Climate change is one of today's most serious challenges. SEB recognises the importance of limiting the average global temperature rise to well below the 2°C target. We therefore actively work to reduce our direct environmental impact.

However, as a bank, our largest environmental impact is indirect, the results of our funding and investments to environmental areas in need of capital. Read more in Sustainable finance.

Renewed targets to 2020

Between 2008 and 2015, we reduced our annual CO2 emissions by 54 per cent. Keeping our ambitions high, we will continue to work with minimising our direct footprint. We will further optimise our energy consumption, reduce paper consumption and improve our company car fleet. Special focus will be put on air travel in order to further reduce emissions related to business travel, as this area now accounts for the major part of our carbon footprint.

Our target for 2020 is to reduce our carbon footprint with another 20 per cent and to improve resource efficiency. Besides the overall CO2 reduction, the targets for 2020 include a 20 per cent reduction of emissions from:

• business travel
• company cars
• paper usage
• energy and electricity consumption

New baseline 

In 2016, SEB created a new extended baseline as regards CO2 emissions, energy use, business travel and paper consumption. The baseline includes more countries in the environmental reporting, now covering 99 per cent of our employees, globally (for details, see CS Fact Book, p. 2). 

Results per focus areas

Business travel

Carbon emissions from business travel is our most challenging source of CO2 emissions. More than half of our emissions are related to this. Compared to the new baseline, there was a 6 per cent decrease of emissions from business travel in 2016. 

Going forward, focus will remain on further reductions. We will increase efforts to offer alternatives to travel. This has also been an important aspect in the planning of SEB’s new offices in Arenastaden, outside Stockholm. 

Company cars

CO2 emissions from company cars were reduced by 10 per cent in 2016, compared to 2015. During the same period, the SEB average car has reduced emitted CO2 by 2 per cent.

Paper consumption

The new baseline for paper consumption include countries previously not reported on as well as certain suppliers in Sweden that had not been included. Efforts to digitalise customer letters have continued. At year-end 2016, the paper use related to the letters-types that have been digitalised had resulted in an 80 per cent reduction of the corresponding physical letters.  

Energy use

For 2016, there was a small increase in the overall energy consumption of about 1.4 per cent, compared to the new baseline. Our electricity use followed the same pattern and increased by 1 per cent compared to the new baseline. We see this as normal yearly variations. During the year, the share of renewable electricity decreased marginally from 89 to 88 per cent.

Exceeding our target 2008 – 2015

In SEB 2009, set an ambitious target to reduce the annual CO2 emissions by 45 per cent by 2015, compared to 2008 baseline. By the end of 2015, our annual CO2 emissions had been reduced by 54 per cent compared to emissions for 2008. SEB’s total CO2 emissions amounted to 19,118 tonnes in 2015 compared to 42,178 tonnes in 2008. Energy use and business travel represented the most material direct impact of our operations on the environment.

Our approach to reduce our carbon footprint starts with accounting for our CO2 emissions related to the operations over which we have control, such as energy and electricity use in our own buildings, paper consumption and business travel (Scope 2 and 3 emissions).

We include emissions from eleven countries, accounting for more than 94 per cent of our income and 96 per cent of our employees. We monitor our direct environmental footprint on a quarterly basis and report on the information requested by investors, customers and employees in – besides our CS report – also in specific reports, such as the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).


For all environmental details, please see CS Fact Book 2016.