The frequently asked questions regarding our CSR work are written especially for Socially Responsible Investments (SRI) analysts but everyone is of course welcome to read on.
- Business behaviour
- What international agreements has Nordea signed in the field of sustainable business?
Nordea follows the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ILO-conventions and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises in our operations and business. We have signed several voluntary international agreements, which together provide a solid base for ethical business practices in Nordea.
The UN Global Compact
Nordea signed the UNGC in 2002. The UNGC guides us in how to take environmental, social and governance considerations into account in our own operations and business decisions, especially in lending. It forms the basis of Nordea’s Code of Conduct and is one of the commitments forming the basis for the Nordea Sustainability Policy. It also forms the basis for our requirements towards suppliers expressed in Nordea’s Supplier Guidelines.
Principles for Responsible Investments
Nordea signed the PRI in 2007 as one of the first Nordic institutions to do so. The PRI is the basis for Nordea’s responsible investment strategy and one of the commitments forming the basis for the Nordea Sustainability Policy.
The Montreal Carbon Pledge
Nordea signed the Montreal Pledge in 2014 as one of the first signatories. The Pledge commits us to disclose the carbon footprints of our equity funds, which we in fact already had initiated earlier in 2014.
UN Environmental Programme Finance Initiative
Nordea signed the UNEP FI in 2001. The UNEP FI guides us in how to take environmental and social considerations into account in our own operations and business decisions, especially in lending and is one of the commitments forming the basis for the Nordea Sustainability Policy.
The Equator Principles
Nordea signed the Equator Principles in 2007. The Equator Principles is used in project financing and have been incorporated into Nordea’s EP Manual that is utilized in preparing the cases, the decision-making process and training. It is also one of the commitments forming the basis for the Nordea Sustainability Policy. EP reporting data is updated every year and available on nordea.com.
- How have Nordea’s external commitments to sustainable business been adopted internally?
We have made sure that every international commitment that we have signed up to forms the framework for our main internal policies.
These policies, the Code of Conduct and Sustainability Policy govern our behavior and ensure compliance in everyday business. All employees of the Nordea Group and non-permanent staff working on behalf of Nordea are subject to these policies and expected to know the contents of them.
The Code of Conduct
Our Code of Conduct, based on the ten principles of the United Nation’s Global Compact, describes in general terms how we guide our business, how we treat our customers, and the standard of behaviour we expect from our employees. This document is intended to serve as an internal guideline to support our employees in their everyday work and decision-making.
The Nordea Sustainability Policy spells out the Group’s values and commitments to ethical business. Both apply to all employees and all who work on behalf of Nordea.
The Sustainability Policy
Our commitment to the international agreements we have signed are clearly reflected in our internal Sustainability Policy, the most overarching internal guideline, spelling out our values and commitments to responsible and ethical business behaviour.
Our two main policies are supported by specific and concrete sub-policies to ensure more detailed behavioural guidance to specifically important areas. We have created tangible policies that touch on areas such as anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, human resources and remuneration, supplier relations, tax, investment and credit policies among others.
- How does Nordea ensure compliance with agreed commitments?
Nordea's Compliance function is responsible for countering the risk of business not being conducted according to legal and regulatory requirements, market standards and business ethics. In corporate lending Nordea's analyses process includes environmental, social and political risks. All assets under management comply with the PRI and are governed by the Responsible Investment and Governance team.
UN Global Compact and the UNEP FI
The UN Global Compact and the UNEP FI have both been firmly integrated into the Nordea Group’s operating procedures. Our commitment to the Global Compact and the UNEP FI is specified in our Sustainability Policy. In accordance with these agreements we uphold labour standards in all areas of our operations, monitor and reduce environmental consequences from our operations, and have policies and procedures in place to ensure that none of our personnel get involved in corruption or ethically unsound business relationships. In order to promote environmental awareness, we offer environmental information, guidance and self-testing in environmental competencies to all our personnel through our intranet.
Corporate lending is one of the areas where we feel that we can most effectively promote sustainable business and the international standards that we have incorporated into our operating models. In order to facilitate our business decisions and to ensure compliance with our external and internal commitments, we have tools to identify environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks as part of the corporate credit process.
Nordea has two tools to analyse (ESG) risks in lending: the Environmental Risk assessment Tool (ERAT) and the Social and Political Risk Assesment Tool (SPRAT). We use a risk based approach to identify potential risk cases and focus our efforts and analyses on these. The main criteria are field of business and location of all business activities. Once risks are identified enhanced tools such as internal and external data bases as well as ESG analyses is used.
ERAT and SPRAT are used in parallel, and the application and structure of the tools are similar. Our analysts go through how our clients handle environmental and social risks and requirements. Receiving the credit is dependent on the customer’s passing of the ERAT and SPRAT screenings. ERAT makes use of two sets of checklists that credit analysts use to determine the overall risk. The overall findings of the ERAT process result in a total environmental risk profile that is then amended to the other elements in the credit evaluation process. ERAT is mandatory for customers with credit limits of over EUR 500,000.
Principles of Responsible Investment
In 2007 Nordea became a signatory to the Principles of Responsible Investment, as the first Nordic bank. Since then we have undertaken new responsibilities as investment managers relevant to these principles, and implemented them in our business practices and operations through a variety of measures. All assets under management comply with the PRI and are governed by the Responsible Investment and Governance team. Nordea's Responsible Investments include negative and positive screening and we focus on in-depth environmental, social, and governance (ESG) analysis and engagement activities, choosing to influence through engagement and divesting as a last resort. Nordea's Emerginig Stars funds use positive screening and invest in companies with ESG as part of their core strategy. A key aspect of the Responsible Investment strategy is also transparency regarding achieved results as well as key developments within Nordea.
The Equator Principles
An Equator Principles Financial Institution (EPFI) will only provide loans to projects that conform to the principles. Please note that the EP’s requirements differ depending on type of loan.*
- Review and categorisation:
Due diligence of projects includes a social and environmental review and risk assessment.
- Social and Environmental Assessment:
The borrower provides an S&E Assessment and proposed measures on how to mitigate and manage risks along the project
- Applicable Social and Environmental Standards:
Assessment of the projects' overall compliance with established IFC Performance Standards and the World Bank Group Environmental, Health and Safety Guidelines.
- Action Plan and Management System:
The borrower provides an action plan listing prioritised actions, and implements an S&E management system.
- Consultation and Disclosure:
The EP requires the borrower to initiate a continuous and effective engagement with stakeholders affected by the project to ensure concerns are adequately incorporated.
- Grievance mechanism:
The borrower establishes a grievance mechanism designed to receive and facilitate resolution of concerns and grievances about the Project’s environmental and social performance
- Independent review:
An independent expert shall review the S&E Assessment, the Action Plan and the Consultation process.
In addition to relevant host country environmental and social laws, regulations and permits, the client needs to have legally binding documents ensuring compliance with EP environmental and social management and/or action plans during the construction and operation of the project. The client also needs to provide periodic reports in a format agreed with the EPFI.
- Independent Monitoring and Reporting:
In more risky projects: the borrower shall appoint qualified external experts to verify and report on monitoring.
