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Danske Bank becomes a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Banking

Danske Bank has signed the Principles for Responsible Banking developed by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI).

The Principles provide a common framework to support the banking industry in contributing to sustainable development and making a positive contribution to society in the future. For banks, this entails setting clearly defined targets and reporting on their societal impact – both positive and negative – on the communities where they operate.    

At Danske Bank, we have been working with social responsibility and sustainability for many years, and becoming a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Banking is a natural next step that enables us to measure our impact even better and share best practice with other banks.  

Becoming a signatory is important as it commits us to embedding sustainability and our role in society into the core of our business. The principles provide a range of useful tools to help us in our ongoing work to integrate social responsibility and sustainability across our organisation. This, we believe, is the only right thing to do, and this is also vital if we are to remain a successful bank in the future.

Chris Vogelzang

CEO, Danske Bank

Important agenda in the financial sector
Recently, Danske Bank held Sustainability Day 2019, the aim of which was to share best practices within the field of sustainability. Presentations were held by large companies, including A.P. Møller - Mærsk and Ørsted, all of whom made no secret of the fact that they see the financial sector as a key player in the green transition. 


“The world is facing a long list of challenges, and as a financial institution we have both the opportunity and the responsibility to provide solutions that promote a sustainable development. At the same time, we’re also seeing an increasing interest in sustainability from our customers, so it’s important that consideration of this agenda becomes a core element within our business", says Jeanette Fangel Løgstrup, Head of Societal Impact & Sustainability at Danske Bank.   

She elaborates: "Our primary focus at the moment is on integrating ESG factors – environmental, social and governance factors – into our investment and lending processes. We have also defined three strategic themes that build upon the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and several activities have already been initiated in this respect,” says Jeanette Fangel Løgstrup, Head of Societal Impact & Sustainability at Danske Bank". 

Examples of Danske Bank's work with societal impact

  • Development of green bonds and green loans. In 2019, Danske Bank has helped clients issue green bonds worth DKK 19 billion.
  • Almost DKK 5 billion of Danske Bank’s own funds invested in green bonds to promote climate-friendly solutions.
  • Support of more than 150 impact start-ups by means of accelerator programmes and mentoring schemes.
  • Teaching of financial understanding to more than 9,000 children during Money Week 2019.
  • Danske Bank’s operations have been carbon neutral since 2009 through carbon credits and renewable energy and 100% of our electricity comes from certified renewable sources. 
  • Integration of ESG into investment and lending practices, one example of which has been the setting up of two investment funds with specific focus on promoting sustainability.
  • Participation of around 1,000 employees undertaking volunteer work through Danske Bank’s Time to Give programme in 2019.
  • Adoption of  the recommendations from the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), member of Finance Denmark’s Forum for Sustainable Finance, as well as backing of the Poseidon Principles and the Initiative for Responsible Ship Recycling.

Read about the three strategic themes in our societal impact strategy

UN Principles for Responsible Banking - what you need to know

  • The objective of the UN Principles for Responsible Banking is to accelerate the banking industry’s contribution to achieving society’s goals, as expressed in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • The Principles have been developed by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and define the banking industry’s role and responsibility in forming a sustainable future. 
  • The Principles consist of six main principles: Alignment, Impact & Target Setting, Client & Customers, Stakeholders, Governance & Culture, and Transparency & Accountability.

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