In September 2019, Lilja Björk Einarsdóttir, CEO of Landsbankinn, signed new Principles for Responsible Banking at the UN General Assembly in New York. Landsbankinn thereby joined a coalition of 130 banks from around the world. The Principles are intended to strategically align financial activity with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.
Taking place at the start of the UN General Assembly, the official launch of the Principles for Responsible Banking marked the beginning of the most significant partnership to date between the global banking industry and the UN. The Principles were developed by 30 international banks under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) of which Landsbankinn is already a member. By signing them, the banks commit to focusing their efforts where they have the greatest impact – in their core business – and set, publish and implement ambitious targets to scale up positive and address any negative impacts in line with global and local goals. This is the first global framework that guides the integration of sustainability across all business areas of banking activity.
1. Align strategy with the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement.
2. Boost positive effects on society and the natural environment and reduce negative impact.
3. Work towards sustainability together with customers.
4. Work with stakeholders to achieve society’s goals.
5. Responsible and effective governance and target setting.
6. Transparency and accountability about both positive and negative impacts.
Landsbankinn is committed to adhering to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals in its operation. Emphasis will be placed on working to achieve three of the SDGs: Goal 5 on gender equality, goal 8 on decent work and economic growth, and goal 12 on responsible consumption and production. The chosen SDGs all relate to the Bank’s activities and as such allow the Bank to maximise the positive impact of its work on the environment and the community.
The United Nations presented their Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in 2015 as replacement for the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), set around the turn of the century. The SDGs are more numerous and specific than the MDGs and focus on the pressing challenges facing the entire world. Below is a review of each SDG and their sub-goals.
Landsbankinn has over many years made a point of ensuring that men and women receive equal pay for equally valuable work and enjoy the same job opportunities. Landsbankinn has twice been awarded the golden seal of PwC's Equal Pay Audit and, in March 2019, the Bank achieved legally required equal pay certification.
A detailed coverage of equality at Landsbankinn is presented in the chapter on Equality.
Goal 8 promotes sustained and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. Landsbankinn supports this goal in various aspects of its operation. Landsbankinn signed a seven-year loan agreement with the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB), the terms of which provide that Landsbankinn re-loan the funds to small and medium-sized enterprises and environmental projects in Iceland.
Landsbankinn has approved sector policies that incorporate guidelines on sustainability for the following industries: fisheries and seafood, real estate companies, construction companies, holding companies, the travel industry, commerce, services, IT and telecommunications. Landsbankinn contributes to the improvement of access to banking and financial services for all with the country’s largest branch network and most ATMs. Landsbankinn's community grants and scholarships support local culture.