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Sustainable finance

We help our customers with their own sustainable transitions by making it financially attractive for them to make green choices.

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.

Selected financing products


Personal customers

At Danske Bank, we want to make it easy for our customers to make green choices. One of the ways we are doing this is by offering a reduced interest rate on electric and plug-in hybrid car loans. Our customers are becoming more climate-conscious, and many are looking to replace their petrol or diesel car with an electric or plug-in hybrid car. A reduced-interest loan can act as an additional incentive for them to do so.

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By focusing our financing activities in the right direction, we can contribute to the green transition. Increased climate awareness and soaring energy prices are fuelling a growing demand for energy-efficiency home renovations among our customers, so a natural focus area for us is to help homeowners make their homes more energy-efficient by offering a cheaper loan for this specific purpose.

We also work in partnership with external suppliers, for example through collaborations with consulting engineers, who can support our customers and help them to get started with their energy-efficiency home renovation projects.

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Family standing in kitchen of new home
When it comes to financing energy-efficient homes, we want to help our customers do better with us by their side. We offer green home loans with a discount on the processing fee – which we are able to provide because we secure the loan against homes that have a valid Energy Performance Certificate rating of A or B.

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Business customers and Large Corporates & Institutions

There is significant interest among businesses when it comes to investing in energy-efficient properties.

For a number of years, Realkredit Danmark has been helping large business customers by offering mortgage loans financed by green bonds.

In 2021, small business customers were also able to benefit from green mortgage loans when Realkredit Danmark lowered the value limit for properties eligible for green mortgage loans.

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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 

  • solar panels
  • electric vehicles
  • improvements in the energy efficiency of properties.

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The term ‘sustainable bonds’ is a collective term for bonds that aim to finance green initiatives (green bonds), social initiatives (social bonds) or a combination of these (sustainability bonds). These play an important role in our work on financing the sustainable transition, and we are working with issuers and investors to support the market for sustainable bonds and green loans.

We also offer sustainability-linked loans in which interest rates are linked to a business’s ability to achieve predetermined sustainability targets – as opposed to a green loan, which is earmarked for a particular project.

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Targets & approach to sustainable financing

Volume target

  • 2023 target: DKK 300 billion in sustainable financing, including granted green loans and arranged sustainable bonds
  • 2021 status: DKK 192 billion since 2019

Net-zero commitments

We joined the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) in October 2021

Carbon emission reduction targets

  • 2030 target: Reduce carbon emissions in our corporate lending portfolio in three key sectors by between 20-50% against a 2020 baseline



Personal customers

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:

  • home loans
  • car loans
  • investment
  • pension products



Business customers and Large corporates & institutions

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. 

Selected publications & policies

  • 17. mar 2022Sustainable Finance Policy
  • 16. mar 2022Danske Bank Position Statement Agriculture
  • 03. feb 2022Sustainability Report 2021
  • 10. mar 2022Green Bond Impact Report 2021
  • 26. jun 2021Green Bond Framework June 2021
  • 16. mar 2022Danske Bank Position Statement Forestry
See all

Sustainable lending

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.

Foundation for sustainable lending

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.

 

ESG can be turned into a business opportunity

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.

Bringing ESG into our everyday work

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
SE

Our ESG principles

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.

Policy


Our 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 Assessments


We 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.
Read our Publications & policies

Training our ESG skills 

Training is an essential aspect of our work with ESG. By building up our ESG skills and knowledge, we are able to create a shared understanding with our customers of their ESG risks and opportunities. We use real cases and dilemmas in our training sessions to encourage good discussions and to improve our own skills. 

Training is just one part of our work to integrate ESG factors alongside financial factors into our lending process. Others elements include developing an IT-supported scoring tool, developing supplementary training and improving our sector guidelines even further.