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Sustainability

Our approach

Sustainability is an area of strategic importance for us. It creates the basis for our business decisions and processes, social responsibility framework and business ethics standards.

For us, being a sustainable business means:

  • Minimizing direct and indirect negative impact of our own operations and activities;
  • Creating positive impact in the areas where we have the highest competency potential for change.

Detailed information about Swedbank Group sustainability strategy and activities is available here.

All the following elements of sustainability are important to Swedbank

Financial / economic sustainability

To promote a consistent and balanced economic growth, long-term competition and financial well being of the society.

Social sustainability

To contribute to inclusive society by promoting human rights, fair working conditions, diversity and gender equality, and social engagement.

Environmental sustainability

Responsible usage of resources, reduction of negative impact on the environment, combating climate change. The financial sector has a crucial role in channelling financing to activities that support the transition to a low carbon economy.

The ambition of the Swedbank Group is to be one of the most sustainable financial sector companies in the world. Thus, we integrate sustainability into all our business processes and decisions. We aim to create positive impact not only through our own activities but also through our customers and suppliers - by helping them make more sustainable decisions.

We connect our vision and business to key stakeholders’ needs and development of society through UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We have prioritized some SDGs where we believe our business can make the biggest impact. We have also chosen some additional SDGs to work on:

Quality Education

Ensure inclusive and high quality education for all.

Gender Equality

Achieve gender equality and end discrimination.

Decent Work and Economic Growth

Promote higher productivity, innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation.

Responsible Consumption and Production

Produce and consume goods and resources responsibly.

Climate Action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies.

More information on SDGs: https://www.globalgoals.org/

Affordable and Clean Energy

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

Decent Work and Economic Growth

Promote higher productivity, innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation.

Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

Sustainable Cities and Communities

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Climate Action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies.

In all our work we take economic, social and environmental aspects into account, and we integrate issues such as human rights, environment and anti-corruption into business decisions. This supports risk management and creates value for our stakeholders.

Digital services. Digitalizing our services allows reducing the "paper" processes and create remote service solutions without the need to physically travel to the bank.

Sustainability analysis. Sustainability issues have been integrated in the bank’s lending process. An extensive sustainability analysis is run whenever our corporate customers apply for loans exceeding EUR 0.8m.

Sustainable products and services. Integrating sustainability issues into financing and investment decisions allows us to direct money towards more sustainable businesses which contribute to positive impact on environment, society and economic growth. Here are some examples:

Green Bonds. Green Bonds issued by Swedbank Group enable companies to finance investments that have a positive environmental impact and to build awareness of their sustainability work.

Exclusion List. Swedbank Group also has an official Exclusion List of companies which we do not finance or invest in. The current policies and position statements leading to exclusions of companies are Swedbank Policy on Human Rights, Swedbank Position Statement on Climate Change and Swedbank Position Statement on Defence Equipment.

Prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing. Swedbank also takes comprehensive action to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. More information on this topic is available here.

Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies.

In all our activities we apply the highest standards of business ethics and we have actual mechanisms that enable us to implement them.

All operations in Swedbank must be in conformity with high ethical standards, which necessitates Swedbank and its employees to actively examine every business transaction and ethically questionable situation on the basis of ethical norms and attitudes.

Swedbank and its employees actively refrain from transactions, assignments and other actions that are incompatible with this policy, instruction or approach, or for any other reason pose risk of adversely affecting confidence in Swedbank. Internal policy in the area of anti-corruption is established and constantly updated in Swedbank Group.

In our work we follow a Swedbank Code of Conduct, we comply with procedures that regulate potential conflicts of interest and employee transactions involving financial means. The bank applies a whistle blowing procedure for reporting conflicts of interest and breaches of ethics. We promote a working environment where employees can report without fear any violations of internal and external laws, legislation or unethical behaviour. Our employees also submit an annual declaration of economic interests. A special Business Ethics Committee has been established to take care of this area.

Affordable and Clean Energy

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

Responsible Consumption and Production

Produce and consume goods and resources responsibly.

Climate Action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Climate change is one of today’s most important issues. As a systemically important bank, Swedbank has an obligation to support its clients in the transition to a low-carbon society (see Products and services section). At the same time, we can also do a range of things that reduce resource consumption and emissions.

