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.

Our work on climate action is two-fold for us. Firstly we believe customer engagement on climate change is essential. We want to support our customers through this change, helping them see their climate-related risks and invest in long-term solutions and opportunities. Secondly, we want to lead credibly by example, becoming climate positive in our own operations.

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. We will continue to focus on areas including the energy usage and performance of our premises, and avoiding unnecessary business travel, as well as responsible purchasing and our supply chain. Also, we will start collecting data on our indirect emissions from staff commuting and home working.

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 founder members of Bankers for NetZero, an initiative bringing together banks, businesses, NGOs and policymakers to help accelerate the transition to net zero. In the initiative’s first year, we brought forward recommendations to help kickstart the market for property retrofits for energy efficiency (pdf 5.5 MB) Opens in a new window, and to support SMEs in their transition (pdf 1.4 MB) Opens in a new window to a low carbon economy. We are committed to continuing to support Bankers for Net Zero throughout 2022 to advance these and further ideas and insights.

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 Alliance Opens in a new windowPrinciples for Responsible Banking Opens in a new window, the Sustainable Development Goals Opens in a new window and the Global Compact.

Climate impact

  • In 2021, our total emissions were 1516* tonnes CO2e**, or 0.57 tonnes CO2e per employee.
  • For 2021, the Bank's total electricity consumption was 3,776 MWh, or 1.4 MWh per employee. 

The above is based on data collected for Handelbanken Group's 2021 Annual and Sustainability Report Opens in a new window.

*Using a market based methodology

**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.