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, most of them updated in 2021 and 2022, 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.
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.
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.
Read the Social and Human Rights Policy
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 are ongoing during first half of 2022.
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.
Read the Policy on Agriculture, Fishing, Aquaculture and Animal Welfare.
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.
Read the Policy on Arms and Defence.
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.
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.
Read more about our approach to fossil fuels.
Read the Policy on Fossil Fuel (pdf)
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 2021, aims to ensure that lending and investment decisions contribute towards fulfilling SEB’s overall sustainability ambitions.
Read the Policy on Mining and Metals
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. This policy was updated in January 2022.
Read the Policy on Renewable Energy.
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. This policy was updated in January 2022.
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. ourworldindata.org/smoking
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.
Read the Policy on Transportation.
Exemptions from sector policies
During 2021–2022 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.
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
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.
Read our Anti-Corruption Policy
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.
Read the Policy on Integration of Sustainability in Investment Decisions and Advice.