Sustainability

At Arion Bank we are dedicated to working responsibly, in harmony with society and the environment. 

Arion Bank’s sustainability policy

We want to act as a role model in responsible and profitable business practices, taking into account the environment, the economy and the society in which we live and work. We try to see things from our customers’ viewpoint and strive to do better today than we did yesterday.

We work in an attractive workplace where knowledge creates future value for the benefit of our customers, investors and society as a whole.

The diagram to the side shows the key stakeholders and main sustainability focuses

More about sustainability in Annual Report 2018

Commitments and certifications

  • Signatory to UN Women and UN Global Compact since 2014

  • Signatory to Festa and City of Reykjavík’s Declaration on Climate Change since 2015

  • Awarded equal pay certification by the labour union VR in 2015, and awarded Ministry of Welfare’s equal pay symbol in 2018, on both occasions first Icelandic bank to be recognized in this way

  • Signatory to UN Global Compact, the UN's initiative to encourage businesses to adopt sustainable and socially responsible practices, since 2016

  • Recognized as a company which has achieved excellence in corporate governance by the Center for Corporate Governance, since 2015

  • Signatory to the United Nations' Principles for Responsible Investment, UN PRI, since 2017

Environment and climate policy

We aim to be a role model on environmental and climate issues and to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and the negative environmental impact of our activities. Man-made global warming is one of the greatest threats facing us today and we want to contribute to efforts to ensure that Iceland can meet its obligations under the Paris Climate Agreement and other local and international environmental and climate agreements, which includes limiting global warming to well under 2°C, preferably 1.5°C.

Banks perform a vital role in providing funding for progress and Arion Bank aims to be a force for the good. Our focus is on financing projects on sustainable development and green infrastructure and we will evaluate our loan portfolio according to green criteria and set ourselves ambitious targets in this respect.

We also require our suppliers to take into account the environmental and climate impact of their activities. When comparing similar offers from suppliers, environmental and climate considerations will be decisive in our decision. The Bank’s goal is to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from our activities by at least 40% by 2030 and to carbon offset all these emissions.

We are setting ambitious targets and will publish the results of our progress in areas where we have the greatest impact, such as buying, our own activities and the services we provide to our customers. We endeavour to improve our employees' knowledge and understanding of environmental issues and to support our customers' journey towards a green future in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Targets approved by the Board of Directors:

  • In 2020 we will evaluate the Bank's loan portfolio according to green criteria and will set targets in this regard.
  • In 2020 we will adopt a policy on loans to individual sectors which takes into account environmental and climate considerations.
  • From 2020 we will ask our main suppliers about the environmental and climate impact of their activities.
  • Before the end of 2022 we are going to measure the carbon footprint of the loan portfolio and subsequently set ourselves a goal of how to reduce the footprint up to 2030 in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • From 2023 the Bank will no longer buy vehicles which do not run on 100% renewable energy.
  • We intend to increase the ratio of sorted waste produced by the Bank to 90% by 2023.