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Nordea co-founder of ground-breaking UNEP FI and banking sector sustainability initiative

Press releases | 22-09-2019 20:00

Nordea, as the only Nordic bank, is one of 30 founding banks of the Principles for Responsible Banking developed together with United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). Today, during a formal ceremony at the UN General Assembly in New York, 130 banks signed the Principles. By signing these, banks worldwide, representing over USD 47 trillion in assets, commit to taking on a crucial role in helping to achieve a sustainable future.

Taking place at the start of the UN General Assembly in New York today, on 22 September 2019, the official launch of the Principles for Responsible Banking marked the beginning of the most significant partnership to date between the global banking industry and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative. (UNEP FI)

“By creating the Principles for Responsible Banking, Nordea and the other founding banks have accomplished a comprehensive framework for banks to collectively address the global sustainability challenges and work towards the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. I am very proud that Nordea has been able to play such an active part in creating the principles and opportunities for a better society. Together we are on a journey towards a sustainable future”, says Frank Vang-Jensen, President and Group CEO of Nordea.

Enabling customers to make conscious sustainable choices

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”.

“The UN Principles for Responsible Banking are a guide for the global banking industry to respond to, drive and benefit from a sustainable development economy. The Principles create the accountability that can realise responsibility, and the ambition that can drive action”, said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the launch event, attended by the 130 Founding Signatories and over 45 of their CEOs.

Sustainability is an integral part of what we do at Nordea – as a company, in our financing, in our investment and in our advice. It enables Nordea to be a safe and resilient bank for our customers. We are continuously developing our offerings to enable our customers to make conscious sustainable choices. This includes for instance green mortgages for energy-efficient buildings, green bonds, green corporate loans and green car loans for electric vehicles and several new sustainability funds and the incorporation of sustainability into our savings advisory process.

The six Principles for Responsible Banking that banks commit to, in summary, are:

  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.

The full version of the Principles for Responsible Banking and their Framework Documents can be found at

Further information on Nordea’s sustainability strategy and concrete actions can be found at  

For further information:
Ylva Hannestad, Deputy Co-Head of Group Sustainable Finance, +46 733 57 74 16
Petter Brunnberg, Senior Group Press Officer, +46 738 66 10 87

We build strong and close relationships through our engagement with customers and society. Whenever people strive to reach their goals and realise their dreams, we are there to provide relevant financial solutions. We are one of the largest banks in the Nordic region in terms of total market capitalisation with around 10 million customers. The Nordea share is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki, Nasdaq Copenhagen and Nasdaq Stockholm exchanges. Read more about us on