Nordea Bank is a European financial services group operating in Northern Europe and headquartered in Helsinki, Finland. It operates in the following business areas: Personal Banking, Business Banking, Large Corporates & Institutions and Asset & Wealth Management. Nordea Bank serves 9.3 million private and 530,000 active corporate customers, including 2,650 large corporates and institutions. It held total assets of EUR 570.4 billion in 2021 and had EUR 411.3 billion of assets under management. Nordea is listed on Nasdaq Nordic exchanges in Helsinki, Copenhagen and Stockholm and Nordea ADR is listed in the US.
In terms of senior leadership, the responsibility for sustainability issues within Nordea lies with the board of operations and sustainability committee. The group has a gender-balanced board of directors where six out of thirteen members are women. Furthermore, Nordea publishes case studies describing where it has engaged successfully with clients on sustainability topics, such as its engagement with the new coal-fired power plant in Vietnam. In addition, the bank discloses a list of trade associations of which it is a member including sustainability- and non-sustainability-related organisations.
As a member of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA), Nordea has set a target of net-zero financed emissions by 2050. Moreover, it discloses the top 200 contributors to its equity carbon footprint as priorities to engage with on 1.5°C alignment and decarbonization strategy. In relation to climate solutions, Nordea discloses the aggregate amount of its green corporate loans, green mortgages and green car loans. The bank discloses forest industry and agricultural sectors as its priority areas in the context of biodiversity impacts and publishes financing criteria regarding sustainable forest management. Furthermore, the subsidiary Nordea Asset Management had 123 engagements on topics related to biodiversity in 2021. Nordea is also a member of Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return (FAIRR) and Climate Action 100+.
In addition to having a publicly available policy statement committing it to respect human rights and prohibit bribery and corruption, Nordea provides evidence of a grievance mechanism accessible to all stakeholders to raise related concerns. In relation to inclusion and diversity, the bank discloses the proportion of its total direct operations workforce for each employee category by age group and gender. Furthermore, Nordea describes the process for identifying its human rights risks and impacts in specific locations or activities covering its operations.
Nordea has an opportunity to link the remuneration of its executive and management teams to sustainability performance criteria. It could also commit to gender equality and women’s empowerment, disclose the proportion of women in senior leadership roles and provide evidence of efforts to address any gender pay gaps. Nordea has an engagement policy for its asset management arm but it could describe its approach to clients and investors engagement on sustainability across its financing activities.
Nordea discloses an interim intensity emission reduction target across its listed equity and corporate bond portfolio but has the opportunity to set an absolute target covering all its financing activities. Furthermore, the bank signed the Finance for Biodiversity pledge at the subsidiary level and has a fossil fuel policy for its asset management segment. However, it has an opportunity to provide disclosure on related topics across its financing activities. In addition, there is no evidence that Nordea discloses time-bound targets explicitly for its climate solutions.
Although Nordea conducted an independent human rights assessment covering its operations, it has an opportunity to describe a comprehensive process for identifying its human rights risks and impacts across all its activities, especially its financing activities. To provide transparency on financial inclusivity, the bank could disclose the amount of finance directed towards women-owned businesses or low-income developing countries. Although Nordea seeks to provide a safe and healthy work environment, it has an opportunity to disclose a commitment to respect the health and safety of its workers.
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Net income: EUR 9.62 billion; AUM: EUR 411.3 billion