SEB and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's), launched in 2015, have set a global agenda for nations, businesses and societies on how to achieve long-term sustainable economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection.

At SEB, we aim to contribute to the SDG's by supporting our customers in their transition towards a more sustainable development. By signing the Principles for Responsible Banking we have also committed to continue adapting our business strategy to align and contribute to the SDG's. 

Support for transition

SEB's corporate customers are active in a wide range of sectors and fields, and we actively support them in their transition journey based on their different needs and challenges. Our main contribution to the SDGs is by supporting our customers in their transition.  

We have identified and prioritised five of the goals that are clearly linked to our business strategy and sustainability work, and where we have a great opportunity to make an impact. They are related to the bank’s strong heritage of creating long-term growth and innovation as well as maintaining responsibility and international outlook. No. 5, 8, 9, 13 and 16, are particularly closely linked to our history and business strategy. Read more in SEB's Annual and Sustainability Report.

In many of our products we also address several of the other goals. Here below, some examples are highlighted from 2020.

Green bonds


SEB is a pioneer in green bonds and has been a leader globally and in the Nordic region in this area for more than ten years. Since inception SEB is the seventh largest underwriter globally. In 2020, we had a leading position in the Nordic market with a share of 20 per cent of global transactions by Nordic banks and had underwritten an aggregate volume of USD 4.7bn.

Read more in the SEB Green Bond Impact Report 2020

Microfinance funds


SEB is one of Europe's largest microfinance fund managers. We manage 7 microfinance funds with a total value of close to SEK 9 billion, reaching more than 25 million entrepreneurs in 59 countries. We contribute to ensuring that low-income individuals have access to financial services and job opportunities, providing women with equal access to economic resources and opportunities. By financing micro-, small and medium enterprises the investments support the adoption of fair, equal and safe working practices. We contribute to creating equal opportunities and incomes irrespective of age, gender, origin, religion or other status.

Lyxor SEB Impact Fund


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

SEB Impact Metric Tool


The SEB Impact Metric Tool, is a quantitative analysis tool that measures sustainability in equity portfolios. In 2019, the tool was further developed so that, in addition to measuring the extent to which an investment portfolio is aligned with the SDG's, it also measures the percentage of a portfolio that can be classified as green according to the EU taxonomy.

Customer survey


Our SDG customer survey was conducted in 2019 for the third consecutive year. This time we asked 270,000 Swedish customers with savings in equity funds which sustainability areas they believe we should focus on, based on the SDG's. The answer showed that the respondents especially highlighted goal 6 and 13.

Read more in the Annual Report, p.22.