Human rights

We have a responsibility to ensure our business activities do not negatively impact human rights, and to address any negative impact that may occur. As a financial institution, we aim to mitigate the risk of any human rights violations connected to our lending and investment practices, as well as our own human resources and supply chain policies and practices.

Our policies

Our Sustainability Policy states that we are committed to and respect human rights and freedom, including children’s rights. We are a signatory to the UN Global Compact, the Equator Principles and the Principles for Responsible Investment. We support the principles contained in the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, ILO conventions and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

Our Code of Conduct states that Nordea is only involved in business that is in accordance with law, regulations, signed commitments and our own standards of business ethics. At no time do we compromise generally accepted ethical and legal principles, nor have dealings with counterparties that we suspect to be of questionable morality.

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Granting credit in Nordea is always based on sound banking practice and high ethical standards. Our business with private, corporate and institutional customers is based on a thorough knowledge of their specific situation and business activities. As part of this we assess the ESG risks, including human rights issues when relevant.

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Project finance

In project finance cases, we analyse the project’s socioeconomic impacts, and the protection of human rights and community health, safety and security. The level of risk from being linked with companies associated with adverse human rights impacts depends on the industry and location of the business. We consider these variables in analysing the environmental, social and governance risks of our corporate customers.

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On investment we are guided by the Principles for Responsible Investment. Companies that violate human rights may decrease in value so our asset managers screen our investments to identify any breaches in international norms, and engage with those companies to encourage positive change. If that fails, ultimately we may choose to divest.

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Our People Policy lays out our responsibility for ensuring that employees are fairly treated and given equal development opportunities. Our workplaces support diversity, where differences are both respected and appreciated. We seek to provide a safe, healthy and productive environment that nurtures employee wellbeing and successful business results.

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Nordea has signed the UN Global Compact and cascades the responsibilities to our suppliers. Our sourcing requirements are reflected in the Nordea CSR Supplier Guidelines and our standard agreements with suppliers. One legal requirement is that our suppliers support and respect internationally proclaimed human rights, and that they are not complicit in human rights abuses. Human rights are also covered in our supplier self-assessment questionnaire.

Read more about how we manage our suppliers