- EPFI Reporting:
All signatories to the Equator Principles shall report publicly on transactions that have reached Financial Closure and on their implementation processes and experiences taking into account appropriate confidentiality considerations
* The EP’s requirements for project-related corporate loans differ in the Principles 7 and 9 and public project name reporting by EPFI from those for project finance and requirements for bridge loans differ in the whole EP review process as well as in EPFI’s public reporting requirements from requirements for project finance (for more details, please see the Equator Principles).
The main purpose of SPRAT is to distinctively identify relevant social and political risks in a particular customer’s business with potential impact on the customer’s ability to fulfil the credit obligations or likelihood of damage to Nordea. Thus all corporate credit customers new to the Nordea Group are screened with SPRAT, a three-step process, which includes the producing of a country risk profile, an industry risk profile, and an overall social and political risk profile, which is then amended to the other factors in the credit evaluation process. SPRAT is mandatory for customers with credit limits of over EUR 5 million. SPRAT is also used for customers with credit limits below EUR 5 million for companies that are obviously predisposed to social and political risks.
We are currently piloting a combined ERAT and SPRAT tool that is interactive and user friendly.
Nordea’s risk definitions are based on commonly accepted international standards from the World Bank and the UN Global Compact.
Applying the Equator Principles
Nordea adopted the Equator Principles (EP) in 2007. Our analysts and other relevant staff have been trained in Nordea’s internal EP process. Nordea follows the Equator Principles Manual (toolkit). The toolkit provides guidance on how to apply the EP in the day-to-day business.
The ten principles contained in the EP are organised into four workflow steps:
1. Initial project review
2. Project appraisal
3. Project negotiation, commitment and monitoring
4. External reporting
Nordea evaluates the borrower’s capacity to adequately identify, prevent, mitigate and manage key social and environmental risks and impacts of the project based on documentation provided by the borrower, independent environmental and social consultants and in certain cases site visits.
The relevant business units in Wholesale Banking include CSR matters in the initial business selection discussions. The detailed project appraisal and internal EP reviews are carried out by the EP reviewer within Wholesale Banking. The person has relevant education and broad working experience to support performing the task. The EP reviewer also proposes conditions related to environmental and social issues for loan agreements when necessary, participates in drafting the scope of work for independent consultants, communicates with other relevant project parties and monitors project compliance with Equator Principles. In the above tasks the EP reviewer co-operates with the rest of Nordea's deal team responsible for the financing of the transaction in question.
The EP reviewer presents the EP transactions to Nordea's EP Advisory Group (EPAG), which confirms the EP category and either supports or does not support the transaction based on EP compliance. The EPAG has 4-6 members who are senior managers from relevant business and risk management units. EPAG's statements are included in the evaluation of the relevant credit committee deciding on the financing of the transaction.
Nordea monitors (quarterly, semi-annually or annually depending on type of project) the performance of all active projects in its portfolio to ensure compliance with environmental, social and other conditions. The borrower provides annual social and environmental monitoring reports that are usually verified by an independent expert. In case of any non-compliance, Nordea will determine an appropriate course of action together with the other lenders.
- Review and categorisation:
- How does Nordea ensure sustainable lending within project financing?
Nordea’s Export and Project Finance (EPF) unit is responsible for managing project financing in Nordea.
Export Finance is a tailor made financing package to foreign buyers of Nordic capital goods such as machinery and equipment. Project Finance is limited recourse financing for projects in developed, as well as emerging markets, involving Nordic equipment suppliers or project sponsors.
EPF has long addressed environmental and social risks in their projects, and since Nordea adopted the Equator Principles in 2007, risk governance in this area has been further strengthened.
We apply the principles by;
- developing evaluation and compliance routines for deal managers and credit analysts
- producing toolkits for credit analysts
- training analysts and other relevant staff in using the routines and tools
- establishing network and workflow for reference and advice on social and environmental risks
- integrating the workflow with our general credit evaluation and decision workflow
Project financing in large and complex projects
Project financing is funding in which the lender looks primarily to the revenues generated by a single project both as the source of repayment and as collateral for the exposure. Project finance is often used for large projects where several parties cooperate in project development and/or financing. Large and complex projects also imply more diversified and complex risks than smaller projects, and the risks may have many forms and materialise in many different ways. Large industrial projects may, for instance, imply social and environmental risks due to location, local population issues and so on. If they materialise, such risks may impose large practical and financial consequences on the project and the project participants.
Projects with large environmental and social risks
In projects with larger environmental and social risks there is usually an independent consultant monitoring the project on behalf of Nordea and other lenders. Normally the consultant’s task is to review the project’s compliance with the Equator Principles, which are based on the IFC Performance Standards on human rights.
- How does Nordea combat corruption, money laundering, terrorist financing and manage sanctions risks?
All countries where Nordea operates have legislation on the prevention and detection of money laundering and financing of terrorism, as well as knowing the background of customers’ business. Know-Your-Customer procedures are an integrated part of how our customer-facing personnel work with our customers and their business. Accordingly, we follow legislations in this field. Our operations in the Nordic countries are further supervised by national Financial Supervision Authorities and other authorities.
Preventing financial crime
Preventing financial crime takes three forms in Nordea. The first is to have the required financial crime risk management in place. Nordea’s Group Compliance has the overall responsibility for setting the Group level framework for a proper financial crime management. The Financial Crime Compliance unit in Group Compliance coordinates the support and gives advice to the Management, Compliance Officers and Operational Risk Officers. Our Anti-Money Laundering (AML) unit gives hands-on support specifically concerning AML-related matters. We also have a strong network of compliance officers to support customer-facing employees.
The second is to have the required policies and instructions in place.
The third is to actively promote awareness of these issues among our employees, which we do through training programmes for employees and senior managers. The Operational Risk and Compliance Awareness Programmes target all employees from front line to the Board of Directors. Nordea has efficient e-learning modules on compliance and knowing-your-customer issues that are directed at all employees; participation is mandatory and monitored. Modules initiated in 2014 include 'Understanding operational risk' and 'Ethics and integrity'.
Anti-Bribery and Corruption policy
Nordea’s Anti-Bribery and Corruption policy and its appendix on Gifts, Benefits and Events set forth procedures to identify and prevent Nordea being involved in any bribery and corruption practices. Nordea has zero tolerance towards bribery and corruption and expects employees, business partners, suppliers and contractors to act with integrity and without actions involving bribery and/or corruption.
Anti-Money Laundering and Sanctions policies
Nordea’s Policy for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing risk management sets the framework and minimum standard for Anti-Money Policy for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing risk management. According to the above mentioned policy the Know-Your-Customer process is a key element in all AML/CTF activities.
Nordea’s policy for sanctions risk management sets out the principles and standards for the Nordea Group’s approach to sanctions risk management to ensure uniform application of sanctions management principles and minimum standards throughout the Group.
Group Compliance's responsibilities
Group Compliance has the overall responsibility for setting the Group level framework for a proper financial crime management. Financial Crime Compliance unit in Group Compliance coordinates the support and gives advice to the Management, Compliance Officers and Operational Risk Officers in Group-wide issues concentrating on Anti- Bribery- and Corruption, Anti-Money Laundering/Prevention of Terrorist Financing and Sanctions risk management.
