Our business is governed by a set of policies and instructions. Within the sustainability area, we abide by the overarching Corporate Sustainability Policy, thematic policies, sector polices and other group policies.
These documents guide us in our work and express our view on specific key issues and industry sectors that are considered critical from an environmental and social perspective.
Corporate Sustainability Policy
This policy defines the framework for sustainability in SEB and provides a governing platform for SEB's sustainability work for all business decisions, including investment and credit decisions.
SEB's environmental responsibility concerns the impact that we or our business partners have on living and non-living natural systems, including ecosystems, land, air and water. In order to address such impacts, SEB has developed this Environmental Policy to describe SEB's management of Climate Change, Freshwater and Biodiversity.
Social and Human Rights Policy
As a bank, SEB has the ability to contribute to human rights, for example through financing social infrastructure and engage in responsible lending. SEB acknowledges the social and human rights challenges that the world is facing and the adverse impact that businesses can have. In order to address such impacts, we have developed this Social and Human Rights Policy to describe our management of these areas.
Modern Slavery Act
The UK Modern Slavery Act from 2015 requires that companies with operations in the UK publish a statement that describes the major steps taken to ensure that slavery and human trafficking do not occur in any part of its business or in its supply chains.
SEB's sector policies provide guidelines on industry good practice that SEB expects companies to follow as well as SEB restrictions on financing and investing in certain activities. The sector policies, updated in January 2023, are part of the overall Sustainability policy framework described in the Corporate Sustainability Policy (see above).
Agriculture, Fishing, Aquaculture and Animal Welfare
The Agricultural, Aquaculture and Fishing sectors are essential parts of many economies. The shift to sustainable agriculture, aquaculture and fishing practices is a necessity to secure global food supply, decrease carbon emissions and reduce negative impacts on the environment and societies.
Arms and Defence
The Arms and Defence sector is complex and challenging. SEB recognises the controversies embedded within the Arms and Defence sector but also acknowledges the right of every nation to defend itself, as stated in the United Nations Charter.
Forestry, Pulp & Paper and Timber
Forests are vital for our society and planet and are inseparably linked to our global economy. Besides providing resources for production processes and industries, habitats for biodiversity and jobs for society, forests are also the world's second largest carbon storage. If managed responsibly, forests are a renewable resource greatly contributing to climate change mitigation.
The fossil fuel sector is responsible for the provision of power and fuel across the globe, playing an essential role in the world economy. However, fossil fuel activities contribute to climate change.
The Gambling sector is considered controversial from a sustainability perspective due to concerns related to its societal impact. Gambling in excess, aggressively marketed and potentially offered to financially weaker parties or non-adults is a non-sustainable business model that raises significant societal concerns, human rights related issues and reputational risk.
Mining and Metals
The Mining and metals industry plays a fundamental role in the development of our economy and society. Many metals are key inputs for the economic transformation towards a low carbon society. However, the industry can also have some potentially significant negative environmental and human rights impacts, if not addressed correctly. This policy, reviewed in 2021, aims to ensure that lending and investment decisions contribute towards fulfilling SEB's overall sustainability ambitions.
Real Estate and Construction
The real estate and construction sectors are important industries in terms of providing residential and commercial properties. Due to the energy consumption, material use and waste, the sectors can play a major role in the transformation towards a low carbon and circular economy.
Renewable Energy Generation and Electricity Transmission & Distribution
Renewable energy generation and electricity transmission & distribution is an important prerequisite for carbon neutral economic growth. However, if not handled responsibly, the development, production and distribution of renewable energy can have significant negative impacts on the environment and society.
Shipping is considered to be the most carbon efficient mean of long-distance transportation in comparison to land-based road transportation and aviation. However, further decarbonization of this industry is a necessary step to decouple the strong link between growing shipping emission rates and global trade, while supporting the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
The tobacco industry is challenging from a social perspective as tobacco related products have a significant negative health impact. That is why exercising a restrictive approach to such products is important to minimize SEB's link to adverse social impact.
Transportation and mobility are major components of sustainable development by enhancing economic growth and improving accessibility. However, in order to achieve the target of the Paris Agreement, the entire sector needs to undergo an orderly transformation towards decarbonization.
Other group policies
Code of Conduct
The Code of Conduct describes SEB's way of working and guides us in our business relationships. The Code helps employees in their efforts to build long lasting relationships with customers and other stakeholders.
Code of Conduct for suppliers
In our Supplier Code of Conduct we express the importance of having a sustainable supply chain and what we expect from our suppliers.
This policy defines the framework for anti-corruption in the SEB Group and establishes principles for the analysis of risk of corruption and measures to prevent corruption.
Customer Data Ethics Policy
This policy describes the framework for responsible handling of customer data, data-driven innovation and the use of AI. The policy consists of eight principles for responsible business development and innovation that will protect customers and safeguard confidence in the bank.
Inclusion and Diversity policy
We are convinced that inclusion and diversity are crucial for our long term prosperity, innovation and growth and for our ability to deliver world class service to our customers and society at large. The policy highlights our ambition and commitments, and covers SEB's leaders and employees.
SEB plays a significant role in society, contributing to economic growth and prosperity both as an employer and through providing customers with products and services. In all of this, the subject of taxes and tax governance is relevant and important.
Policy on Integration of Sustainability in Investment Decisions and Advice
SEB works actively to integrate sustainability risk and impact in investment decisions and advice. We here describe how sustainability risks and adverse sustainability impacts are addressed in relation to investment decisions and investment and insurance advice in SEB Group.
SEB's sustainability experts have extensive knowledge in areas such as climate and financing solutions, sustainable investments and regulatory development in the European Union.