Governance questions and answers within sustainability
Strong governance is important for successful progress. We have a robust sustainability governance model, with clear roles and mandates on various levels. This model determines how we set our strategy and work to integrate sustainability into our business.
The Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is responsible for establishing a strategy for corporate sustainability and an organisation to execute this strategy. The Board approves SEB’s strategy and business plan, including sustainability considerations, the Corporate Sustainability Policy, thematic policies and the Sustainability Report.
The President and CEO
The President and CEO is responsible for execution of the sustainability strategy and implementation of the governance structure set by the Board.
The Group Executive Sustainability Committee (GESC)
The Group Executive Sustainability Committee (GESC), chaired by the President, manages the execution of the sustainability strategy.
Sustainable Banking is responsible for coordinating and driving the overall corporate sustainability agenda. This is done in close collaboration with the Divisions and Group Staff and Support functions. This team if headed by the Chief Sustainability Officer who is also part of SEB’s extended Group Executive Committee.
Sustainability Product Committee
The Sustainability Product Committee decides on the right for SEB units to use any sustainability-reference in the marketing or distribution of products or services.
SEB’s Divisions and employees
SEB’s Divisions and employees – each Head of Division, Head of Group Support function and Head of Group Staff is responsible for making sure everything is in place to meet the corporate sustainability objectives, strategy and policies.
Read the full description of SEB’s sustainability governance.
SEB sets and publishes targets and outcome for areas where we have the most significant impacts. Our ambition is to further increase transparency and disclosures of progress. These efforts are continuously aligned with future national and international requirements and expectations. In April 2021, SEB joined the UN-initiated Net-Zero Banking Alliance through which we commit to set targets and align our attributable emissions from our lending and investment portfolios with pathways to net-zero by 2050 or sooner.
The targets and KPIs are linked to the areas of sustainable financing, sustainable investments, employees, business ethics and our own environmental impact. Moreover, they are being integrated into long-term incentive programmes for senior managers. Among the most important KPIs and targets are:
- to reduce our carbon credit exposure in the energy portfolio with 45–60 per cent to 2030
- to increase our sustainability activities 6–9 times to 2030
- to increase total assets under management (AuM) managed with sustainability criteria.
More about our ambitions and goals
See sustainability-related targets and KPIs in SEB’s Annual and Sustainability Report 2022, p. 35–36
SEB’s sustainability policy framework covers the Corporate Sustainability Policy, thematic policies and sector policies. The framework provides guidelines on best practice and on the international conventions and standards that the bank encourages companies to follow.
Among the important policies are:
- Corporate Sustainability policy (adopted by the Board)
- Human Rights Policy (adopted by the Board )
- Environmental policy (adopted by the Board )
Sector policies are approved by the Board's Risk and Capital Committee.
- Agriculture, Fishing, Aquaculture and Animal Welfare
- Arms and Defence
- Fossil Fuels
- Mining and Metals
- Renewable Energy
Moreover, SEB has several other group-wide policies such as the Code of Conduct, Anti-corruption policy, Tax policy and Inclusion and Diversity policy.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Yes, the composition of the Board shall adhere to applicable laws and regulations and to the Policy on Suitability, Diversity and Composition of the Board of Directors, adopted by the Board. The Nomination Committee shall ensure diversity within the Board in terms of educational and professional background, gender, age and geographical provenance of the directors.
Independent in relation to the Bank: Yes
Independent in relation to major shareholders: No
The Swedish Corporate Governance Code states that a majority of the members of the board are to be independent of the company and its management. At least two members must also be independent of the company’s major shareholders*, which means that it is possible for major shareholders of Swedish companies to appoint a majority of members with whom they have close ties. This is in line with the positive view of active and responsible ownership expressed in the preparatory documents to the Swedish Companies Act.
The chair of the Board of SEB is not a member of the executive management of SEB and is therefore independent in relation to SEB. However, the chair is also vice chair of the Board in Investor AB, which is a major shareholder of SEB and therefore non-independent in relation to major shareholders.
*Major shareholders are defined as those controlling 10% or more of the shares or votes in the company.
Please find information for each board member in the Annual and Sustainability Report 2021, p 96–98.
Please find information about remuneration to the Board and Group Executive Committee in SEB’s Annual and Sustainability Report 2022.
Sustainability key performance indicators (KPIs) are integrated in remuneration for members of SEB’s Group Executive Committee (GEC), for managers who report to the GEC and for other eligible positions. The models for individual variable remuneration are based on financial and non-financial KPIs. Non-financial goals take into account factors such as customer satisfaction, compliance and sustainability performance related to, for example, the bank’s own environmental impact and integration of sustainability risks into the business model. Since 2022, SEB’s established sustainability ambitions and goals are part of the criteria for potential allocation of the programmes, as applicable.
Yes, in the largest variable remuneration programme, for all SEB employees, sustainability is, since 2022, considered.
SEB All Employee Programme 2022 (AEP), covers essentially all employees. The programme’s targets are linked to SEB’s business plan and consist of the financial targets for return on equity and SEB’s cost development, which are also communicated externally, and the non-financial target for customer satisfaction and sustainability. The outcome for 2022 was determined to be 66.7 per cent (66.7) of the maximum amount, which in Sweden is SEK 75,000.
We expect our suppliers to conduct services in compliance with applicable laws and regulations of the countries in which they operate, manufacture or conduct business. We also expect them to act responsibly from a sustainability perspective, in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. These expectations and more are found in SEB’s Code of Conduct for Suppliers.
SEB’s sustainability experts have extensive knowledge in areas such as climate and financing solutions, sustainable investments and regulatory development in the European Union.