Group Compliance has the overall responsibility for setting the Group level framework for a proper financial crime management. Financial Crime Compliance unit in Group Compliance coordinates the support and gives advice to the Management, Compliance Officers and Operational Risk Officers in Group-wide issues concentrating on Anti- Bribery- and Corruption, Anti-Money Laundering/Prevention of Terrorist Financing and Sanctions risk management.
E-learning modules on compliance issues are pushed to all employees and performance is monitored. Modules launched recently are anti-money laundering, information security awareness, preventing bribery and corruption, operational risk, integrity, our Code of Conduct and our Sustainability Policy.
Moreover senior management, Group Executive Management and their management groups, as well as boards of directors receive on-going Compliance Awareness Training.
Raising your concern
The Nordea Code of Conduct states that employees who have concerns about misconduct or irregularities are encouraged to come forward and voice those concerns.
Nordea has system in place called ‘Raise Your Concern’. The procedure is also known as “whistle blowing” and it encourages employees to speak up if they have a serious concern about any misconduct or irregularities, including any action that constitutes a violation of laws or regulations, or of Nordea’s internal policies, instructions or guidelines. It also includes actions that could cause harm to Nordea’s business or reputation, or to the health or security of our employees or customers.
Stakeholders and standards
Our Compliance function seeks to counter the risk of business not being conducted according to legal and regulatory requirements, market standards and business ethics, thereby jeopardising customers’ best interest, other stakeholders trust and increasing the risk of regulatory sanctions, financial loss or damage to the reputation and confidence in the Group.
- In what way is Nordea committed to responsible investments?
Being a signatory to the PRI and The Montreal Pledge, we are committed to incorporating environmental, social and governance issues into investment analysis, decision-making processes and ownership policies and practices. Since the launch of our Responsible Investment Policy in 2007, all funds and portfolios managed by Nordea are screened for companies verified for violation of international norms regarding environmental protection, human rights, labour standards and business ethics.
To help our customers make the most responsible investment decisions, Nordea considers the ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) aspects of the companies in our investment funds. This means we seek to ensure that our customers' assets are invested in companies
complying with international guidelines and responsible investment principles concerning human rights, working conditions, environmental issues and corporate ethics – all the while keeping a strong focus on generating the most attractive risk-adjusted returns.
Our policy for responsible investment covers all actively managed funds and is applied uniquely to each asset class. The investments of all of our funds are reviewed semi-annually using a norm-based screening method. We believe that companies that integrate ESG factors in their business models represent more sustainable investments. This is why we integrate ESG information into our investment processes. Certain Nordea funds, called Stars, have established a higher level of responsible investing in their portfolio management, including proprietary ESG analysis that feeds into the investment selection and decision. This is known as positive screening and serves to identify more sustainable companies.
We cooperate with the Swedish company Ethix in our process of identifying companies violating the international norms for corporate responsibility. The results from the screening, conducted twice a year are presented to Nordea’s committee for Responsible Investment. The committee decides on the level of engagement with companies verified for violations.
We further engage in active ownership in order to change the behaviour of companies violating international norms. We believe that active ownership is more responsible and constructive than simply excluding companies from our investment portfolios. In this field, we cooperate with the UK-based investment company Hermes, a pioneer in active ownership. Hermes engages in dialogue with the management of companies on behalf of Nordea with the aim to alter the companies’ behaviour. If our active ownership efforts do not bear fruit, we are prepared to divest from the companies.
Our environmental, social, and governance (ESG) analysis criteria and methodology
In 2010 we developed our own environmental, social, and governance (ESG) analysis criteria and methodology. Our analysis is conducted with a positive approach. Throughout the analysis companies’ overall management practices regarding key ESG issues are assessed together with their strategic approach to these issues. The analysis seeks to find best company practice and companies that manage their risks, opportunities and/or develop sustainable products. Our in-house analysis mainly focuses on Nordic companies, since the Nordic region is our local market. For global companies we process and assess ESG analysis conducted by our external service provider MSCI Inc.
- How does Nordea ensure sustainable customer relations?
Every individual requires individual advice. It’s essential for us to understand the individual customers’ needs to add value and give the right advice. There is no better way to secure this by really getting to know our customers. At Nordea, customers participating in
our relationship banking program have an appointed relationship contact whose job it is to acquire a holistic view on the customer's financial affairs. We wish to be our customers’ lifetime financial partner.
We aim for clarity and simplicity in all our communications with customers. Our goal is to communicate our products and services as clearly as possible. This is not always easy in the finance industry and requires a balance between clarity and regulatory requirements.
We extend the principles of clarity and simplicity to our product development process as well. By doing so, we are able to create transparent and no-nonsense products and services. This enables us in turn to advise our customers clearly and in a way that is most relevant to their financial situation.
Ensuring that our customers can manage their personal finances is an important part of being a socially responsible bank. By the same token, it is important for Nordea to keep a watchful eye over our risks as a lender. This involves striking a balance. On the one hand, we naturally wish to fulfil our customers’ aspirations. On the other hand, we wish to do this in a way that is responsible and in line with our values.
All Nordea employees are bound by our Code of Conduct and our Guide to Sound Business Relationships, which together serve as guidelines on ethical conduct in our customer relations.
Ensuring sustainable customer relations
Our measures to ensure sustainable customer relations include;
- e-learning, on-the-job training and classroom training
- mandatory product approval process
- assessment in each case that the product, loan or service is correctly understood by the customer and fits the customer’s needs and financial situation
- feedback reports from our Customer Ombudsmen
"Great Customer Experiences" is one of three values in Nordea and this value comes with four commitments:
- We think and act with the customer in mind
- We understand individual customer needs and exceed expectations
- We deliver professionally
- We create long-term relationships
We firmly believe that no service, advice or product should be offered until our people know and understand our customers’ current financial situation as well as their ambitions; doing so allows us to offer the best possible advice, service and commitment. Our advisers meet with customers to discuss the customer’s current financial situation and future plans. The outcome of the meeting is a solution suited for that customer.
Recognising that individual circumstances change over time, we stay in touch with our customers, allowing us to offer the best solutions for them, ‘come rain or shine’.
Sustainable investment advice
Individual financial plans are created to support our customers in realising their savings and investment goals. The financial planning starts with the customer’s needs, wishes and dreams, and translates them into financial goals. These goals are unique to each individual customer and can be of both short-term (e.g. financing a holiday, car purchase or similar) or a more long-term nature (e.g. quality of life during retirement). The advice we provide takes the customer’s entire financial situation into account. Financial assets are optimised based on a proven asset allocation concept, in which the customer’s risk propensity and time horizon are important parameters. Our advisors use financial planning tools that ensure high quality, consistency as well as compliance with local and EU regulations.
Our product development process is guided by a group directive, Instructions for Product Documentation and Decision-Making in the Nordea Group. It sets out the documentation requirements for all products, and decision making procedures for developing and altering products.
