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Strategic direction 

The sustainability transition presents both major challenges and major opportunities.

Our strategic focus areas provide the framework for how we aim to create lasting value for our customers, for our business and for society. In other words, they help us structure our efforts around sustainability-related opportunities, risks and impacts.

One ambition

Our ambition is to be a leading Nordic bank in supporting the sustainability transition of customers, companies and Nordic societies

Three focus areas 

Support customers in their transition

Providing sustainability-related products, advisory and services to our customers.

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Ensure a robust and resilient bank

Managing sustainability-related risks in our business, with a focus on portfolio steering.

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Manage our societal impact

Minimising negative and maximising positive impacts of our activities on people & planet.

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With our focus areas in mind, we have analysed our impacts on the world, as well as our sustainability-driven risks and opportunities. On this basis, we have prioritised three interlinked agendas: Climate change, Nature & biodiversity and Human rights & social impact.

We have defined targets within these agendas to track our progress. Our targets will be calibrated on an ongoing basis as our sustainability approach and priorities evolve in line with changes in science, the regulatory landscape and commercial opportunities.

  • Lending

    Asset Management

    Life insurance & pension

    Own operations

    2030 emission reduction targets1:

    • Oil and gas – exploration & production: 50%
    • Oil and gas – downstream refining 25%
    • Power generation: 50%
    • Steel: 30%2
    • Cement: 25%
    • Commercial real estate: 55%
    • Personal mortgages: 55%
    2030 sector alignment delta target:
    • Shipping: 0%3
    • 1.5°C-aligned temperature-rating targets by 2040:
      2.1°C and 2.2°C by 20304

    • Weighted average carbon intensity:
      50% reduction by 20301

    • Engagement
      with the 100 largest emitters by 20251
    • 1.5°C-aligned temperature-rating targets by 2040:
      2.0°C and 2.2°C by 20304
    2025 emission intensity reduction targets5:
    • Energy: 15%
    • Transportation: 20%
    • Cement: 25%
    • Utilities: 35%
    • Steel: 20%2
    2030 emission intensity reduction target5:
    • Real estate: 69%

    2030 emission reduction targets5:

    • Scope 1 & 2 emissions: 80%
    • Scope 1, 2 & 3 emissions: 60%

    Baseline year 2020.
    Please note that the 30% target for lending applies from 2020 to 2030, whereas the 20% target for life insurance and pension applies from 2019 to 2025.
    Based on Poseidon Principles methodology.
    The first target covers scope 1 and 2; the second target covers scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. The differences in targets between Asset Management and Life insurance and pension reflect different starting points of the portfolios.
    Baseline year 2019.

    We track progress towards our net-zero commitments and the intermediate carbon emission reduction targets defined in our Climate Action Plan launched in January 2023.

    In our lending and investment portfolios, targets relate to high-impact sectors such as shipping, oil and gas, power generation, steel, cement, and real estate. A detailed status on our Climate Action Plan targets can be found in our Climate Action Plan Progress Report 2023.

  • Targets for engagement with companies in high-impact sectors 

    Engage with 380+ companies by the end of 2025 on nature & biodiversity in high-impact sectors

    • 300+ business customers in the agricultural sector
    • 50+ large corporate customers within food products, fisheries, forestry, pulp and paper, and shipping
    • 30 large global companies we invest in that have a significant impact on nature and biodiversity

    Through engagement with companies in high-impact sectors, we seek to increase awareness of nature-related impacts and risks among our customers. This also helps us to better understand our own impacts and dependencies through our financing and investment activities. This is a first step for companies and for ourselves to be able to manage nature-related impacts and dependencies with the aim of supporting the protection of nature.

  • Targets for human rights

    Continuous development of our human rights1 due diligence processes across…

    Companies we purchase from

    Enhanced risk management

    Companies we lend to

    Enhanced assessment for high-risk sectors

    Companies we invest in

    Enhanced sustainability screening

    In procurement, focus is on developing and
    implementing enhanced risk management
    processes for suppliers with elevated human
    rights risks.

    For lending, focus is on developing enhanced
    human rights assessments of corporate
    customers in high-risk sectors.

    For investments, focus is on further developing
    our enhanced sustainability screening regarding
    human rights.

    Targets for gender balance within the social agenda

    Within the social agenda, we also see diversity and inclusion in our own operations as an important theme, for which we use our targets for gender balance as a measure of progress2. We have set 2028 gender balance targets for all leadership levels with an aim to increase the share of the under-represented gender, understood as including all gender identities:

    Board of Directors

    Executive Leadership Team

    Senior Leaders

    Leaders in general

    40% under-represented gender
    60% over
    -represented gender

    40% under-represented gender
    60% over-represented gender

    40% under-represented gender
    60% over-represented gender

    45% under-represented gender
    55% over-represented gender

    1In this context, human rights risks are understood as risks of a company having adverse impacts on fundamental human rights, including labour rights, through their own operations or value chain.
    We also track progress in relation to inclusion through our Culture & Engagement Survey. 

What drives and guides our efforts on the journey?


To guide our sustainability efforts and navigate the transition, we have developed a set of principles:

  1. We prioritise our sustainability efforts based on the materiality of topics in line with scientific guidance and focus on areas where we have the greatest impact.

  2. We seek to enable the sustainability transition and we prioritise engagement before exclusion – but we require credible transition plans and solid traction.

  3. We take a holistic approach and seek to avoid doing any significant harm to some sustainability objectives while pursuing others.

  4. We seek to increasingly integrate considerations on sustainability risks into our lending processes, pricing and portfolio management.

  5. We seek to be transparent and engage with stakeholders to develop our approach and solutions.


We have identified four key enablers to empower us in supporting the sustainability transition of our customers, the companies we invest in and society at large. With these, we anchor sustainability efforts across our organisation and enhance our ability to drive progress.

People, culture & competencies
- Continuous development of our sustainability capabilities and competencies, and further integration of sustainability as part of our culture

Policies, leadership & governance
- Ensuring a clear policy framework and well-defined sustainability-related leadership responsibilities, as well as efficient organisation to facilitate execution and coordination

ESG data & digital enablement
- Development of our sustainability data architecture and governance as well as IT and data management resources working with sustainability

Reporting & stakeholder engagement
- Development of our integrated reporting setup, with an aim to provide transparent and data-driven sustainability reporting as a basis for proactive stakeholder engagement and collaboration

More on our direction

You can also read more about our strategic direction towards 2028 in the publication 'Sustainability approach & priorities' released in February 2024. 
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