The sustainability strategy will clarify and provide guidance for the SpareBank 1 SR-Bank's work on sustainability, and support staff and leaders in decisions and daily work. The strategy will also clarify to customers and investors how sustainability is integrated into SpareBank 1 SR-Bank's activities and how it impacts on our decisions.
Sustainability – The term: Sustainable development is defined as "development that meets the needs of today's generation without reducing the potential for future generations to meet its needs" (Brundtland Commission, 1987).
In order to create sustainable development, work is mainly underway in three areas: Climate and environment, economic and social conditions. Sustainability must be included in the documentation and routine work associated with credit lines and investments/management, and be incorporated into the group’s strategy. The sustainability strategy must be seen in conjunction with other internal governing documents, such as corporate strategy and associated business plan, the bank's ethical guidelines, credit strategy and other relevant policies and guidelines of the group.
The principles and related guidelines apply to the entire group's activities, including daughter companies, and regardless of customer groups and organizational affiliation.
Overall goal: 'SpareBank 1 SR-Bank will be among the top 30% companies (on the Oslo Stock Exchange) within sustainability within 2020-2021'
(Benchmark: Annual sustainability Report by The Governance Group and Burson Cohn & Wolfe who evaluate the 100 largest companies on the Oslo Stock Exchange)
SpareBank 1 SR-Bank aims to be an organisation that has an active approach to sustainability and takes responsibility for the environmental challenges facing the community. The bank will not, directly or indirectly, participate in violations of human and labour rights, corruption, serious environmental harm or other actions that could be considered unethical. This is applies both internally and in relation to society as a whole. The responsibilities include products and services, consultancy and sales, investment and credit decisions, marketing, procurement, corporate governance and business administration. In addition, sustainability responsibilities apply to internal work with EHS, ethics, equality and environmental efficiency.
The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals are the basis for the group's sustainability principles. The group also backs the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles (human rights, labour standards, environment and anti-corruption).
The group will place particular importance on the following areas in the years ahead. These are based on a materiality analysis conducted in spring 2018 and are as follows:
Ethics and anti-corruption
Privacy and information security
Negative screening and exclusion
Policy/guidelines for responsible credit
Local business development
Marketing of products and services
Active ownership/green products/positive screening
The group's activities depend on the trust of customers, public authorities and the community. SpareBank 1 SR-Bank will provide factual and accurate information in an open and honest manner about the group's activities and services. SpareBank 1 SR-Bank’s employees will be characterised by their high ethical standards. This means that each employee will demonstrate behaviour that is perceived as being trustworthy, honest and fair, and that is in accordance with the standards, rules and laws that are otherwise applicable in society.
Employees of the SR-Bank and the business in general:
Will be characterised by high ethical standards and
good corporate governance and business administration.
Have zero tolerance for corruption.
Have an open, honest and clear communication with all stakeholders.
Are active and listening citizens who provide or collaborate to ensure the right to effective complaints access for affected parties through responsible processes.
Keep their own house in order in terms of environment and actions that can be perceived as unethical.
This is otherwise referred to in the bank's Code of Conduct stated in the Personal Manual.
Credit is the bank's mainstay business area, and the area in which the bank has the greatest opportunity to contribute within sustainability, especially in the corporate market. We see that there is increasing focus on sustainable credit in the industry, especially climate risk evaluations.
SpareBank 1 SR-Bank will ensure it is positioned in line with leading players when it comes to sustainable credit.
We will constantly work to achieve a more sustainable credit portfolio.
We will help our customers to have a conscious approach to sustainability and climate risk, and expect them to take an active attitude towards their own practice in this field.
Relevant ESG factors will be assessed in all credit cases.
We aim to increase the share of companies that contribute to the increased use of renewable energy Essentially, we want to work together with the companies to find good solutions for restructuring rather than excluding; we think this will make a bigger contribution.
Chiefly, the customer shall operate in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. In order to support this, the bank, in its credit, will have a particular focus on whether the customer;
Treats people in accordance with recognised international standards.
Operates prudent management of recyclable natural resources.
Operates prudent operation and interaction with all stakeholders when extracting non-recyclable natural resources.
In the event of direct/indirect participation within the arms industry, operates within national laws and international norms.
Liquidates/scrap/sanitises assets in accordance with recognised international standards.
Pornography, coal power, coal mining, controversial weapons, tobacco production, and nuclear power will not be funded.
Further elaboration and details are stated in the bank's AML and KYC
routines, credit strategy and credit policy guidelines, and sustainability
guidelines for the corporate market.
Responsible investments and active ownership of SpareBank 1 SR-Bank are handled directly in the bank and indirectly through management in SR-Forvaltning. There must be consistency in the guidelines of the bank and the management company.