We are committed to ensuring that our customers have all of the information they need to make decisions about their finances. When our products are ready to go to market, the responsible unit and legal counsel closely review all external marketing materials and communications for legal compliance..
Sustianable credit decisions
We want to make sustainable lending decisions, be it for families needing a mortgage or businesses wanting financing. Sustainability entails that our service process is designed to ensure the customer’s ability to repay the loan, that we have support mechanisms when customers face difficulties and our marketing practices are responsible. In cases where customers face financial stress, we work proactively together with them to find a plan to cope with the situation. We also apply compliance procedures to our product marketing to ensure that our customers have all the relevant information available when making financial decisions.
Listening and feedback
In each of the Nordic countries we have a Customer Ombudsman, whose sole purpose is to resolve any customer complaints and provide us with valuable insight on how we can develop our customer relationship management.
Annual Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) surveys
In order to follow-up on how well we perform in servicing our customers, we perform annual Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) surveys. The CSI survey is conducted in all customer segments every autumn and the results are reported on different levels in the organisation. The CSI is used to monitor and improve our services to customers, and action plans for improvements are created at local level as well as centrally.
- What is the function of Nordea’s Customer Ombudsmen?
Reviewing complaints from customers
In cases where the customer is not satisfied with our services, and where this cannot be resolved in the original service situation, the customer can turn to our Customer Ombudsman (CO) and request a review of the complaint. Our aim is to resolve the matter in 14 days. If the customer finds the resolution unsatisfactory Nordea is obliged to advise the customer the official routes for taking the issue further. These are the local consumer complaint authorities or alternatively a court of law.
Needs for changes and developments
Another important task for our COs is to point out important needs for changes and developments in order to create great customer experiences based on customer complaints and feedback.
Our COs give feedback reports every two weeks stating if something has come to their attention that has caused or might cause bad customer experiences. The local banking management also gets a detailed report each quarter. The complaints noted by our COs are also channelled to product development.
In addition to the internal dialogue about product and service improvements the CO also initiates external dialogue with customers and the media about our services. The CO ensures that Nordea’s complaints handling instructions and policy are up-to-date, sufficient and available to the whole organisation. The CO also offers support and advice to the organisation in individual complaint cases.
Keeping our customers satisfied and listening to customers’ opinions and criticism is a vital aspect of creating Great Customer Experiences. Our Customer Ombudsmen make sure that the feedback mechanism works, and ensure that our customers know where to turn if their local Nordea contact is not to their satisfaction.
- What actions does Nordea take to ensure fair and transparent information to customers?
Nordea ensures fair and transparent information to customers by;
- inviting customers to 360-degree meetings, where all aspects of the their personal finances are covered and possible solutions are discussed and explained
- providing brochures on products and services offered, including risk information where relevant
- providing transparent prices for our services as well as information about share prices and currency rates on our website and of course in our branches
- providing web-based calculators for various products and educational material; in Sweden, for instance, we provide demos for our netbank and security solutions and educational material for securities trading and pension savings
- performing information quality audits as well as reviews by our legal department.
Nordea invites customers to 360-degree meetings where Nordea’s adviser and the customer together go through the customer’s current financial situation as well as future plans. Advice is given and new services offered only after the customer’s overall financial situation has been mapped. Any investment decisions are made using the “Financial planning tool”. The lending is assessed in a similar way by using a series of tools to evaluate the customer’s willingness and ability to take risks and to assess the macro economic risks affecting the customer’s personal finances. A thorough discussion with the customer on the findings is made before any decision is taken.
Nordea’s business model is relationship banking which means that employees are trained to think in terms of overall solutions for the customer instead of selling a certain product. Nordea’s core value “Great Customer Experiences” guides our actions.
On our websites we refer customers to external sites comparing prices of different banks.
The president and CEO of the Nordea Group in Group Executive Management has issued Group instructions concerning documentation requirements of all products within the Group and the procedures of decision-making when developing new and altering existing products. Before the decision on a new product or an altered product is taken, a documented approval (Product Approval) is required by Group Risk Management, regarding the financial and operational risk management and the documentation of the product.
- What activities does Nordea have to raise awareness of responsible sales?
Code of Conduct
As a part of the on-boarding programme every new employee is introduced to Nordea’s Code of Conduct, which is our central guideline for ethical conduct in our customer relations.
The 360-degree meeting is an integral part of Nordea advisory process and every personal banking adviser is trained on a regular basis in how to conduct these meetings.
Savings products and training for employees
When it comes to savings products, Nordea’s advisory is built on the usage of our Financial Planning Tool. Training in the use of this tool also takes place regularly. Both training activities have top priority in the development of our personal banking advisers. In the training we stress that every investment decision should be made by carefully evaluating the individual customer’s investor profile and that advice should be given from a customer perspective. The needed competencies and the way of working are outlined in the job description for personal banking advisers.
Customer Satisfaction Index survey
Every year Nordea conducts a Customer Satisfaction Index survey on branch level to follow-up on customer satisfaction and to identify improvement areas.
- What measures has Nordea taken to avoid overindebtedness?
All customers are scored and their risks are assessed individually. The possibility of changes in the customer’s financial situation is assessed and different interest rate scenarios are calculated. Changes in existing customers ratings are followed closely. Our credit principle is based on the customer’s cash flow, not collateral.
Employees participate in lending advisory training provided by our HR development department.
We have a Financial Education initiative, where 13-18 year olds can learn more about how to handle their own daily finances.
- How does Nordea ensure that its customers have access to financial services?
With approximately 700 branches, Nordea has a large distribution network in the Nordic and Baltic Sea region providing customers with access to financial services.
The web and smartphones are making our customers increasingly connected, knowledgeable and empowered. Customers expect a personalised and convenient banking experience with 24/7 availability and advisory services whenever and wherever they need it. Not surprisingly, mobile logons have more than doubled over the past two years, while manual transactions in the branches are dipping. It is our job to be fast and agile, delivering on our commitment to strong customer relationships.
While still retaining a strong physical presence in the Nordic and Baltic countries, we are strengthening our remote channels to meet the needs of today’s on-the-go customers. We offer online banking services through Netbank, a user-friendly Mobile Bank application, a 24/7 telephone Contact Centre, and remote meetings with shared screen.
Adapting our physical presence
As we all now conduct more of our daily banking online, fewer people walk into a branch today than in the past; in the few years, manual transactions have decreased by 15-20% annually. Even so, with our comprehensive branch network of circa 700 locations, we are in the top three of our Nordic peers in branch locations per inhabitant in all Nordic countries.
Accessibility means that all our customers without distinctions to age, preferences or disabilities can use our online channels for their banking needs. We are committed to making our online services accessible by following standards and legal requirements including World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 AA-level and for mobile apps we aim to use the full potential of each platform’s accessibility features. We are consciously incorporating our compliance to accessibility guidelines into our culture and employee skill level so that it becomes a part of the everyday work of design and programming.
Improving disability access
Most of our branch locations have wheelchair accessibility and service desks that can be raised up and down. All of our ATMs allow blind customers to plug in headphones to get guidance, and the keys on the keyboards have different physical guidance. For authentication (log-in and signing) in our online banking solutions, our policy is to offer special means for the visually impaired. These solutions are in place in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. In Finland, we have developed a new authentication solution that includes a speaking device.
