerings. The framework gives investors the opportunity to invest in Nordea’s sustainability-linked loan financing activity. In 2023, Nordea issued an inaugural EUR 1 billion bond under the framework.

Commitment: reduce carbon emissions by 40-50% across lending and investment portfolios by 2030

Nordea has set an interim target for 2030, with the goal of cutting carbon emissions by 40-50% across our lending and investment portfolios. We are one of very few banks to set an emissions-reduction target that covers the entire portfolio. We have also set sector-specific climate targets that cover the majority of our financed emissions in our lending portfolio. By the end of 2023, the financed emissions for our lending portfolio were down by 29% compared with 2019 levels, putting us on track to reach our target by 2030.

Engagement: clients’ climate transition plans and ESG training curriculum

We have launched an active strategy to engage with our customers on their climate transition plans. Our target is to ensure that 90% of our exposure to large corporate customers in climate-vulnerable sectors is covered by transition plans by the end of 2025. By Q3 2023, we were on track at 69%. In addition, we have launched a bespoke ESG training curriculum to build the competence and knowledge among Nordea’s workforce to support our clients’ transition to a low-carbon economy. 

Advisory: sole structuring advisor to Pandora’s inaugural EUR 500 million sustainability-linked bond

Nordea played a pivotal role as sole sustainability structuring advisor for Pandora’s sustainability-linked bond framework, supporting the world’s largest jewellery company in formulating its framework and selecting ambitious sustainability targets. The company broke new ground in 2023 when it issued an inaugural EUR 500 million sustainability-linked bond under the framework, tying its financing to its climate and circularity goals.