NI Responsible Company of the Year Award: Danske Bank

Danske Bank is the trading name of Northern Bank Ltd, NI’s biggest bank and part of the local community for over 200 years. It is an autonomous subsidiary of the Danske Bank Group, headquartered in Copenhagen.


Danske Bank is the trading name of Northern Bank Ltd, NI’s biggest bank and part of the local community for over 200 years. It is an autonomous subsidiary of the Danske Bank Group, headquartered in Copenhagen.

Danske serves the needs of c. 450k personal customers and 40k business customers across NI through its 40 branches, three regional business centres, digital banking and telephone banking channels.

What Danske Bank did

Danske Bank invests in Corporate Responsibility (CR) by making employees’ time and expertise available for the benefit of society, investing in its people, in young people through community programmes and sports sponsorships, in initiatives to help fuel business growth, and more.

The Bank has a long-term commitment to protecting and enhancing the environment, through energy management, waste reduction, biodiversity and by promoting behavioural change.

Danske Bank’s CR strategy sets out three strategic themes: Support for Financial Confidence; Accessible Finance for Everyone, Everyday; and Fuelling Start ups and Business Growth.

Four areas of focus help integrate responsibility into its core business: Contributing to Society; Responsible Employer, Responsible Customer Relationships; and Environmental Footprint. These are aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a focus on SDG #4 Quality Education and SDG #8 Decent Work and Economic Growth.

The organisation has wide range of successful CR initiatives to address key issues and challenges in a way that creates value for society and for business and it is committed to supporting local communities across Northern Ireland through community programmes and local sponsorships. These include: SMART, Danske’s flagship financial education programme for children and young people; Danske Time to Give, providing colleagues with a day a year to volunteer; Danske Volunteer Grants for community organisations and charities in which employees volunteer; and a charity partner programme.

Progress on CR is updated and discussed at a number of regular boards and networks.

The Bank use F2F, intranet, PR and social media extensively to communicate what it is doing to employees and various stakeholders. In January 2019 it published the first Responsible Business Report.

Impacts and Outcomes

  • 10% increase in employee engagement
  • 100 colleagues, friends & families took part in first Belfast Pride
  • 300+ colleagues attended Danske Women’s Network events and the Women in Leadership programme and new mentoring programme developed
  • Free winter flu jab for every employee
  • 20%+ of employees studying for professional qualifications / accreditations
  • Launched Catalyst Belfast Fintech Hub to help grow fintech sector
  • £272k investment in business and agri sponsorships
  • £130k raised for AMH in past 2 years, £10k donated to 3 local charities through Christmas Gift initiative and contributed nearly £130,000 to community organisations through Danske Volunteer Grants since launch.
  • 2,105 volunteering hours in 2018
  • 5,455 children and young people educated in classrooms through SMART)
  • Launched Apprenticeship programme in partnership with UU – 11 students working towards BSc in Managing the Customer Contact
  • Developed ‘Assured Skills Academy’ in collaboration with NWRC which will create 67 new jobs in NW
  • 35+ work experience placements
  • Became NI’s first JAM Card friendly bank (13k+ users)
  • Launched Keep it Safe programme to educate customers on common scams
  • All ATMs adapted for visually- impaired
  • £347k invested per year in local sports
  • Leveraged sponsorships to promote equality and diversity e.g. only brand in Europe to sponsor both the Men’s and Women’s Premiership. Extended sponsorship of the Schools’ Cup to include the Girls Schools’ Cup
  • Annual waste generated fell by 31% and amount recycled or regenerated fell by 27%
  • Removed non-recyclable coffee cups and plastic cutlery from canteens
  • Paper consumption per employee fell from 108kg to 65kg

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