Through deep knowledge about our customers, their business environment, preferences and needs, we want to help them identify sustainable business opportunities and manage potential risks. We are committed to support them with relevant and valuable advice, and appropriate sustainable products and services.
We aim for long-term customer relationships, and believe we can make the greatest impact by assisting customers on their transition journeys. Based on a common conviction of the way forward, we and our customers share values and long-term plans for the path towards a sustainable society. By having constructive and concrete dialogues on environmental, social and governance related areas we want to support them in their transition.
A proof that our customers appreciate our advisory services are the Prospera survey 2022, focusing on banks’ sustainability advice. SEB was for the third consecutive year ranked number one by corporate companies and financial institutions in the Nordic region.
Customer Sustainability Classification tool
Understanding our customers’ transition plans and emission reduction ambitions is key for us to deliver on our 2030 sector targets and in our work to align our strategy to the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
We use our proprietary Customer Sustainability Classification tool (CSC) which helps us assess our customers’ current and future climate impacts. The tool supports in-depth customer dialogues on the investment needs, the opportunities and the risks related to the implementation of their transition plans.
The classification is performed in two steps:
In the first step, a sector breakdown is conducted where customers are sorted into four different categories based on the average carbon footprint of their respective sectors – material carbon footprint, slight carbon footprint, no/very limited or positive carbon footprint and sectors that are out of scope.
The second step of the classification focuses on the customers’ transition strategies. To evaluate customers’ current and future climate impact we collect information about each customer’s current emission reduction compared to a baseline year as well as information about the customer’s future emission reduction targets (if available). The customer’s future emission reduction pathway can then be understood and compared to a sector-specific pathway, outlining the level of emissions reduction necessary for that sector as a whole to reach the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Based on this, the customer’s climate impact is classified in five categories:
- Companies with sustainable activities and/or very limited greenhouse gas emissions.
- Companies in transition with plans aligned with the Paris Agreement target to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
- Companies in transition with plans aligned with a target to limit global warming to around 2°C.
- Companies in transition but with plans that are not aligned with the 2°C target.
- Companies with no or limited transition plans.
The classification according to one of the five categories forms the basis for the Transition Ratio – The Future, one of SEB’s climate-related metrics, see Ambitions and goals.
Customer Sustainability Classification tool in the Annual and Sustainability Report 2022, p. 56.
Social and governance areas
We aim to have constructive dialogues and provide responsible and proactive advice about the consequences of our customers’ activities related to human rights, labour rights, social relations and anti-corruption. We expect our customers to respect human rights and labour rights through appropriate due diligence systems, and we are committed to identifying and managing corruption risks in transactions.
SEB believes that companies that take social and environmental responsibility will be more profitable in the long run. In Sweden, we offer the training concept Sustainability Business Program. During a six-month program, companies with a revenue from SEK 50 million are provided with knowledge, guidance and tools – helping them identify their most important sustainability issues and create measurable sustainability goals.
Thought leader in sustainability regulatory development
SEB is a member of The EU Platform on Sustainable Finance, an expert group with the mandate to advise the EU Commission on development and application of the EU Taxonomy. The platform also assesses the need for a conceptual approach of a social taxonomy and a taxonomy for environmentally harmful activities. Being part of this group gives us the opportunity to contribute to the development of new taxonomy areas, and gain important insights into the process, which will ultimately benefit our customers.
SEB works actively with the Nordic and Baltic banking associations and their members to share the latest public information about progress and gather views regarding the development of the Taxonomy.
SEB's sustainability experts have extensive knowledge in areas such as climate and financing solutions, sustainable investments and regulatory development in the European Union.