Working together for a sus­tain­able future

As one of Denmark’s largest banks, Sydbank has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to make a positive con­tri­bu­tion to de­vel­op­men­ts in society so that together we can ensure a sus­tain­able future for the next gen­er­a­tions.

We take this re­spon­si­bil­ity seriously.

That’s why we have set five ambitious targets for how we can con­tribute. The targets we have set are in areas where we can make the greatest dif­fer­ence.

We are aware that con­sid­er­able efforts will be needed to achieve these targets because working towards sus­tain­abil­ity is a complex task and huge volumes of data will be required to measure the effect of our ini­tia­tives.

But we need to act now and the targets are the first step.

Five strategic focus areas

Re­spon­si­ble finance

Target: DKK 10bn to green finance in 2027

Sydbank wants to help ensure a more sus­tain­able future. As a result Sydbank has set a target that in 2027 the Bank has provided lending of DKK 10bn to ac­tiv­i­ties that con­tribute to the green tran­si­tion – also known as green finance.

We have for­mu­lated a set of rules on when a loan can be called green. It is called the Green Bond Framework and is based on in­ter­na­tion­al­ly recog­nised standards. The loans fall into five main cat­e­gories:

  • Renewable energy
  • Green buildings
  • Clean trans­porta­tion
  • Sus­tain­able use of natural resources
  • Recycling and sus­tain­able pro­duc­tion

New financing solutions that can be clas­si­fied as green loans in ac­cor­dance with our set of rules are underway to our corporate clients as well as our retail clients. One example of our existing solutions is Sydbank Energilån (energy loans).

In order to monitor de­vel­op­men­ts in our green finance, constant efforts are made to access new data that will make it easier to identify the loans that can be included in the target of DKK 10bn.

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Green Bond Framework

Re­spon­si­ble in­vest­ment

Target: 50-70% reduction in CO2e footprint* from in­vest­men­ts in 2030 compared to the CO2e footprint in 2020

Re­spon­si­ble in­vest­ment. It sounds easier than it is. But that will not make us give up without trying. Because a step no matter how small is still a step.

The target to halve the CO2e emissions from companies in the Bank’s in­vest­ment portfolio is ambitious. For­tu­nately there are several different dials we can adjust to reach our target.

One of these dials is “active ownership” where we attempt to impact companies’ de­vel­op­ment through en­gage­ment and voting at general meetings.

Another dial is di­vest­ment. However we are basically of the opinion that selling off polluting companies in important in­dus­tries such as the cement and steel in­dus­tries will not con­tribute ef­fec­tively to reducing de facto CO2e emissions worldwide. Instead we believe that more will be gained by helping to move pro­duc­tion in a more sus­tain­able direction.

At present data on CO2e foot­prints is most advanced within listed shares and corporate bonds. These two asset classes are therefore initially included in the cal­cu­la­tion of the Bank’s CO2e footprint. However data is improved on an ongoing basis and over time we expect to be able to include in­vest­men­ts in gov­ern­ment bonds and mortgage bonds.

* Whereas CO2 only refers to carbon dioxide, CO2e includes other green­house gases such as methane.

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Re­spon­si­ble climate footprint

Target: 75% reduction in CO2e* from own op­er­a­tions in 2030 compared to emissions in 2019

It is not enough to help our customers finance energy efficient solutions. We must also of course reduce CO2e emissions from our own op­er­a­tions.

That’s why we have set up our own solar cell systems in Aabenraa, Esbjerg and Slagelse. More and more of our company cars are being replaced with electric cars or hybrid cars. And energy con­sump­tion is monitored on an hourly basis as regards 95% of the Bank’s building stock – more than 1,100 alarms are linked to our energy man­age­ment tool and therefore a warning is sent in case of con­stantly high con­sump­tion or in­suf­fi­cient data.

Con­tin­u­ous efforts are made to lower con­sump­tion in order to reduce emissions. However CO2e emissions cannot be avoided entirely. We purchase certified elec­tric­ity generated by modern Danish wind turbines to offset the Bank’s un­avoid­able CO2e emissions from elec­tric­ity.

* Whereas CO2 only refers to carbon dioxide, CO2e includes other green­house gases such as methane.

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Re­spon­si­ble employer

Target: Top-in-class employee en­gage­ment among financial in­sti­tu­tions

We are no better than our employees. We are fully aware of this, and education and personal de­vel­op­ment have always been high on the agenda at Sydbank.

But our employees must not only be pro­fes­sion­al­ly competent – they must also be proud to work at Sydbank. Therefore one of our targets is that employees’ job sat­is­fac­tion and loyalty will have a top ranking compared to other financial un­der­tak­ings in Denmark.

And we can measure this. Every other year we conduct a large en­gage­ment survey where our employees are asked the same questions as 40,000 other employees in the financial sector. This enables us to determine whether we are in the top 25% in terms of employee en­gage­ment. We were in the latest survey in 2022 – and we intend to be again in 2024.

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A decent bank

Target: More than 95% of the Bank’s employees have regularly completed courses sup­port­ing a decent bank

To us being a decent bank means that Sydbank is helping to ensure a secure and robust financial in­fra­struc­ture in Denmark  – in other words every­thing related to your money.

In order to live up to this role thousands of laws and rules must be complied with. We must combat money laun­der­ing. We must make sure that data is protected. We must ensure that in­for­ma­tion about our customers does not end up in the wrong place. Just to mention a few examples.

It is important that all the Bank’s employees have basic knowledge of all the measures behind being a decent bank. As a result Sydbank has a mandatory training programme that all new employees must complete. In addition all employees are kept updated by way of regular training modules.

The com­ple­tion rates of training courses are monitored closely. Twice a year we review the number of employees who have completed the courses as scheduled and there are follow-up pro­ce­dures for employees who have not completed the courses.

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