We will invest in sustainable companies capable of adapting business to a changing world.
We integrate ESG into our investment analyses.
We will be active owners in the companies in which we are invested and have a transparent management structure according to nationaland international corporate governance standards.
We actively work to reduce climate risk in our investments and to invest in companies that have a positive impact on climate.
Further elaboration and details are stated in the bank's guidelines for responsible investment in SR-Forvaltning.
We will work towards becoming a climate neutral corporation, and continually ensure reduced environmental impact from our own business.
We will develop and decide on a climate strategy.
We will adapt the loan and investment portfolio according to climate risk.
We use, develop and invest in technology to reduce environmental impact.
We arrange for employees to reduce their environmental impact and to make environmentally friendly choices.
We will contribute to increasing competence in the area so that employees become conscious of their impact on climate and environment, both through their own actions and through their work at the bank.
We will set requirements for our suppliers, customers and partners have to a conscious approach to sustainability. Furthermore, specific requirements will be set to ensure compliance with laws and regulations relating to human rights, working conditions, the environment and honourable activities.
Clear requirements, dialogue with and follow-up of suppliers.
Clear requirements, dialogue with and follow-up of partners.
The sustainability strategy is decided by the executive board of SpareBank 1 SR-Bank. The strategy is anchored and revised in line with the overall corporate strategy. The strategy is incorporated and kept up-to-date in appropriate strategic governance documents, routines and guidelines for responsible resources (pursuant to Appendix 2).
The Executive Vice President, Communication and Sustainability is responsible for managing and maintaining the group's sustainability strategy.
To ensure compliance with the strategy in practice, each department manager must ensure that principles, objectives and initiatives are known throughout the organization and systematically followed up.
The individual companies that form the corporation as well as the bank's business and support areas are responsible for implementing sustainability in accordance with the current strategy and action plans.
The group's activities and work on sustainability are reported in an annual sustainability report and a climate statement as part of the bank's annual report.
A major and multi-disciplinary sustainability committee will be established in the group.
The committee's mandate will be advisory in individual cases, and also clarify principle cases relating to sustainability and responsible investments and credit in the group's operations.
Starting with the financial year 2018, the bank will report on sustainability efforts in line with recommendations from Oslo Stock Exchange's guidance on reporting corporate social responsibility; i.e. according to the international GRI reporting standard.
SR-Bank has chosen three of the UN Sustainable Development Goals that we will focus on to contribute to a more sustainable world.
A committee comprising different parts of the group have helped to determine which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals we will focus on, and the bank’s board has approved them.
The three goals selected are:
Decent work and economic growth
“We have chosen to focus on three sustainable development goals for several reasons. Firstly, the goals aim to clarify and make our sustainability strategy more accessible to all - including those who don’t necessarily read strategy documents. These goals, in combination with the sustainability strategy, will guide the work we perform in the area of sustainability,” says Executive Vice President, Arne Austreid."
The goals have been chosen based on various criteria, but all three are subjects to which we, the employees in the group, can relate.
Equality – a natural choice
“Equality is a natural choice with regards to the industry in which we work. In the financial industry, we see differences between men and women both in terms of wage earning and distribution of roles at different managerial levels and positions of authority.”
UN on the goal: “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” Equality is a human right. It's about giving both genders equal rights and opportunities to decide over their own lives. Women's access to education, health care, work and legal rights is necessary to creating development in a country.
Decent work and economic growth – a good fit with the group’s intentions
The goal is in line with the group's role as a community builder and our intention to provide power for growth and development. Here we are already doing much to contribute to diversification of the country's business community by supporting new industries and entrepreneurs through Gründerhub,” says Arne Austreid.
UN on the goal;“Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all” Around half of the world’s population earns so little that they cannot live off their wage. Creating economic growth and new jobs through decent work is a prerequisite for sustainable development. Creating good quality workplaces is one of the greatest challenges facing all countries leading up to 2030.
“Just putting climate and the environment on the agenda in discussions with customers has an impact and can create change. We will help our customers to have a conscious approach to sustainability and climate risk, and in future we expect them to take an active approach to their own practice in this field. Credit is the bank’s largest business area and the area we have most opportunity to influence, especially in corporate markets.”
UN on the goal: “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts” Climate change is a global issue and does not recognise national borders. We must therefore find global solutions as well. In addition to cutting emissions and capturing and storing CO2, there must be far greater work performed in renewable energy and other clean energy. Researchers on the UN’s climate panel believe that a two-degree temperature increase is the limit of what nature can withstand. If the temperature increases by more than that, climate change will be uncontrollable. The world’s leaders therefore agreed on a new agreement at the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference. There, countries committed themselves to doing all they can to ensure the temperature does not rise by more than two degrees, and preferably by no more than 1.5.
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