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Landsbankinn's policy on social responsibility is to contribute to sustainability in Iceland, to be a dynamic force in society and operate in accordance with the principles of good corporate governance.
The Bank will take the initiative to form partnerships with companies, institutions and organisations to develop economic activity and infrastructure which will contribute to increased sustainability in Icelandic industry and society with the aim to utilise as best as possible the available opportunities for the maximum future benefit of Icelanders and Iceland. A joint effort can create new business opportunities that emphasise sustainability.
Landsbankinn focuses especially on three of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and new Principles for Responsible Banking from UNEP-FI. The latter are intended to link banking with the UN’s SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement.
More detailed coverage of the Principles for Responsible Banking from UNEP-FI is presented alongside information about the Bank’s sustainability policy in the chapter Responsible banking and the SDGs.
In addition, Landsbankinn has adopted measurable and time-bound goals based on UNEP-FI’s guidelines to work to achieve the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement. These goals are presented in the chapter on Goals.
The State Ownership Policy for Financial Undertakings states that financial undertakings shall adopt environmental and sustainability policies, as well as a CSR policy. To comply with the Ownership Policy, Landsbankinn has been an active participant of the UN Global Compact, a member of UN PRI, a founding member of the Iceland Sustainable Investment Forum (IcelandSIF), as well as Festa, Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and publishes an annual ESG report based on the principles of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).
Landsbankinn approved a CSR Policy in 2011 and that Policy has since been under constant development. The focus is on integrating sustainability in the Bank’s core operation. In 2019, Landsbankinn became a signatory of new Principles for Responsible Banking, obliging the Bank to set goals that enable it to work to further the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement in its activities. In shaping these goals, the Bank utilised guidelines from UNEP-FI and involved executives, employees, various stakeholders, customers and the general public in the process. For more details on the goals and their shaping, turn to the chapter Goals.
The Bank’s strategizing, including sustainability policies, is the purview of the Executive Board and the Board of Directors of Landsbankinn.
In October 2019, Landsbankinn received an ESG risk rating from Sustainalytics, reflecting an in-depth assessment of the Bank’s risk exposure to material ESG issues. ESG stands for environmental, social and governance. Landsbankinn received an excellent score, ranking 6th out of 376 European banks assessed by Sustainalytics. Landsbankinn scored 17.5 points on a scale of 0 to 100 which means that exposure to financial risk from ESG issues is deemed low.
There is increasing demand for third-party verification of companies’ ESG issues and several investors require independent evaluation of the Bank’s sustainability platform. ESG issues are benchmarks that measure a company’s management of the environmental impact of its operation, its treatment of human resources, suppliers, customers and society.
In 2019, Landsbankinn joined PCAF, a global partnership of financial undertakings that work together to develop and implement a harmonized approach to assess and disclose greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The carbon accounting method is intended to allow financial undertakings to measure and analyse emissions from their credit and asset portfolios. The initiative originated in the Netherlands and since then, open-source methodologies to measure carbon emissions have been developed for banks in North America. Work is currently under way to develop an international method to allow financial undertakings throughout the world to measure carbon emissions in a scientific and co-ordinated manner. Landsbankinn participates in PCAF’s development of the international method which is a 3-year project.
Landsbankinn takes cyber security extremely seriously and participates in various collaborations with organisations and institutions in the field, both in Iceland and abroad. The Bank’s experts are active participants in debate about these issues and produced accessible educational material published to Umræðan and to social media in 2019. The Bank considers such instruction and training to be part of its efforts under social responsibility.
In 2019, the Bank’s cyber security experts participated in around 30 events on cyber security, hosted well attended meetings and educational events for companies.
Landsbankinn respects the legally protected rights of customers provided for in the Act on Personal Data Protection and in keeping with the Bank’s policy on data protection and the processing of personal information. Individuals can use the Bank’s data rights portal to request access to their own personal data that the Bank uses in its operation, and request correction or deletion of certain personal data from the Bank's systems.
In 2019, Landsbankinn processed 44 applications for access to information, 21 applications to delete data and 1 request to transfer data to another service provider. The Bank’s Data Protection Officer did not receive any complaints about the treatment of the personal data of customers or others in 2019.
Landsbankinn intends to be a model of good corporate governance and complies with guidelines issued by Nasdaq Iceland, the Iceland Chamber of Commerce and the Confederation of Icelandic Employers. For more information, see the chapter About Landsbankinn.
Landsbankinn participates in the following sustainability collaborations:
Festa, Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility. Landsbankinn was a founding member of Festa in 2011.
United Nations Global Compact. Landsbankinn has been a signatory of the UN's Global Compact since 2006.
United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI). UN PRI is an association of investors, funds and analysts that aims to include environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria in investment decisions.
United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI). Landsbankinn was a founding member of UNEP-FI in 1992.
Iceland Sustainable Investment Forum (IcelandSIF). Landsbankinn was a founding member of IcelandSIF in 2017. The objective of IcelandSIF is to promote awareness among investors of the methodology of sustainable and responsible investment and to boost debate.
Paris Climate Agreement. In November 2015, Landsbankinn signed a declaration on climate issues, joining over a hundred Icelandic companies and institutions in a collaborative venture of the City of Reykjavík and Festa.
UNEP-FI Principles for Responsible Banking. In September 2019, Landsbankinn committed to implement and comply with the Principles for Responsible Banking. They are intended to link banking with the UN’s SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement. Landsbankinn focuses on three of the SDGs in its operation: No. 5, gender equality, no. 8, decent work and economic growth, and no. 12, responsible production and consumption.
Platform Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF). In 2019, Landsbankinn joined PCAF, a global partnership of financial undertakings that work together to develop and implement a harmonized approach to assess and disclose greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The carbon accounting method is intended to allow financial undertakings to measure and analyse emissions from their credit and asset portfolios.
The chapter Collaborators contains more details about Landsbankinn’s collaborations in the field of sustainability and CSR.