Managing environmental and social risks
We have as a bank an important role to play by factoring sustainability risks into our financing and investment decisions.
To us, responsible lending means promoting a sound financial situation and taking responsibility for reducing indirect impact on people and the environment that can arise through our customers’ businesses. Sustainability risks can rarely be separated from financial risks, so we conduct a sustainability analysis in connection with all business loan applications over SEK 5m. In the analysis we discuss general sustainability risks with the customer based on a risk assessment model with questions on human rights, the environment and climate change, taxes and corruption.
If the company is considered to have significant sustainability risks, and/or the amount applied for is too high for the employee in charge to grant, the case is forwarded to a credit committee for final decision.
Swedbank’s Ethics Committee handles cases from the entire Group and gives recommendations on issues involving sustainability and ethics. In this way, every business area, by escalating cases to the Committee, can receive support on issues involving the environment, business ethics, human rights and taxes.
As Sweden’s largest fund manager, we are in a position to influence the companies we invest in. We have chosen to advocate for sustainability and corporate governance issues on behalf of our investors. We invest in a large number of companies in Sweden and abroad. As part of our financial analysis, we identify their sustainability risks and opportunities for improvement.
Certain companies are excluded for sustainability reasons, but our main principle is to remain an owner and try to have an influence.