On the way to the green office. At present, 80% of the electricity consumed by the bank is green, but we aim at 100%. We are increasing the volume of sorted waste every year and are constantly working on reducing electricity and gas consumption. Aerators installed on the water taps of the central building cut the water needed to wash hands in half, but with the new filter tap water is now safe and tasty for drinking. The electronic circulation of documents reduces paper consumption.

Sustainable employee mobility. Workers working in the central building have both a safe parking area and the possibility of using shared bicycles and scooters, as well as easily accessible public transport and micro-mobility infrastructure.

We are reducing the amount of travel. Nearly half of the bank's CO2 emissions come from business travel, so we strengthen and make digital communication habits comfortable.

Our environmental objectives. We plan to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% between 2017 and 2022. For workers to be knowledgeable and supportive, we provide the training on sustainability and climate change issues.

Good Health and Well-being

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

Gender Equality

Achieve gender equality and end discrimination.

Decent Work and Economic Growth

Promote higher productivity, innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation.

Reduced Inequalities

Reduce inequality within and among countries.

The wellbeing of employees. At the heart of Swedbank's concept of wellbeing is the idea of what it means to be a human, covering the bank's support for the mental, physical, financial and social dimensions of work life.

Flexibility and personal development. We help our employees grow by giving them opportunities to participate in various training and professional development programmes and career consultations. We value and encourage the flexibility of our work time, place and methods, which helps our employees maintain balance between work and personal life.

Equal opportunities. We create an open and inclusive workplace; we value the diversity of our employees and have zero tolerance for any discrimination. Swedbank does not discriminate against anybody based on gender, age, sexual orientation or sexual identity, ethnicity, religion or disability - everybody is welcome. Men and women are offered equal pay for the same job. We aim to build gender balance on all managerial levels.

Meaningful activities together. Within the framework of the "Ready for Life" school programme, employees have the possibility to visit, as guest lecturers, pupils of grade 11 throughout Latvia with lectures on financial literacy. Participation in the programme is an opportunity for employees for social engagement and enables them to develop professional skills.

Reduced Inequalities

Reduce inequality within and among countries.

Climate Action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies.

Swedbank has a large number of suppliers and therefore has a big responsibility but also good opportunities to influence them based on sustainability specifications and expectations. The aim is to work together to promote sustainability at every level.

When working with partners and suppliers of various services, we always pay attention to sustainability aspects. We seek to work only with service providers which follow the highest standards of business ethics and sustainability. The Swedbank Supplier Code of Conduct, which must be signed by all service providers, states that the company must behave responsibly towards its employees, must ensure equal opportunities and follow the requirements of environmental sustainability, while guaranteeing transparency and prevention of corruption.

Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies.

Swedbank has signed several international agreements, and is a member of and certified by various organizations.

Reports. The sustainability performance of the bank is explained in the following reports:

Achievements. Swedbank AS has received the following assessments on sustainability performance:

  • Platinum level of Sustainability Index;
  • Family-friendly company status;
  • Sustainable Brand Index™ rankings: INDUSTRY WINNER 2020; #5 rank in national top 20

Memberships

International agreements and regulations. International agreements and sustainability regulations binding for the Swedbank Group can be reviewed on the Swedbank Group's website.

Swedbank’s mission statement includes the bank acting as a positive force in society. We work with various societal initiatives which contribute to positive impact in areas of our prioritized SDGs.

Quality Education

Ensure inclusive and high quality education for all.

Responsible Consumption and Production

Produce and consume goods and resources responsibly.

Our greatest competence is knowledge of personal and business finances. By sharing this competence with the public, we can help Latvian people and businesses acquire financial skills. That is why we actively pursue various educational initiatives. Our aim is to help people acquire knowledge and skills to successfully manage their personal finances, build financial collateral and stimulate growth.

"Ready for Life" school program. Over 2350 guest lectures and thousands of motivated pupils! "Ready for Life" school program shows how the knowledge acquired in the school is used in the professions and situations of the financial industry and households everyday. In 2019, 17 other organizations joined the program, supplementing the program’s offer with guest lectures and tours on 28 topics in 15 school subjects.

Swedbank Financial Laboratory. During the first year of its activities, Swedbank Financial Laboratory, offering to acquire financial literacy skills in the bank’s headquarters, has enjoyed considerable interest among pupils. In 2019, 333 groups of pupils from school grades 4 to 12 have visited it. Apply for a tour to the Financial Laboratory for your class!

Facebook group on financial literacy. Swedbank's financial literacy Facebook group "Spending wisely" has grown to more than 10 000 members, many of whom engage in discussions on smart earning and spending, with an average of 500 entries per year and more than 7800 comments. Join the group!

TV show for families on budgeting. In cooperation with TV3's, in autumn 2019 Swedbank's financial literacy TV show "Teenage boss" was aired. Ten educational and entertaining episodes of the show were devoted to household budgeting and saving. Experts from the Swedbank Institute of Finance starring in the show advised on family money matters.

Swedbank Institute of Finance. Institute of Finances is an educational unit of Swedbank, whose role is to promote public awareness around financial issues by creating sustainable financial habits in all groups of society.

Decent Work and Economic Growth

Promote higher productivity, innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation.

Junior Achievement student companies. The practical education program, which enhances pupils' entrepreneurial capacity, is already available in more than 217 schools and 107 000 pupils throughout Latvia. In order to encourage young people's interest in entrepreneurship and to develop the skills needed, together with the long-term support for the program, in 2019 we started a Business Planning Competition with more than 200 participants.

Business experience exchange. Business Experience Days is an experience exchange initiative organised by Swedbank in Latvia to promote business knowledge sharing for more successful business development. In the second year of the initiative, more than 200 companies shared experience and learned to grow.

Quality Education

Ensure inclusive and high quality education for all.

Reduced Inequalities

Reduce inequality within and among countries.

Responsible Consumption and Production

Produce and consume goods and resources responsibly.

Climate Action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies.

Iespējamā Misija / Teach for All. We are convinced that Latvia's path to growth lies in education. Each educational system is as good as teachers working in it. In order to have good teachers for every child in Latvia, Swedbank has co-founded and supports the movement which during its 12 years of existence has helped 157 committed university graduates to become good teachers and educational leaders.

Conversation festival LAMPA. LAMPA is an inspiring and exciting platform for everyone who has something to say, who wants to find out and talk about issues relevant to Latvia, Europe and the world. Swedbank is the co-founder, supporter and patron of educational content for the festival. The fifth Conversation Festival LAMPA attracted more than 20,000 people.

Sustainable finance podcast. "Spending Wisely" is a podcast produced by Swedbank on how to spend money wisely, earn money wisely and take steps towards a sustainable future. Listen to an episode!

Anti-bulling movement. #Neklusē is a social project aimed at reducing the level of bulling in Latvian schools. The most common reason for bulling is the diversity. We want to promote acceptance in Latvian society.

Song and Dance Celebration. We are the general sponsor of the Song and Dance Celebration - since the school youth festival of the 2015 and the centenary Song and Dance Celebration of the 2018. The Song and Dance Celebration is a symbol of Latvian identity. For Latvia's most important tradition - Song and Dance Celebration - to continue, Swedbank supports the Song and Dance Celebration movement.

In order to create positive social, economic and environmental impact, Swedbank cooperates with various societal partners. In building partnerships, we prioritize long-term initiatives that have a wide reach and strong impact, and correspond to the Sustainable Development Goals and the values of our bank.

Swedbank assesses every proposal for support or cooperation according to clearly defined criteria. We take into account the following aspects:

  • Whether the project corresponds to Swedbank’s values, as well as to the existing and future needs of customers and society,
  • The relevance of the project to the general public, to what degree it engages people, what kind of actual changes it helps to achieve, and how it contributes to the welfare of society,
  • The professionalism and experience of the partner and sustainability of the project,
  • The possibilities for engaging Swedbank employees and customers in the project.

Swedbank does not support:

  • Projects that do not correspond to the values of the bank,
  • Political and religious organizations,
  • Initiatives that pose any danger or other risks to the environment and security of the population,
  • Personal initiatives and projects.

For cooperation opportunities, please contact us by e-mail to iniciativas@swedbank.lv