- In what way does Nordea engage with society and local communities?
Our positive impact on society is revealed through our extensive community involvement, our commitment to human rights, efforts to prevent financial exclusion and mitigate financial crime, and our financing of substantial infrastructure development.
Our role as a bank in society
A bank’s main role in society is to provide financial services to help people and businesses achieve their goals and reach their potential. So we lend money to people to buy a new home or help them save for their future, and we make loans to businesses so they can employ more staff or invest in new equipment.As a source of finance, we generate value directly for our customers, suppliers, business partners, employees, shareholders, the companies in which we invest, and other investors. Enabling these stakeholders – and thus the economy – to thrive is our core purpose and contributes significantly to a healthy, well-functioning society.
We also generate social value through our products, through our community programmes, and by paying taxes. Moreover, since we are significant owners of the companies in which we invest, we can encourage those companies to operate more responsibly, both in our own home markets and globally.
Supporting young people
Financial literacy, entrepreneurship and employment possibilities for young people are the main themes of our community investment activities.
We can genuinely make a difference in these areas, and our employees are well equipped to contribute to improving these themes in our communities.
All three of these themes support young people in fulfilling their potential. Without entrepreneurial skills or opportunities into work, young people will struggle to make a living and to build a successful life for themselves.
By tackling these three issues together, Nordea can make a positive contribution to the social mobility of disadvantaged people and to the future of youth in general. We can help them to earn and save, be productive members of society and ultimately to achieve their personal goals.
We have entered into numerous partnerships with organisations in all of our communities that work towards improving these same goals. Through these partnerships we can offer our employees the possibility to share their competences and life skills with young people.
Acting against financial crime
Nordea is committed to preventing and fighting financial crime.
The banking system as a whole has a core role to play but there is increased pressure on all businesses to prevent offences involving money laundering, fraud, dishonesty, organised crime or the financing of terrorism. “Organised financial crime undermines legitimate economic actors and strengthens the shadow economy, thus diminishing economic growth and public resources,” wrote the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the subject.
Strong financial crime management practices are one of the most powerful devices against financial crime. They can prevent, disclose and help to identify corrupt practices and the people behind such activities. Nordea’s efforts are threefold; we manage the risks of financial crime rigorously, we have clear policies and instructions in place as guidance and we raising awareness among our staff through regular mandatory training.
In our home markets, there are statutes that require us to provide basic banking services to all private customers, assuming we have identified the customer as the law requires and have no reason to suspect criminal activity.
We welcome all new customers and do everything we can to create a great customer experience, tailored specifically to each customer’s personal situation. We’re aware that a lack of access to these tools and services, or the inability to use them, is a serious obstacle to economic and social integration. Therefore, we believe in inclusion to not only help our customers but create long-lasting and sustainable business relations.
- Human rights
- What are Nordea’s human rights commitments?
Nordea endorses the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights. In addition, Nordea follows the voluntary international human rights standards set by the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the UN Global Compact. We do not discriminate based on gender, ethnic background, religion or any other ground. We actively work for the abolition of forced labour, and the elimination of child labour.
Being domiciled in Sweden, Nordea adheres primarily to Swedish human rights legislation. In addition, local legislation is adhered to in the other countries where Nordea has operations. As a signatory to the UN Global Compact, Nordea is committed to the support and enacting of human rights in its operations.
Our external commitments to human rights issues are deeply embedded in the internal guidelines and our Sustainability Policy. Nordea’s human rights principles apply for the whole Group’s activities as well as activities that have been outsourced.
The UN Global Compact
The United Nations Global Compact policy was initiated by the UN to encourage businesses to align their strategies and operations with ten universal principles building on UN conventions in the fields of human rights, labour standards, the environment, and anti-corruption. Nordea became a signatory to the UN Global Compact in 2002, first through Nordea Bank Finland. From December 2004 the coverage was extended to the whole Group as the signatory role was transferred to Nordea Bank AB (publ.). As a signatory, Nordea is committed to observe the ten principles of the UN Global Compact and to annually report on its progress in living up to them.
We have implemented the UN Global Compact in our business practices and operations through a variety of undertakings. On a strategic level, we have specified our commitment to the UN Global Compact in our Corporate Citizenship Principles, which are our most central Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) principles. We have also developed more detailed subordinate policies and routines to ensure our compliance with the Global Compact in our everyday business and activities.
- How does Nordea ensure that its human rights principles are adhered to by subsidiaries and suppliers?
The internal policies and external commitments related to human rights apply to the entire Nordea group. All employees of Nordea group, including non-permanent staff working on behalf of Nordea, are subject to the Nordea Sustainability Policy, which outline our commitment to human rights and freedom.
In regards to suppliers, Nordea has a CSR Supplier Policy in place, which is based on the 10 UN Global Compact principles. All suppliers are required to adhere to this policy. Also, we have a self-assessment questionnaire in place, which all contracted suppliers are required to fill-in. Human Rights is an integral part of this questionnaire. Additionally we select a number of suppliers each year, who undergo a more in-depth CSR review of their processes and practises, including their approach to complying with the Human Rights principles. Nordea strongly encourages its suppliers to manage their own supply chain, by having a supplier code of conduct or similar based on the UN Global Compact and having procedures in place to monitor and evaluate their suppliers.
- Human resources
- What health and safety policies does Nordea have?
Nordea follows local legislation and regulations and has a number of health and safety policies and practices in place, e.g. policies for occupational healthcare, alcohol and drugs, work environment, work-related stress, discrimination, and sexual harassment.
We generally provide support for:
- well-being at work
- problem situations at work
- work safety issues
- work related stress issues
- lunch and coffee facilities
- occupational health care services
Occupational health care and services
Occupational health care is closely regulated in Finland, Norway, and Sweden. In general, Nordea provides its employees with a significantly wider range of health care services than stipulated by local legislation. For instance we offer a range of free-of-charge occupational health services with the aim to promote and maintain the working ability of our staff throughout their working careers, and to provide a healthy and safe working environment.
Services provided for our staff in the Nordic countries include:
- Health examinations and a wide range of specialised medical services
- Surveillance of the work environment to recognise and mitigate health hazards of the work environment and work community. This includes ergonomic advice and participation in planning new offices in order to ensure the work ability and well-being of our employees.
- Development of the work community to enable a fully functioning and cooperative work place and thus good work ability for our staff. This includes consultative services, e.g. personal and group discussions used to solve various work community-related problem situations.
- Support and advice on alcohol and drug abuse
- Nutritional therapy
- Psychological consultations
- Work-related stress policy. Work-related stress (WRS) is a serious and yet common factor undermining our employees’ well-being. We take WRS very seriously; its prevention is firmly on the agenda of our HR division. We offer our employees relevant information and tools to prevent WRS. We have in place a specifically drafted WRS Policy, which seeks to:
- Make it natural to address working conditions in order to prevent WRS
- Make a contribution to reducing absence due to WRS.
