What we’ve done so far
In this section we present some of our achievements with a sustainable perspective, that SEB has accomplished so far. They range from very broad initiatives to small steps in our daily work.
Reduced carbon emissions
In 2009, SEB decided to reduce the annual CO2 emissions by 45 per cent, from the base level in 2008. The decision reflected our ambition to address a broader range of environmental issues.
Energy use, paper consumption and business travel, and the related greenhouse gas emissions, represent the most material direct impact of our operations on the environment.
SEB divested its German retail business in early 2011. Consequently, the 2008 baseline has been revised to 44,380 tonnes CO2, from 50,404 tonnes CO2. Concurrently, we have confirmed our commitment to the 45 percent reduction of our carbon emissions by 2015.
45% reduction will be achieved through:
Reducing our business travel | Air travel will be replaced by rail whenever practical and travel overall will be reduced by the increased use of video conferences, webinars etc.
Results so far: CO2 emissions from business travel increased by 23 per cent in 2011 compared to 2010. This was primarily due to increased travel within the Merchant Banking and Wealth divisions, which are in an expansionary phase and whose activities are particularly travel intensive. We are strengthening our efforts to reduce carbon-intensive travel.
We seek to replace air travel with train whenever possible and increase the use of video and web conferencing. In 2011, the use of video and telephone conferencing increased by 28 per cent within SEB. During the year, a number of tools and guides to increase the level of travel free meetings have been put in place.
Change to green company cars | The implementation of our new company car policy is sucessful. All the leased cars used by the company must be classified as green (EU: 130g CO2/km, Sweden: 120g CO2/km). The older, less environmentally friendly cars of the company car fleet will continously be replaced by newer more efficient models when entering into new leasing contracts. The green car policy will be fully implemented by year-end 2013.
Results so far: In 2011 we increased the proportion of green cars in the company fleet to 63,5% (35%), reducing our total transport emissions by 15 %.
The transition to renewable energy sources and energy efficiency | Non-renewable energy sources are being replaced with renewable energy when possible. We are also continously reviewing our data centers which monitor our heating and cooling systems improving and implementing energy efficiency programs. In addition we have begun to install automatic light switches which avoid unnecessary energy consumption.
Results so far: Energy use in our offices and branches has decreased by 12 per cent since 2008. We have successfully implemented a wide range of small energy efficiency measures both in the office space that we own or rent and in the data centres that we manage.
Combined with the switch to renewable energy sources made in 2009 and 2010, carbon emissions from energy consumption have been reduced by 52 per cent against the revised 2008 baseline. For SEB, 72 % (64 %) of all electricity is provided from renewable sources.
We will continue to work for a change to renewable energy where possible combined with increasing energy efficiency in our offices and branches. The Green IT initiative has increased power usage effectiveness, e.g. the share of energy that is actually used for computing equipment in the data centre. We also focused on increased server virtualisation, to reduce power and cooling costs and carbon footprint. In 2010, SEB Finland was awarded the WWF Green Office certification.
Reduction of paper consumption |
Every year, SEB distributes tonnes of paper to customers in the form of account statements, transaction reports and agreements. We have an Output Manager responsible sponsible persons to manage our on-going "paper reduction initiative" focusing on reducing internal paper consumption, increasing our use of digital distribution, useage of double-sided printing and combine several dispatches into a single statement. Our first paperless branch office will be piloted in the spring of 2012, in Tallinn.
Results so far: Total paper consumption was reduced by an additional 109 tonnes in 2011, corresponding to almost a 7 per cent reduction. Among the 2011 achievements in our largest market Sweden, can be mentioned double-sided printing outs for annual statements to customers, electronic salary statements to 8,900 employees and increased use of the more environmentally-friendly “B-post” in physical mailings. These actions contribute SEK 13 million in cost savings, 30 tonnes less paper usage and a 25 tonnes decrease in CO2.
Offset our remaining carbon emissions
Our strategy builds upon the overall reduction of our emissions paired with compensating for our remaining emissions. Since 2009, we have offset our emissions through investments in
carbon offsetting projects according to the UN certification scheme under the Kyoto Protocol (the Clean Development Mechanism, CDM) or the Voluntary Carbon Standard, (VCS). Our ambition for all chosen projects is beside offsetting our emissions, also to bring social benefits to the communities in which they are present.
The Meru & Nanyuki reforestation project, Kenya
The majority of our CO2 emissions offsets in 2011 were made through a redorestation project in central Kenya. The project integrates reforestation to sequester carbon with community development activities targeting improved access to food and the creation of additional sources of income beyond subsistence farming. The environmental benefits include reduction of soil erosion, contribution to the improvement of the water catchments areas and enhanced biodiversity.
Planting trees in Uchindile Mapanda, Tanzania
This project, in the Southern highlands of Tanzania, involves the reforestation of degraded land to sequester carbon emissions from the atmosphere. 10 per cent of the carbon revenues from the forests are allocated to initiatives which will benefit the local communities based on their list of priorities. This includes the construction of schools and hospitals and increased employment of teachers and doctors. This project establishes commercial forests across the Uchindile and Mapanda districts. It is a unique project since it became the first ‘Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use’ (AFOLU) project to be validated under the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS). We have offset our emissions in this project both for 2010 and 2011.
Providing solar cookers to families in Ningxia, China
For 2009 and 2010 we offset our emissons through a project providing solar cookers to the rural Ningxia Hui region in northwest China – one of the poorest regions in the country. SEB’s contribution subsidized around 17,000 solar cookers that can be used to boil water and prepare meals. The Solar cooker project also supports development in the region as it trains people to use solar energy whilst building awareness of environmental protection.
Providing solar cookers to families in Ningxia, China
We also continued to support the provision of solar cookers to the rural Ningxia Hui region in northwest China (10,870 tonnes) – one of the poorest regions in the country. SEB’s contribution subsidized around 17,000 solar cookers that can be used to boil water and prepare meals. The Solar cooker project also supports development in the region as it trains people to use solar energy whilst building awareness of environmental protection.