1. About us
  2. /
  3. Sustainability
  4. /
  5. Climate change

Our environmental approach

Working together to tackle climate change

Responsible outlook

Climate change poses wide-ranging threats to human life, livelihoods and the natural world; we must work together to avert its worst effects and to move to a low-carbon economy. This is why we have committed to achieving net zero emissions across our operations, by no later than 2040. This includes our direct operations, as well as our lending and investment portfolio.

As a bank built on trusting relationships, working together means supporting our customers through this change, helping them to see their individual risks and invest in long-term solutions. 

We have always preferred to work with customers and businesses that share our responsible outlook, while we continually aim to improve the sustainability of our own operations. Through efficient use of resources, responsible purchasing and avoiding unnecessary travel, we are further reducing our environmental impact.

As we continue to develop a range of sustainable financing and investment options, our digital solutions offer customers and employees more opportunities to meet and stay informed remotely, as well as in person.


We are one of the founding banks to have joined Bankers for NetZero, an initiative bringing together banks, businesses and regulators to help accelerate the transition to net zero. 

To add further focus to our climate change work, we have committed to a number of United Nations initiatives, including the recently launched Net-Zero Banking AllianceOpens in a new windowPrinciples for Responsible BankingOpens in a new window, the Sustainable Development GoalsOpens in a new window and the Global Compact.

Climate impact

  • Since we first started measuring our CO2 emissions in 2013, they have reduced by 46%, or 1845 tonnes, in the UK
  • Since 2013, Handelsbanken in the UK has reduced its emissions from energy use (in buildings) by 43%, which equates to 1485 tonnes CO2e*
  • From 2013 – 2020, paper usage reduced by 91%, 1463 tonnes CO2e. in 2020, our paper usage equates to 142 tonnes CO2e, or 0.6 tonnes CO2e per employee**

*CO2e: Carbon dioxide equivalent. This term describes different greenhouse gases through a common unit, CO2e.  It aims to express the impact of different greenhouse gases in terms of the amount of CO2 that would have the equivalent global warming impact

**Based on data collected for our Sustainability Report 2020