In Denmark our employees are offered a health insurance, which covers health care services from external service providers, e.g. hospital care, physiotherapy and consultations with a psychologist. In addition, full-time employees are offered a health check every three years.
Baltic countries, Poland and Russia
In the Baltic countries, Poland, and Russia, the scope of Occupational Health Care services provided vary depending on local legislation. As a minimum we always comply with the standards set by local regulations. In Estonia we follow the Occupational Health and Safety Act. We organise and cover the cost of medical checks for any employees whose health may be affected in the course of their work by risk factors of the working environment or the nature of their work. In Lithuania, depending on occupational risk factors, we provide medical examination for our employees annually or every two years. In Poland we have an Occupational Safety and Health Service, which in cooperation with HR supervises the execution of occupational safety guidelines and health examinations. In Russia, we have no centralised Occupational Health Care service; instead, we provide free social and medical insurance for our employees.
- What measures has Nordea taken to improve the health and safety conditions in the company?
Nordea follows local legislation and regulations and has a number of health and safety policies and practices in place.
Nordea’s Group-wide Performance & Development Dialogue (PDD) supports health and safety at work. In the PDD one of the topics is 'Working conditions', where the employees estimate the physical as well as psychological working environment.
Furthermore, our annual Employee Satisfaction Index (ESI) survey addresses health and safety issues. On top of this, there are local measures taken in each country where we operate, addressing health related issues. There is also a safety officer organisation, local physiotherapists and several working environment committees. Local overtime regulations are strictly followed in each country where we operate, and overtime hours are only worked when necessary and by managerial approval.
- How does Nordea evaluate its performance as an employer?
Group-wide Employer Satisfaction Index (ESI) survey
Once a year we evaluate our own performance and success as an employer by conducting a Group-wide Employer Satisfaction Index (ESI) survey. The ESI survey focuses on employee satisfaction, motivation and loyalty. It is conducted in close cooperation with an external vendor and based on an international concept that allows benchmarking across countries and businesses. The survey is sent out to all Nordea employees. Based on the results of the ESI surveys, we compile an index, which we use to measure how our employees perceive Nordea as an employer. We regard the ESI surveys and the Index as an important tool in developing our organisation.
Results and follow up
The ESI is measured and reported on all organisational levels. The results of the survey are disseminated, analysed, and discussed in all units and teams in the organisation. Based on the results of the survey and the discussions within the organisation, each unit produces action plans for improvements. The ESI surveys are a means for employees to communicate their opinions regarding the organisation. The follow-up discussions provide our employees with the opportunity to actively contribute to the development of the organisation via the action plans produced in each unit.
Our ESI response rates are generally very high; usually around 95 per cent of our employees respond to the ESI survey. The latest results show that our employees are satisfied and motivated, and remain deeply committed to Nordea. We have been able to increase index points in various fields where the external benchmark of the Nordic Financial Labour Market has seen a general decrease.
More information on the most recent ESI results can be found in our latest CSR report.
- How does Nordea promote the career opportunities of its employees?
Performance & Development Dialogues
We encourage our employees to take an active approach to developing their careers in Nordea. Every year our employees have individual Performance & Development Dialogues with their manager, and these dialogues form the basis for personal development plans and short and long-term career plans, including development initiatives to support these plans.
Internal mobility and career planning tools
We facilitate internal mobility among our employees and offer extensive career planning tools and services on our intranet. The most important of these is the e-learning tool, which is an interactive tool to explore our organisation and search for career opportunities across Nordea. We post all open positions on our intranet, and offer our employees the opportunity to subscribe for open positions of interest.
To further promote the development of our employees, we have adopted an extensive Learning policy. The main purposes and objectives of our Learning policy are to;
- make sure that employees are offered opportunities to acquire the right competencies to realise business strategies and goals, and to support Nordea’s customer-focused organisation
- guide and enhance development activities to improve Nordea’s competitive position and the employees’ employability
- build overall corporate citizenship and Nordea culture and promote the development of “One Nordea”
- improve managers’ capabilities to develop and coach employees.
Nordea’s Learning policy and Career management policy emphasize that all employees are expected to take responsibility for their own competence development. One of the tools to support this is Nordea’s formalised PDD process where one key element is to make a personal development plan as well as short-term and long-term career plans. It is the employee’s responsibility to proactively strive to enhance his/her competencies and skills, and the manager’s responsibility to offer the employee the opportunities and time for competence development, to give feedback, and to follow-up.
Identifying and developing young talents
Nordea’s Talent management framework includes a common Group-wide Annual People Review as well as a specific process to identify and develop young talents.
Learning courses and programmes
Our HR function offers a wide range of learning courses and programmes to which our employees can enroll to develop their skills. All training programmes are followed-up to evaluate their effectiveness on performance, i.e. how relevant they were for improving business results and to what extent they support our values.
- What is the minimum wage for employees in Nordea?
In the Nordic countries there is no legislation on minimum wages. Instead, due to the high degree of unionisation, this important issue is covered by sector-specific collective agreements in each country.
In the Baltic countries, Poland, and Russia minimum wages are regulated by the state. In all the countries where we operate, we pay all our employees, including summer trainees and other seasonal staff, at least the minimum wages as stipulated by the respective collective agreement or national legislation in each country. Our aim is to pay wages that enable our employees’ to support themselves in the respective local market conditions.
- How does Nordea ensure an efficient dialogue with employees?
In accordance with requirements of Swedish legislation, the employees of Nordea have three representatives and one deputy representative on the Group’s Board of Directors, ensuring the representation of our employees’ interests on Group level.
We engage in constant dialogue with our employee representatives in the Group Council and Consultative Committees. On employee level we conduct an annual Group-wide Employer Satisfaction Index (ESI) survey, which focuses on employee satisfaction, motivation and loyalty.
- Is the Nordea Group’s body for collaboration with employee representatives.
- Is to strengthen the competitiveness of the Group and to improve its performance by encouraging dialogue between management and labour union representatives.
- Is informed about and discusses the Group’s long-term plans, organisational developments, present operations and financial results.
- Also serves as a forum for encouraging dialogue between the management and representatives from the unions, thereby creating a productive working environment.
Four representatives of Group management and two representatives from each Nordic country participate in the meetings, four times a year. The agendas range from presentations of internal reviews, to discussions on Group-level policies and operating models. All minutes from the Council’s meetings are openly available for all our employees on our intranet (in English and in all Nordic languages).
In each Nordic country the Nordea Group has its own individual agreements on collaboration with the unions, which are based on local legislation and labour market practices. This ensures that special local requirements are fulfilled and that negotiations and decision-making concerning local conditions can take place where changes have their impact.
The Consultative Committees’ primary purpose is to receive early information about planned changes with consequences in more than one country in the near future. It also gives the union representatives a possibility to influence the employer’s decision.
