For many years, Danske Bank has had a strong focus on minimising the environmental impact of its operations.
The Bank achieved the Business & Biodiversity Charter in 2019 and has consistently led the way in its sector in the annual NI Environmental Benchmarking Survey, achieving Platinum level again in 2020.
Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, Danske Bank significantly stepped up its commitment and efforts to tackle climate change and contribute to a more sustainable future.
What Danske Bank did
Danske Bank’s Executive Committee (ExCo) has put climate at the heart of the Bank’s Corporate Plan. Being ‘Green and Socially Responsible’ is one of six key strategic priorities, placing environmental leadership at the centre of the Bank’s ambitions.
Vicky Davies, CEO designate, Danske Bank said: “The financial services sector has a big part to play in helping businesses and customers transition towards a zero-carbon economy. In the next 5-10 years one of the biggest things we can do is to help NI businesses to be ready for the next 50 years. We have therefore put sustainability and climate change at the top of our societal agenda.”
In 2020 the Board and ExCo began to embed climate change and sustainability in the Bank’s organisational culture.
Highlights in 2020/21 include:
- Creating a new role of Head of Climate Risk & Strategy
- Developing a Climate Strategy
- Putting robust governance in place
- Becoming BITC’s Climate Champion for the financial services sector, actively calling on other businesses to take action on climate
- Hosting a BITCNI roundtable with the UK’s Climate Action Champion Nigel Topping
- Becoming the first bank (and one of the first organisations) to sign BITC’s Climate Action Pledge
- Including a ‘Green and Socially Responsible’ KPI within every employee’s performance
- Developing strategic new partnerships to reduce environmental impact
- Helping other businesses transition – co-developing an innovative Climate Action Programme
Impacts and Outcomes
- Rated as an ‘Outstanding’ place to work by Best Companies, achieving a top 10 listing across all sectors in NI
- 11 ‘Green Champions’ across the Bank’s branch network who lead its green agenda among peers and colleagues
- 20 colleagues helped create the biodiversity/outdoor learning spaces at 11 primary schools
- 500+ employees have taken part in climate and environment training in 2021
- 40+ Corporate and Business Managers received training on how to integrate sustainability into decision-making
- Enhanced reputation by raising awareness of climate initiatives through climate communications plan and Responsible Business Report
- Removed petrol and diesel options from its car scheme and committed to a zero emissions fleet by end 2025
- 100% of electricity is obtained from certified renewable sources
- Installed additional ‘living walls’ within head office, contributing significantly to the quality of the building’s environment and positively to the wellbeing of those who work there
- Added value for six corporate customers by nominating them for the Climate Action
Programme pilot with BITC which provides NI businesses with a structured series of workshops and tangible outcomes designed to promote climate adaption
within their business and highlight the need for environmental awareness and response
- Supported the voluntary sector by donating employee time and skills to partners working in the environmental sector, such as Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, Eco-Schools and Ulster Wildlife
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The Judges said
It is evident from Danske Bank’s leadership that climate strategy is a key strategic objective for the business.
The Bank has ambitious targets and is seeking to improve the environment for everyone in NI, by investing in climate-positive measures and collaborating with other like-minded businesses, to share best practice.