When it comes to sustainable finance, Danske Bank is in a leading position in the Nordic region, and we provide loans, leasing solutions and bond issues that support clearly defined environmental or social objectives.
Many businesses are keen to contribute to the green transition. At Danske Bank, we want to support these companies by providing financing, so we offer green loans that can be used to finance certain activities or projects – for example, investments in
We joined the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) in October 2021
Carbon emission reduction targets
For society, sustainability is an issue of major importance. We also know that sustainability is important to many of our personal customers – and we want to make it easy and attractive for them to choose financial solutions that support sustainable development.
We do this by offering a number of products that not only focus on supporting sustainable development but that also provide extra benefits for customers who make sustainable choices, for example in relation to their:
Sustainability is important for our society, and it is also important to many of our business customers. We need to understand our customers’ businesses so that we can provide them with the best possible financial advice and can look after their interests.
At Danske Bank, we are continually developing the knowledge our advisers have in relation to the sustainability agenda to ensure that we can enter into strategic dialogues with our customers and identify risks and opportunities together.
We ensure that our customers have access to the optimal transition financing to create value for them while also supporting the sustainable transformation of our society, which we do by providing green mortgage loans, green lease agreements, green loans and by issuing green bonds.
Read more about our Sustainability strategy, related policies, position statements and the international initiatives and standards we support.
We consider the areas of financing and investing at the core of our efforts to advance sustainability.
When we grant loans to our business customers, we enter into a long-term commitment. Because of this, we always carry out a thorough evaluation so that we fully understand the financial situation of each and every business customer. It is in the interest of both the customer and ourselves that we only grant credit when a customer is able to fulfil its obligations to us and when the customer understands the risk connected with taking out a loan.
From training our colleagues in sustainability to defining certain sectors that we consider to have an elevated level of risk – we have started to build the foundation for our sustainable lending. We have taken small but important steps, and we know that there is a lot more to be done. By integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into our credit processes, we are integrating ESG even further into our core business.
If companies do not take ESG factors into consideration as part of their business strategy, they may find themselves exposed to risks such as reputational damage and poor financial performance. However, when properly integrated into the business strategy, ESG factors can be turned into business opportunities.
One example of a potential environmental risk is waste management. If managed improperly, waste management could have a negative impact on a company. Globally, a third of all food is wasted, which is detrimental to the environment. For supermarkets, throwing away food that has passed its expiry date it is costly and it could also damage the supermarket’s reputation with the public. To tackle this issue, several Nordic supermarkets are working to minimise waste by reducing the price of food that is near its expiry date or by using this food in their cafeterias.
The chemical industry is an industry subject to several ESG risks. In this industry, social factors such as product safety and the health and safety of the employees are particularly important ESG factors to be taken into consideration. Companies need to have the relevant environmental permits and processes in place for handling toxic gasses properly. Risk can be mitigated by ensuring that all employees involved in the production of chemicals have received appropriate training and know how to deal with accidents. By doing this, companies can turn risk into a business opportunity, which may ultimately help attract and retain employees.
We started incorporating ESG into our credit policy in 2015, and today we are working on integrating ESG into all lending processes for business customers.
This means we have to gain an understanding of each customer’s business model and understand how our customers work with and address sustainability. We also need to understand how a customer would handle any ESG dilemmas or controversies that may arise. By looking at every aspect of a company, and through our normal business interaction, we can evaluate the extent of a company’s own ESG integration. We do this in the same way as we assess the risks and opportunities facing our customers when we lend to them.
Our customers expect us to have a solid understanding of their company and to safeguard their financial interests. When we talk to our customers about ESG, we work on creating a shared understanding of risks and opportunities – and on the impact these risks and opportunities can have for our customers. By doing so, we believe that we can bring value to our customers and help them systematically integrate sustainability into their business. And this will enable them to prosper.Christel-Marie Edvardsen
Branch Manager, Business Center
We do not grant loans to customers who we believe disregard or deliberately violate UN-based principles on environmental protection, human rights, labour rights and anti-corruption. Our credit policy forms the basis for the lending process and includes our principles for ESG. These principles are enforced when we carry out screening and conduct customer assessments.
PolicyOur Credit Policy highlights ESG as one of the key principles in the credit assessment process. The Credit Policy and supporting instructions specify the specific requirements of ESG risk management in the daily credit process.
ESG AssessmentsWe perform in-depth ESG analysis similar to how we assess financial key figures. By gathering information from customers, data providers, publicly available data and others, we are able to examine a company's past performance, regulatory compliance and sustainability commitment. The ESG assessments also evaluate customers’ alignment to the Group’s position statements.
We want to play an active role in society by driving sustainable progress and using our expertise to make a positive difference.
Responsible investments are a cornerstone of our ability to protect our customers’ investments and to generate attractive returns.