The purpose of these meetings is furthermore to make necessary changes understandable by establishing communication between the employer and union representatives about the need for and process of change. The Consultative Committees are fully and openly informed of the background, motives and consequences of planned changes. A Consultative Committee is informed about and discusses major changes that have significant influence on employees, such as:
- business strategies
- rolling financial forecast
- integration projects
- organisational structure
- distribution channels
- new technology
Union in Nordea
In 2005 the national unions in Nordea Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Poland established a transnational cooperation structure in the form of Union in Nordea. Union in Nordea represents the national union members in the Group Board, Group Council, and the Consultative Committees. The Nordea Union Board (NUB) is the highest body of Union in Nordea and currently has thirteen members, three representatives from each of the Nordic countries and one representative from Poland. NUB is responsible for the coordination of Union in Nordea’s common position and agenda.
Employee Satisfaction Index
The ESI survey focuses on employee satisfaction, motivation and loyalty. It is conducted in close cooperation with an external vendor and is based on an international concept that allows benchmarking across countries and businesses. The survey is sent out to all Nordea employees.
Based on the results of the ESI surveys, we compile an index, which we use to measure how our employees perceive Nordea as an employer. We regard the ESI surveys and the Index as an important tool in developing our organisation. The Employee Satisfaction Index is measured and reported on all organisational levels. The results of the survey are disseminated, analysed, and discussed in all units and teams in the organisation. Based on the results of the survey and the discussions within the organisation, each unit produces action plans for improvements. The ESI surveys are a means for employees to communicate their opinions regarding the organisation. The follow-up discussions provide our employees with the opportunity to actively contribute to the development of the organisation via the action plans produced in each unit.
- How does Nordea ensure freedom of association for its employees?
We fully endorse individuals’ labour rights in the Nordic tradition. Among these, freedom of association is of central importance. We respect and follow the Nordic labour rights principles in all our operations regardless of geographical location.
Human Resources together with business units are responsible for ensuring that these rights are respected.
Collective bargaining agreements
Nearly 90% (see our CSR report for the latest figures) of our employees in the Nordic countries are covered by collective bargaining agreements. In Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Russia this figure is considerably lower.
Approximately 6% of Nordea’s employees in Poland are members of the Trade Union. This figure represents the average level of trade union membership in Polish organisations. The scope of Nordea’s cooperation with the trade union in Poland covers employment policy, training development and policy, and remuneration policy. We ensure a functioning cooperation and dialogue with the employees who are not union members through internal communication and dialogue via various HR tools, Employee Satisfaction Index (ESI) surveys, Performance & Development Dialogues (PDD), and meetings with employees.
Discussion about unions and employee representative systems
In the Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) and Russia, our employees generally do not belong to trade unions. In the Baltic countries Nordea has offered the opportunity to set up a union and employee representative system, but the interest from the employees has so far been limited. In Russia, where Nordea operates since only a few years, unions are currently under discussion. In the current situation, we uphold a functioning and cooperative relationship with our employees in these countries through extensive dialogue and internal communication and, as in Poland, the use of our HR tools, ESI, PDDs, and team meetings.
- What governs Nordea’s labour policies?
Our labour policies are based on a range of international agreements combined with the strict local legislation in the Nordic countries. We adhere to the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Conventions which set the standard for our approach to labour policies. These, combined with the labour standard principles of the UN Global Compact constitute the fundamental foundation of Nordea’s labour policies. In accordance with these international agreements, we adhere to the principles of freedom of association, equality, the abolition of forced labour, and the elimination of child labour.
Nordea follows the local labour laws and cooperates with trade unions in the countries in which it has operations.
We believe that people form the core asset of a successful business. Accordingly Nordea has an extensive people strategy. Two of our values are “It’s all about people” and “One Nordea team”. We strive to be the employer of choice. We are committed to the development and well-being of our employees.
- How does Nordea take the environment into account in its operations?
We comply with relevant environmental regulations and legislation in the countries where we operate. More importantly, our Group-wide Sustainability Policy clearly states our commitment to caring for the environment. The policy applies to all Nordea employees and to non-permanent staff working on behalf of Nordea.
The Ecological Footprint Programme
In 2008, we launched the Ecological Footprint Programme. It is aimed at reducing the environmental impact of our operations by raising staff awareness, changing behaviour and ultimately achieving our reduction targets. We have targets for energy consumption, travel, internal and external paper consumption and sourcing.
- What measures have been taken to reduce Nordea's environmental impact from business travel?
The following measures have been implemented to help reduce travel.
The travel management unit have developed travel reports that are sent to the top 300 managers in Nordea every quarter. The reports contain detailed information about travel activity and is a good tool to monitor all journies and set targets to reduce travel. The reports have details on the number of trips, where to/from, how long before the trip they were booked, the top 10 travellers in the company, the cost of travel compared to other units within the same organization and reasons for the trips. Certain units have tested travel free weeks.
Parts of the bank have introduced a 'grandfather principle' for travel where senior managers would have to approve all travel requests from employees of their own management teams in order to ensure that only necessary travel was being conducted.
A focus on reducing costs is ongoing in the bank and Group Executive Management have reiterated internally through a series of articles on the Nordea intranet the importance of reducing travel as an important, and relatively easy way to cut costs.
Microsoft's web-conferencing platform 'Lync' has been implemented throughout the bank and all employees are encouraged to replace trips with online meetings instead.
- What are Nordea’s targets for reducing its impact on the environment?
Ambitious long-term targets
We have set ambitious long-term targets guided by the EU Directive on energy end-use efficiency and energy services (ESD). The Directive recommends the targets be set for 2020, but we have set the following targets for 2016 (base year 2008):
- Energy consumption per employee -15% (heating, electricity, cooling - MWh/Full-time employee (FTE))
- Travelling for internal purposes -30% (number of trips/Fte)
- Internal paper consumption per employee -50% (kg/Fte)
- Customer paper consumption for customer service -50% (kg/customer)
Currently the above targets only apply for the Nordic countries.
We continue to make positive progress in achieving these goals, see the most recent figures in our latest CSR report.
- What are Nordea’s main focus areas in reducing its environmental impact?
Our focus areas for reducing our environmental impact are energy management, business travel, green IT, paper consumption, waste management, and water consumption.
The majority of Nordea’s environmental impact is caused by energy usage in Nordea’s buildings and greenhouse gases emitted in producing this energy. Therefore, improving the energy efficiency of our buildings has been a top priority. All our head office buildings have been audited to identify energy saving improvements. See the most recent information on our energy management improvements in our latest CSR report.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certificate
All of Nordea’s Nordic head office buildings are LEED certified and newly constructed buildings will be certified according to the most widely acknowledged building certification system and to the highest possible level.
LEED is an internationally recognised green building certification system of the U.S. Green Building Council that provides building owners and operators with a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. The first 14 LEED certified Nordea buildings was the largest portfolio certified outside the US. It was also the first LEED certification for existing buildings in Europe, and the first of its kind in Denmark, Norway, or Sweden.
Since 2009 we have purchased renewable certificates (Guarantees of Origin) equal to our Nordic consumption of electricity.
Business air travel is our second largest source of emissions. As the largest financial services group in Northern Europe, business travel cannot be avoided, but we have implemented a number of measures to reduce it.
Lync has been implemented throughout the bank and all employees are able and encouraged to replace travel with online meetings whenever possible.
Nordea’s travel management unit has developed travel reports that are sent to the top 300 managers in Nordea every quarter. The report contains detailed information about travel activity in the managers’ units and is a good tool to monitor all travel and set reduction targets.
