Handelsbanken has been ranked as Sweden’s most sustainable listed company in the banking and finance sector. This was reported in the 2020 Sustainable Companies ranking conducted by the Dagens Industri newspaper, the Aktuell Hållbarhet publication, and the Lund School of Economics and Management.
Sustainable Bank of the Year – for the second year running
A more personal bank with a presence close to its customers
Catharina Belfrage Sahlstrand, Chief Sustainability Officer
- Working close to our customers, and with a low risk appetite – two of our core values – are part of the reason why we are ranked as the most sustainable bank for the second year in a row,” says Catharina Belfrage Sahlstrand, Handelsbanken’s Chief Sustainability Officer.
This is the third occasion that the ranking has been carried out, encompassing almost 140 listed Swedish companies in six sectors. The focus of this year’s survey has been on the companies’ transition management and risk management.
If the world is to achieve the goals set by the Paris Agreement, capital and investments will be necessary, in order to stimulate and contribute to a more climate-neutral economy. We will also need great awareness as regards what we finance, and how we can promote this transition,” says Catharina.
The areas where we have the greatest opportunity to exert influence are indeed in financing and responsible investment, and in Catharina’s view, the first step is to ensure that our customers endorse and comprehend the implications of the Paris Agreement, and the part that their company and its sector have to play in the transition. Handelsbanken can then provide support for the transition process, with advisory services and financing.
- We work in a structured manner with climate risk, for example when we carry out credit assessments, and in the management of mutual funds. But it’s not enough to have a sustainable offering if you don’t guide customers in the right direction. It is therefore important that we develop the advisory side and provide assistance with analysis,” says Catharina.
Finally, as the world makes the transition, what is “green” today will be normalised in the future. We’ll never be able to say that the transition is complete, or that our sustainability work is done, but seeing that we can influence developments is a driving force for us.
Facts about Sustainable Companies 2020
- This year, the ranking lists cover six sectors: capital goods, consumer goods, materials, groceries, banks, and investment companies. The aim is to provide insight regarding sustainability work in the Swedish business world.
- The research consists of studies and analyses of the companies’ communications, as well as a survey of the companies’ work with Sustainable Development Goals, the environment, climate, human rights, anti-corruption, employee-related matters and capital market impact.
- The ranking lists are compiled in consultation with an advisory committee of more than ten experts and representatives from organisations such as the Swedish Institute of Authorised Public Accountants, Swesif, Svensk FastighetsFinansiering (SFF), Vinnova, and the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth.