Sustainable investments

Sustainability is important, not only to us at SEB but also to our customers and society. For us it is about making better investment decisions and protecting our customers’ money. 

SEB is one of the largest institutional investors in the Nordic region with over SEK 2,000 billion in assets under management for private, corporate and institutional clients. We aim to have a comprehensive and competitive offering to private, corporate and institutional customers where environmental, social and governance-related aspects are fully integrated into the investment processes, to meet customer expectations and contribute to the development of a sustainable society.

SEB's fund company Investment Management AB and SEB Life & Pension have comprehensive sustainability policies that are applied to all investments.

Sustainability in SEB’s fund company

The investment strategies in SEB’s fund company Investment Management AB are based on the inclusion of companies that perform well in sustainability or have well-defined transition plans, exclusion of sectors or companies that do not abide by our fund company’s sustainability criteria and continuous engagement with the companies in which it invests.

In December 2020, a strengthened Sustainability Policy was adopted by the fund company’s board of directors along with a climate strategy. Going forward we will apply the same methods and exclusions for all funds, which for instance means that all funds will exclude companies that produce or extract fossil fuels.

During 2020, we further raised the level of sustainability in our own funds. At year-end, close to 45 percent (35), SEK 304 billion, of the fund company's asset under management was managed according to the highest level of sustainability criteria. Of SEB's total assets under management, approximately 14 percent (13) were managed according to the same criteria. Read more about sustainability in SEB's fund company.

Impact investing

SEB is one of the largest microfinance fund managers in Europe. By investing in microfinance institutions, investors can earn a return while making a social impact. Through microfinance institutions, SEB’s microfinance funds offer loans to people with lower income in developing countries, people who are often excluded from the financial market. The total assets under management amounted at year-end 2020 to close to SEK 8bn, reaching more than 22 million entrepreneurs in some 60 developing countries.

The Lyxor SEB Impact Fund invests in companies that contribute to solving future global challenges. The companies operate in five areas linked to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – sustainable energy, water supply, food and agriculture, resource efficiency and social development. At year-end, the fund had SEK 1.4bn in assets under management.

The total value of SEB Impact and thematic funds (includes microfinance funds, Impact Opportunity Fund, Green Bond Fund and Lyxor SEB Impact Fund) was at year-end 2020 over SEK 12 billion.

Complying with PRI as an asset manager and owner 

SEB became a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in 2008 and has since reported annually on its compliance with the six principles. In PRI's classification of sustainable investments in 2020, SEB's fund company received the highest possible rating (A+) for strategy and governance, and a rating of A in all other categories.

SEB Life & Pension has signed the PRI as an asset owner. Adding the asset-owner perspective gives SEB access to new collaboration forums and the possibility to pursue sustainability issues with other capital owners and make demands on external investment managers.

Sustainability SEB Life & Pension 

At SEB Life and Pension, sustainability is integrated into the investment analysis, which means that we evaluate the investment's impact on the environment, people and society. We analyse risks and opportunities from a sustainability perspective before we make an investment decision. Our investment model also includes SEB's policies and values as well as international guidelines and conventions.

SEB Life & Pension works with inclusion, exclusion and engagement (see above). To be able to make a bigger impact, we have a close cooperation with the fund company in this work. Read more about sustainability in SEB Life & Pension (in Swedish).

Evaluation of external funds

SEB offers funds that are managed by external parties (external funds) and that are evaluated by a special fund analysis team at SEB. The sustainability evaluation is integrated in the entire decision-making process, both in the selection of external funds and in the monitoring of selected managers. All external fund companies are required to sign the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). By the end of 2020, 100 percent (100) of these companies had signed the PRI. All external fund management companies are required to sign the Principles for Responsible Investments (PRI). At year-end 2020, 100 per cent (100) of these companies had signed the PRI.