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SEB strengthens efforts for a greener society



SEB is a leading Nordic financial services group. As a relationship bank, SEB in Sweden and the Baltic countries offers financial advice and a wide range of other financial services. In Denmark, Finland, Norway and Germany the bank’s operations have a strong focus on corporate and investment banking based on a full-service offering to corporate and institutional clients. The international nature of SEB’s business is reflected in its presence in some 20 countries worldwide.

SEB, the leading Nordic corporate bank, recognises the importance of limiting the average global temperature rise to below the 2⁰C target, which makes a transition to a low-carbon economy vital. In this context, SEB has revised and thereby strengthened its Climate Change Position Statement.

“SEB has decided to gradually shift away from coal. From now, SEB will not enter into new business relations with companies with major business in coal mining. This is yet another step on our journey to contribute to a low-carbon society”, says Cecilia Widebäck West, Head of Group Sustainability.

SEB will not provide finance for new coal power plants. This will only be considered for new coal power plants with committed usage of technologies, such as “carbon capture”, which substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions. SEB can support legacy clients in making environmentally beneficial improvements in their transformation away from coal.

Background and previous progress

The Climate Change Position Statement, originally created in 2011, forms the basis for dialogue with SEB clients, portfolio companies and stakeholders, as well as it clarifies the bank’s ambition and actions to improve its own climate performance.

For a long time, SEB has made it possible for customers to finance sustainable and renewable sources of energy and energy efficiency projects. One example is the green bond concept developed with the World Bank in 2007. Over the years, SEB has raised about USD 10.3 billion for green bonds, since the start,  and is the global leader in terms of supporting companies and organisations issuing green bonds.

During 2015, SEB has also launched a green bond fund for private individuals as well as a global sustainability fund, based on positive selection. This means that managers are actively searching for overweight companies that provide good environmental management.

Moreover, over the last three years it has financed wind power projects in northern Europe with over SEK 6 billion.

SEB also monitors its energy related portfolio on a regular basis. It will continue to monitor the development of the overall energy related portfolio as well as that for project finance. The aim is to increase its share of renewables and decrease the share of fossil related.

The bank will strengthen its efforts in investments and portfolio management processes. SEB’s Investment Management has signed the Montreal Carbon Pledge, in which investors commit to measure and publicly disclose the carbon footprint of their investment portfolios on an annual basis. The first report will be published on 1 December 2015.

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