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, other group policies, position statements and sector polices. 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.
Read the Corporate Sustainability Policy.
Managing SEB’s environmental impact is important to SEB. This policy provides a basis for how we work to protect the environment, how we manage our direct environmental impact, and how we work with customers, suppliers and business partners.
Read the Environmental Policy.
Human Rights Policy
SEB’s approach to human rights influences how we manage employees, suppliers and relationships with customers and portfolio companies. SEB is committed to United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and we strive to uphold the same universal values wherever we have a presence.
Read the Human Rights Policy.
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.
Read our Code of conduct (pdf)
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.
Read the Customer Data Ethics Policy
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.
Read the Policy on Inclusion and Diversity.
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.
Read the Tax Policy.
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.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is one of the most widely accepted human rights treaty, still child labour is a problem of immense global proportions. SEB fully appreciates the severity of child labour and reducing it is of high priority.
Read the Position statement on Child Labour.
Freshwater is a scarce commodity, but one that is essential for sustaining life. SEB are aware that the increasing global water stress threat destabilised regions and increases our clients' financial risk.
Read the Position statement on Fresh Water.
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.
Read the Position statement on Modern Slavery Act.
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 are part of the overall Sustainability policy framework described in the Corporate Sustainability Policy (see above).
Updates will be made during 2021 (see below).
Arms and Defence
SEB acknowledges the right of every nation to defend itself, as stated in the United Nations Charter. We accept that certain types of weapons are necessary for achieving internationally accepted goals. However, we expect our clients and portfolio companies to meet this sector policy in which we emphasise that any engagement with the arms and defence sector shall be underpinned by a long-term and responsible approach.
Read the Policy on Arms and Defence
The forestry industry plays a pivotal role in the economy at large, globally as well as regionally. SEB promotes a sustainable forestry industry, works to prevent adverse environmental and social impact and supports good governance among it's clients.
Read the Policy on Forestry
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. This policy was updated in February 2021.
When pursued in moderation, gambling can be enjoyable and relatively harmless. However, 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. There is also risks related to financial crime and money laundering. On that background SEB has chosen to be restrictive with providing financial services to-, and investments in companies whose primary revenue source is derived from products and services intended for gambling. As a consequence SEB has adopted a policy.
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 July 2021, aims to ensure that lending and investment decisions contribute towards fulfilling SEB’s overall sustainability ambitions.
Read the Policy on Mining and Metals
Energy plays an essential role in the global economy and drives economic growth. As the world is seeking new solutions to mitigate climate change and best utilise scarce resources, the renewable energy sector is becoming a growing component of the energy landscape. SEB seek to facilitate this development based on sustainable principles and governance.
Read the Policy on Renewable Energy
The shipping industry, through the transportation of raw materials, semi-finished goods and finished goods from producing countries for further processing and to end-user markets, is a major facilitator of global trade and is thereby a fundamental industry for society.
Read the Policy on Shipping.
Smoking tobacco today constitutes a significant public health problem, causing severe negative impact on people’s health at large scale. Every seventh death in the world (13 per cent) was the result of direct smoking in 2017, and more than 90 per cent of tobacco related revenues globally come from cigarettes and e-cigarettes*. On that background, SEB takes a restrictive approach towards the tobacco industry. We do not finance or invest in companies where 5 per cent or more of the turnover is derived from manufacturing and/or distribution of cigarettes and e-cigarettes.
Exemptions from sector policies
During 2021 the sector policies, which all apply to SEB Group, will be updated. SEB’s ambition is that all operating legal entities in the SEB Group shall adopt the sector policies or similar policies. The following activities are however exempted from sector policies.
- Intermediation services such as provision of investment opportunities and thereto related research activities
- Securities financing activities
- Funds managed outside SEB Group
- Corporates with either a turnover below 0.5 million Euros or a credit exposure below one million Euros
- Products where the employees in companies in scope are the beneficiaries, e.g. Occupational Pension
- Any activity that the SEB Group is obliged under law or regulation to provide.
In addition, investment and financing to protect SEB’s own position and loan recoveries as well as Investment banking related services (e.g. Mergers & Acquisition, Equity Capital Markets, Debt Capital Markets) can be exempted contingent on Group Risk Committee approval for each proposed transaction and based on appropriate Sustainability due diligence.