Íslandsbanki a catalyst for positive social action
Íslandsbanki is a leader in financial services in Iceland. Type of products and services include savings, lending, payment services and investment banking services. The bank has an asset management focused subsidiary. The Bank lends to companies and individuals with a 25- 40% market share across all domestic business segments.
Íslandsbanki’s Sustainability Policy aims at making the Bank a model of exemplary operations in the Icelandic business community, based on internationally recognised environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria. The Bank aims to be a leader in the area of sustainable development, moving Iceland forward by empowering its customers to succeed. To this end, the Bank intends to initiate broad collaboration on responsible business practices that both contribute to sustainable development in the Icelandic economy and support the Icelandic Government’s Climate Action Plan, while also supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
It has been three years since the bank undertook extensive evaluation and work regarding policy-making and subsequently introduced a new policy in which the bank's stated role is to be a positive force in society. The Klappir Sustainability Platform was implemented in 2019 and Íslandsbanki has worked with Klappir ever since and our sustainability statements are based on data directly from the software.
Íslandsbanki seeks to set a positive precedent by being action driven, thereby gaining and maintaining customers’ trust. The Bank aims to communicate actively with customers and collaborators concerning responsible business practices, which is one of the keys to ensuring that Íslandsbanki is a positive force in society.
To be able to understand and move forward Íslandsbanki needed a comprehensive overview of all of their ESG factors and the Klappir Sustainability Platform met all criteria in the selection process. This was on one hand referring to the basic activities of the bank, to receive savings and lend them to profitable and value-creating projects, but also referring to increased sustainability in all of the bank's operations. The Sustainability Platform assists the bank both on a daily basis and its long-term vision.
Íslandsbanki's total Greenhouse Gas Emissions were 723.1 tCO2e in 2021. Scope 1 and 2 emissions amounted to 110.9 tCO2e. Total GHG emissions of comparable factors fell by 20% from 475 in 2020 to 381 tCO2e in 2021.
Carbon offset: Íslandsbanki has offset their operations in full with certified emissions reduction units from CDM while also contributing to voluntary compensation through the restoration of wetlands.
Waste management: Total emissions from waste generated in operations fell by 44%, mainly due to increase in percentage of waste recycled from 59% to 70%.
“It may be a bit of a cliché, but sustainability is a journey. We are always learning more and getting better data, measurements and comparisons and setting the goal higher. From an environmental point of view, the bank's operations have been carbon neutral since 2019, and last year we decided to aim for full carbon neutrality by 2040, not only in operations, but also in lending and investments. We have just completed measurements of the carbon footprint of the loan and portfolio, and from that we know that its carbon footprint in one day is similar to the carbon footprint of the bank's operations for an entire year. This underlines what we knew, that there are opportunities to be a real driving force and help our customers succeed on their own sustainability journey.”
Kristrún Tinna Gunnarsdóttir, Head of Strategy and Sustainability at Íslandsbanki