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Our strategy for sustainability

SEB wants to be a leading catalyst in the sustainability transition. As a bank, we have the power, opportunity and responsibility to impact the world we operate in. We have an important role to play in supporting our customers in their contribution to a more sustainable society, as well as providing financing and investment opportunities to channel the vast investments required to make the transition happen.

SEB’s sustainability strategy, presented in November 2021, outlines our role in the transition towards a sustainable society. It is part of SEB’s business plan for 2022–2024 and a cornerstone of SEB’s 2030 strategy. With the updated sustainability strategy we raise our ambition level further and take the next step in accelerating the sustainability transition.

With deepened focus on climate-related issues, the sustainability strategy clarifies our role in the transition. Ambitions and goals within the climate area have been defined – a Carbon Exposure Index, a Sustainability Activity Index, and a Transition Ratio. These will be shared transparently and continuously to allow our stakeholders to follow our progress.

On the path to becoming a leading catalyst in the sustainable transition, we focus on:

Financing the transition

We support our customers, share our knowledge and offer advisory services as well as sustainable financing and investment products.

Acting as a thought leader

We develop innovative products and services, and set standards for how banks can contribute to a more sustainable society.

Being a corporate citizen

We fulfil our critical role in society, and always strive to take an active part in building for the future.
Transforming our own business: We sustainably develop our own business, communicate our policies and goals, and transparently and continuously report on our position and progress.

Transforming our business

We sustainably develop our own business, communicate our policies and goals, and transparently and continuously report on our position and progress.

Ambitions and goals

As a key part of the updated sustainability strategy, we have defined new ambitions and goals, including laying out a path for the reduction of our fossil credit exposure and at the same time setting growth ambitions for our sustainable products, advisory services and investments. These will be shared transparently and continuously to allow our stakeholders to follow our progress.

Carbon Exposure Index – “The Brown”

The Carbon Exposure Index is a volume-based metric capturing our fossil fuel credit exposure. SEB’s goal is to reduce the fossil credit exposure within the bank’s energy portfolio, which includes power generation and distribution as well as oil and gas, by 45–60 per cent by 2030 compared with a 2019 baseline. The Carbon Exposure Index means that we will be in line with or outperforming the strictest 1,5 degree-aligned climate scenario assumptions provided by The Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System (NGFS).

Sustainability Activity Index – “The Green”

The Sustainability Activity Index is a volume-based metric capturing our sustainability activity, measuring volumes for green financing, sustainable advisory-based business, venture capital investments within greentech and Article 9 financial investment products’ share of assets under management. The ambition is to increase average activity 6–8 times by 2030 compared with a 2021 baseline.

Transition Ratio – “The Future”

We will transition together with our customers as reflected in a Transition Ratio, which is a volume-based ratio based on our internal Customer Sustainability Classification Model. This means that we are assessing our own and our customers’ climate impact and alignment towards the goals set out in the Paris Agreement, by classifying our credit portfolio. By using this tool, we get a better understanding of our customers’ transition journeys and can support them in reducing their carbon footprints. We aim to have completed the classification of our credit portfolio during 2022.

Commitments, initiatives and guidelines

SEB, which developed its first specific sustainability strategy in 2009, has in recent years continued to strengthen the guidelines within the climate area. In 2019, SEB signed the UN initiative Principles for Responsible Banking, which means that we have committed to continuously adapt our business strategy to align and contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. We have also committed to a number of other important international undertakings that support the sustainability transition, such as the Net Zero Banking Alliance, the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative and the Poseidon Principles.

In February 2021, SEB adopted an updated sector policy on fossil fuels that sharpened the bank’s guidelines to include more areas and clearer standpoints, including a roadmap for how SEB will phase out its exposure to coal and to unconventional oil. The same month, SEB’s fund company SEB Investment Management strengthened its sustainability policy, which included implementing uniform exclusion criteria for all funds managed by SEB and excluding fossil fuels from all funds.

Web cast: Accelerating Change – partnering for a sustainable transition

Powerpoint-presentation by President and CEO Johan Torgeby

Press release: SEB sets new climate ambitions and goals as part of its sustainability strategy.