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Sustainable financing

We believe that sustainable financing is among the most important drivers in the transition towards a sustainable society. By offering sustainable advisory and financing products and services, we support our customers on their journeys and help them achieve their goals.

The transformation of large corporates, especially in sectors with a material carbon footprint, is key on the way towards to a low-carbon economy. New thinking, innovations and financial assistance are needed, as well as responsible credit granting.

Responsible lending and risk management

Responsible financing and lending are cornerstones of SEB’s business, creating long-term sustainable value for customers and shareholders. We take great care to know our customers and engage on environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects on a regular basis. The aim is to understand the customers’ challenges and opportunities so that we can make the appropriate credit considerations and be a better business partner.

We integrate risks and opportunities related to ESG aspects into customer dialogues, policies and processes. Sustainability risks shall be considered in all credit decisions, with focus on the repayment capacity of the customer, the underlying value of collateral, as well as potential reputational consequences for SEB.

SEB’s group-wide processes and policies define how the bank shall take sustainability risks into account in financing activities. These procedures aim to ensure that material ESG factors are identified and assessed, and that they are incorporated into analyses and decisions.

SEB’s sustainability work is based on a solid governance structure and the Sustainability Policy Framework. This framework, that covers the Corporate Sustainability Policy, thematic policies, sector policies and instructions, provides guidelines on best practice and on the international conventions and standards that the bank encourages companies to follow.

SEB's Sustainability Policy Framework

Engaging with customers

We engage in constructive and concrete dialogues about our customers’ needs in relation to sustainability challenges and opportunities. We are convinced that we can make the greatest positive impact by being engaged in our customers' transition journeys. We both engage with and support our customers on their transition journeys when that is possible, but also that we may end customer relationships if we do not share the same goals and do not have an opportunity to influence.

A proof that our customers appreciate our advisory services is the Prospera survey 2023 among large corporate companies and financial institutions focusing on sustainability advice. SEB was ranked as the best sustainability advisor in the Nordics for the fourth consecutive year. 
The Prospera sustainability survey 2023

Sustainability financing solutions

ESG aspects are incorporated across a broad range of financial solutions that we offer. SEB’s offering includes products and advisory services within sustainability-themed products, such as green loans and bonds, social, sustainability and transition bonds. These are activity-based and issued to finance activities or projects with the goal of positive environmental, social or transitional change.

The performance-based products, such as sustainability-linked bonds and loans, are based on whether a borrower or issuer will achieve the specific targets that have been set within a specific time.

As one of the innovators behind green bonds, SEB has an ambition to drive the development of the sustainable finance market. Over the years, we have gradually developed our role as a global thought leader and has proactively contributed to setting the standards for products and services in the market. In 2023, SEB had a leading position in the Nordic market with an 23 (22) per cent share of global transactions by Nordic banks and underwrote an aggregate volume of EUR 9.9bn (7.2).

SEB issues green bonds to finance green assets

SEB has a green bond framework in place since 2017, which was updated in 2022. Under this framework, SEB issues green bonds to finance projects and assets that support an environmentally sustainable society. SEB has four green bonds outstanding. As per 31 December 2023, the pool of eligible green assets amounted to SEK 61.5bn, an increase of 32 per cent since 31 December 2022.

The framework, which is in line with the 2021 ICMA Green Bond Principles, is categorised as Medium Green by Cicero, and is also broadly aligned with the technical screening criteria of the EU Taxonomy as of December 2021.

Solutions supporting social development

Several products that we offer support social development such as equality, diversity and inclusion. These could be social bonds, social impact bonds or fixed income product where the issuer uses the proceeds for the purpose of financing, or refinancing, projects that generate positive social outcomes.

One example of a social financing is the Health Impact Bond, issued by Region Stockholm. The money, 30 million kronor, is used to finance preventative measures focusing on lifestyle habits for people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Contact us

SEB's sustainability experts have extensive knowledge in areas such as climate and financing solutions, sustainable investments and regulatory development in the European Union.


Reach out to our sustainability contacts