Climate change will increasingly impact the global economy in coming years. The TCFD recommendations give companies a way to track the financial implications that climate change will have for their businesses and give investors a way to see how companies are addressing the climate issue.
Swedbank has an Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) policy clarifying the risk appetite set by the Board, which indicates the level of risk that the Board of Directors is prepared to expose the company to in order to achieve the strategic targets.
The Board monitors that the bank’s risk level is not exceeded, including through regular reporting from Group Risk. The risk level is regulated and monitored at the CEO, Group Executive Committee and business area level through risk indicators and limits that encompass the bank’s lending to the customer segments that, through the scenario work, are thought to have the highest climate risk.
Members of the bank’s management have participated in the scenario work and managers of each business area have received final reports on the scenario analysis who are then responsible for integrating the conclusions and recommendations in strategy and planning in terms of both business development and risk management.
A number of strategic positions have been identified for the sectors that have undergone scenario analysis and in line with the bank’s strategy and the identified risks and opportunities, the following steps are important for the bank to enable the many companies to undergo a sustainable transition:
- Support the increased investment need in the transition to a low carbon economy
- Identify, measure and monitor transition and physical climate risks
- Increase climate change awareness and enhance transparent reporting
To increase the knowledge in the bank three levels of training have been developed: a general level that is mandatory for all employees, more in-depth training mandatory for all those who interact with customers and related support functions, and detailed training for everyone who participates in scenario analyses.
A sustainability analysis is required in connection with all corporate loans. The analysis is integral to the credit analysis and is designed to evaluate how risks related to these areas impact the bank’s reputation as well as the bank’s and customer’s profitability.
In the Credit Risk Outlook, an internal, forward- looking report that the risk department produces and shares with the business areas for use in their business plans and credit strategies, a climate perspective is integrated by identifying both transition risks and physical risks in various sectors.
Transition risks are especially apparent in shipping and offshore, energy, manufacturing, and transports.
Physical risks, over a longer horizon, have been singled out in real estate management as well as agriculture, forestry and fishing. In the investment portfolio an elevated risk has been identified for assets owned by manufacturers that produce for customers in CO2-intensive sectors.
Targets, metrics and monitoring
Swedbank has been monitoring direct emissions for many years and working actively to reduce them. The efforts to understand the indirect emission exposure are intensified as the TCFD project progress.
The Board of Directors and the Group Executive Committee monitor risks and risk exposure in various reports and thereby receive regular updates on sustainability-related risks. Key indicators for climate risks show exposures to sectors with elevated transition risks. Through these indicators, exposures that could potentially drive credit risk can be monitored.
Swedbank´s climate target is to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest and align our lending and investment activities with the 1.5 degree temperature goal and set interim targets for 2030 (or sooner). The bank is currently focusing on defining specific targets in order to realise the transition to a climate-neutral society.