Parts of the bank have introduced a 'grandfather principle' for travel where senior managers have to approve all travel requests from employees in their units in order to ensure that only necessary travel is approved.
A focus on reducing costs is ongoing in the bank. The importance of reducing travel as an important and relatively easy way to cut costs has been communicated by the President and Group CEO.
We have implemented more advanced tools for virtual meetings, and continuously train our staff to use these tools. By increasing and promoting the use of virtual meeting tools, for example live video meetings, we will be able to reduce our travelling, and therefore also significantly reduce our carbon footprint. We have also increased the donating of used computers, and reduced energy consumption in computer halls by raising temperatures, as well as sought to reuse excessive heat produced.
We continue to discourage excessive printing among our employees. We have implemented free seating in our head offices, which discourages printing and we have implemented follow-me print, which reduces print volumes and in addition increases confidentiality. Follow-me has also enabled us to reduce the number of printers and thus reduced the energy consumption of our printer fleet.
By being a leading internet bank and by promoting the use of our electronic banking services, we are significantly reducing our customers’ environmental impact. In the Nordic countries over 80% of all household and 98% of corporate customer payments are made electronically. By improving our netbank’s electronic account statements, we have been able to greatly reduce the number of paper-based statements.
We have facilities in our offices to ensure reuse and recycling to the largest extent possible. Our waste contractors report our waste volumes in great detail on a quarterly basis, and the data is analysed in order to identify improvement opportunities.
We continue to strive for reduced consumption of water in all our operations. Water consumption is one of the criteria of the LEED building certification and we collect and monitor water consumption data from all our head offices on a quarterly basis. Our water consumption primarily takes place in our kitchens and bathrooms and we have implemented a number of initiatives in those facilities.
- Does Nordea engage in environmental reporting?
We report on our environmental indicators in our annual CSR Report. We report according to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards.
Nordea monitors and analyses consumption of energy, water, paper and travel every quarter. In 2013 we implemented a market leading software tool to manage our environmental reporting. Functionality in the system plus established reporting procedures ensures excellent data quality and enables us to identify improvement areas.
In 2010, Nordea joined the CDP, which is the world’s first global reporting system on climate change. Climate change is a reality; it requires global agreements and long-term solutions. The CDP data is used to help drive investments towards a low carbon economy by inspiring our investee companies to measure and report their emissions and not least to improve our own products from a climate awareness perspective.
- What are Nordea’s environmental commitments?
Our Sustainability Policy serves as the main internal guidelines in this field. We integrate environmental considerations into all aspects of our operations.
We have also voluntarily signed a wide range of international agreements such as:
The UN Global Compact
Nordea signed the UN Global Compact first through Nordea Bank Finland in 2002, and subsequently expanded its commitment to cover the whole Nordea in 2004. As a signatory, we are committed to endorse the environmental principles of the Compact, to;
- support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges
- undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility
- encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
The UN Environmental Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI)
The UNEP FI is a global partnership between The UN Environmental Programme and the financial services industry. It dates back to the early 1990s, and is aimed at promoting integration of environmental considerations into the financial sector’s operations and services. As one of the approximately 160 signatories, Nordea is committed to the overarching principles of the UNEP FI statement:
- Commitment to Sustainable Development entails the idea of sustainable development as sound business management, and that the financial sector can contribute towards sustainable development
- Environmental Management and Financial Institutions promote the integration of environmental considerations into operations, business decisions and asset management
- Public Awareness and Communication initiatives to share information and experiences within the industry, to foster openness in relation with stakeholders and to promote the UNEP FI Statement
The UN Principles of Responsible Investment (UNPRI)
Based on the UN Global Compact and the UNEP FI, the UNPRI is a global voluntary standard for institutional investors, investment managers and professional service partners in investment services to incorporate environmental, social, and governance issues in their investment and investment-related products and services. The UNPRI builds on the growing view that environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues can affect the performance of investment portfolios. In accordance with the principles, we are committed;
- to incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes
- to be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices
- to seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest
- to promote acceptance and implementation of the principles within the investment industry
- to work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the principles
- to report on our activities and progress towards implementing the principles
Since signing the UNPRI in 2007 we have implemented the principles in our business practices and operations through a variety of measures, most importantly by establishing a Socially Responsible Investment Policy and by continuing to engage in active ownership in order to promote the UNPRI norms.
The Equator Principles
The Equator Principles (EP) is a set of guidelines on how to prevent, manage and mitigate environmental and social risks in project financing. They apply globally to projects across all sectors, where total project capital costs exceeds USD 10 million and the project is assessed to have a potential adverse social or environmental impact.
The principles were launched in 2003 by the World Bank Group's International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the banking sector. They are currently used by 79 financial institutions in 35 countries. In May 2013, the principles were updated for the second time and extended to include bridge loans, as well as project-related corporate loans. In addition the EP now specifically addresses climate change.
- Supply chain
- How does Nordea ensure that its suppliers are working in an ethical way?
We acknowledge our responsibility for ensuring that our suppliers manage their business in a sustainable manner. We demand high ethical, health and safety, social and environmental standards of all our suppliers. These standards are based on our CSR Supplier Policy and CSR Supplier Guidelines that, in turn, are based on the UN Global Compact.
Becoming a supplier to Nordea
Since 2012, all contracts signed on the Nordea contract template have included the CSR Supplier Policy. In 2014 we developed the supplier process to include a segmentation matrix and a questionnaire to help us further ensure implementation of our CSR standards. These new tools were implemented in the end of 2014. One of the focus areas for 2015 will be to request responses and ascertain risk profiles for all our suppliers, including those with whom we began working prior to 2014. To make the process more transparent we have begun developing a supplier portal on nordea.com, where potential suppliers will be able to register.
When choosing a supplier, we use a qualifying CSR questionnaire to organise the suppliers in our CSR segmentation matrix in which they are evaluated to be based on their risk level. Suppliers who are evaluated in the matrix to be medium or high CSR risk, and whom we want to invite for negotiations, fill in an extended CSR questionnaire. For the chosen supplier(s) we assess the most appropriate CSR engagement. After the negotiations, we sign the contract, including the CSR Supplier Policy. CSR activities are followed up regularly.
By actively engaging with our suppliers, we can together define a good way of doing business that benefits us all. Our CSR supplier management framework supports this ambition and allows us to systematically manage CSR related aspects of our relationship with our suppliers.
Once we have signed a contract with a supplier, we assign a contact person and agree on ongoing communications and governance. The scope and the frequency
of engagement depend on the type of product or service provided. Environmental, social and governance issues are addressed as a part of these on-going dialogues.
Additionally, we select three to six suppliers each year, primarily those with the largest impact, with whom we perform an in-depth CSR Review. During the two-day on-sitereview, we conduct an extensive evaluation of the supplier’s policies, procedures and performance related to the ten principles of UN Global Compact. The review concludes with a commonly agreed upon action plan with development activities for both parties.
- Corporate Governance
- Where can I find more information on Nordea's Corporate Governance?
For information on corporate governance, please visit our Corporate Governance pages.