Celebrating Earth Day with a look in the rearview mirror

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20-04-22 12:25 | Our work

Fifty years have passed since a young American student named Denis Hayes organized the world’s first Earth Day, bringing together 20 million Americans in a call for action for the environment. Today, Earth Day has become a global event and the theme for this year is climate action. 

In 1970, the world's first jumbo jet made its first commercial flight, shrinking the world and making traveling more available. Cutting down on flying for the sake of the environment was hardly on anyone’s agenda, but half a century we have begun considering how our travels affect the environment and how we can do it in a more environmentally-friendly way. While the awareness of our environmental impact is undoubtedly higher today, much remains to be done and the consequences of not considering environmental effects have become painfully clear. Global warming, decreased biodiversity, increased pollution, and a growing population now force us to develop new, more sustainable ways of living and doing business. In short, we have no other option than to adapt and sustainability has therefore changed from a niche topic for passionate environmentalists, to a main topic for governments and corporations. The youth, meaning the costumers of the future, now consider sustainability a hygiene factor and companies failing to fulfill ethical and environmental expectations are likely to face headwind in the future economy. 

While most of us know that flying contributes to pollution and that it’s better for the environment to choose sustainable energy or electric cars, few understand why the banking sector has started talking about it. What has sustainability got to do with banking and in-vesting, one may wonder? As it turns out - everything. For the past decade, Nordea has strived to be a forerunner in the industry when it comes to sustainable products and ser-vices. 

”The way we see it, sustainability is a precondition for profitable investments. Our re-search has caused us to believe that sustainable companies are more resilient and have a better chance of prospering long-term,” says Anders Langworth, Head of Sustainable Finance at Nordea. While a government’s ability to regulate and impact ceases at the national borders, investments are global and pension savers in the Nordic markets can, therefore, contribute to more sustainable companies in parts of the world where the need is most pressing. ”Our ability to contribute and influence is global so being the largest bank in the Nordic region we want to use our capacity to contribute positively to societies. We also want to ensure that we facilitate for our customers to make sustainable financial choices,” he continues. 

To celebrate Earth Day 2020, we would like to take a look in the rearview mirror and present what we achieved during 2019 in terms of positive contribution. 

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