Concurrently with the 15th UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP15
), the Danske Bank Group has reached the goal of becoming carbon neutral. We set the goal in 2007, and by December 4, 2009, we had reduced our CO2 emissions by 15% from the 2008 level. The Group both reduces its own energy consumption and invests in renewable energy. Employee involvement helps
We have reduced our CO2 emissions by changing our behaviour regarding business trips, energy consumption, IT and paper, among other things. For example, the Group has cut CO2 emissions from paper by digitalising documents. Moreover, CO2 emissions from business trips are down 35%. One reason for this is that employees and management hold an increasing number of virtual meetings and conference calls. There is also generally less need to travel after the completion of our large IT integration project at Sampo Bank, Finland, in 2008.
We have offset the CO2 emissions that cannot be completely eliminated (electricity, heating and IT, for example) by purchasing carbon credits in four energy projects
. The projects reduce CO2 emissions because they generate renewable energy from wind turbines, biogas and biomass in Turkey, Lithuania and India. The energy projects have a positive social effect as well. For instance, the biogas project in India helps improve the health of women and children because biogas reduces smoke in household kitchens. The projects also create jobs in the local community. Additional savings
"Carbon savings are not just good for the environment," says Danske Bank Group CFO Tonny Thierry Andersen. "In many cases, cutting down on energy consumption, paper and business trips will lead to additional savings. The costs of purchasing carbon credits motivate us to continue the efforts to reduce our energy consumption and CO2 emissions."Work continues
Our energy-saving efforts are a big step in the right direction. In 2009 alone, the Group cut the consumption of electricity at head office premises by 1,000,000 kWh. But our efforts to reduce Group CO2 emissions do not stop there. We will continue to pursue energy-saving measures in 2010, and our focus will be on branches and activities outside Denmark. Joint effort for the climate
Achieving carbon neutrality is very important to the Group – even if our CO2 emissions are relatively low in comparison with those of many other companies. "Carbon neutrality is an important milestone for the Danske Bank Group and a strong signal to the outside world that we want to make our contribution to meeting the climate challenges that governments, the private sector and investors are facing," concludes Tonny Thierry Andersen.
Published on December 4, 2009.