22-09-2021 14:00

Principles for Responsible Banking

Two years ago, 22 September 2019, Nordea and 30 other banks signed the Principles for Responsible Banking. The principles were developed together with United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). By signing, banks worldwide, representing over USD 47 trillion in assets, committed to take on a crucial role in helping to achieve a sustainable future.

So far, these are some of the steps we have taken –
following the Six Principles of Responsible banking:

  1. Alignment. In 2021 we outlined our 2023 sustainability targets. This meant committing to align our business strategy to be consistent with the goals listed in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.
  2. Impact. With our long and solid experience we will play a leading role through active ownership in our investments and by engaging with our customers to help them accelerate their own transition through our support and offerings. We have also recently updated our policy on the fossil fuel based industries to reflect this direction.
  3. Clients and customers. In 2020 we launched our Sustainable Choice symbol, a way for our customers to more easily find our products with a clear sustainable focus. We also created a landing page on all our local home pages where we collected the products with this symbol. For large corporates and institutions, we have instead developed an advisory service
  4. Stakeholders. We are proud to engage and partner with relevant stakeholders to achieve society’s goals. We are co-founders of the UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking and CCCA, and founding members of the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, the Net Zero Asset Manager initiative and other impact-driven investor collaborations.
  5. Governance and target setting. We are fully committed to making the financial sector more sustainable. We have set targets for 2023, 2030 and 2050, when our goal is to be a net-zero emission bank.   
  6. Transparency and accountability. An example of this is how we every year present milestones and progress in our Annual Report and in our Sustainability report. We have also joined the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) to develop and implement a harmonised approach to measure and disclose emissions from lending and investments.

The six Principles for Responsible Banking:

These are the principles launched by UNEP FI in 2019, and as a signatory to the Principles, banks commit to “using our products, services and relationships to support and accelerate the fundamental changes in our economies and lifestyles necessary to achieve shared prosperity for both current and future generations”:

  1. Alignment: We will align our business strategy to be consistent with and contribute to individuals’ needs and society’s goals, as expressed in the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement and relevant national and regional frameworks. We will focus our efforts where we have the most significant impact.
  2. Impact: We will continuously increase our positive impacts while reducing the negative impacts on, and managing the risks to, people and environment resulting from our activities, products and services.
  3. Clients and Customers: We will work responsibly with our clients and our customers to encourage sustainable practices and enable economic activities that create shared prosperity for current and future generations.
  4. Stakeholders: We will proactively and responsibly consult, engage and partner with relevant stakeholders to achieve society’s goals.
  5. Governance and Target Setting: We will implement our commitment to these Principles through effective governance and a culture of responsible banking, demonstrating ambition and accountability by setting public targets relating to our most significant impacts.
  6. Transparency and Accountability: We will periodically review our individual and collective implementation of these Principles and be transparent about and accountable for our positive and negative impacts and our contribution to society’s goals.
Read more on UNEP FI