In Ringkjøbing Landbobank we strive to integrate sustainability throughout our business model – not least in the areas of investment and lending.
For many years we have cultivated niches that support green transition. The distinctive feature of a niche in Ringkjøbing Landbobank is that we have studied the area in detail. This enables us to show responsiveness, integrity and expertise in our advice. We have built relationships with national and international partners, which has increased our capacity to participate in financing investments in renewable energy production. As early as 1995, we financed wind turbines, which have developed into an important business area for the bank. Later we built expertise in solar cell and biogas plants and have lent increasing sums to them.
In the area of investments Ringkjøbing Landbobank works closely with BankInvest, which launched two Nordic Swan Ecolabelled funds in 2020: Globale Aktier Bæredygtig Udvikling and Globale Obligationer Bæredygtig Udvikling (Global Equities Sustainable Development and Global Bonds Sustainable Development). Interest has been overwhelming. At the end of 2020, more than DKK 8.5 billion had been invested in the equity fund and the bond fund also had a very satisfactory start.
In the area of annuities and personal insurance, Ringkjøbing Landbobank works with Letpension, which is planning the launch of a climate-friendly savings product in 2021. We look forward to offering this product to our customers.
At the end of 2020, we were training 28 apprentices and trainees – and besides that we generate a substantial number of knowledge-based jobs in our local areas. Employees in Ringkjøbing Landbobank develop expertise through further training – in partnership with Finanssektorens Uddannelsescenter (the Financial Sector’s Training Centre), Aarhus and Aalborg Universities, local business academies, upper secondary schools etc.
Ringkjøbing Landbobank's goal is to be carbon-neutral. We are carbon-neutral now, because we own Sæbygård Skov forest. Its annual growth captures approximately five times more carbon dioxide than the bank emits.
Rating agencies assessing the sustainability of businesses normally only accept carbon sequestration in forestry projects if they are certified under a UN-approved standard. Sæbygård Skov is not, which is why we have decided to supplement its role by buying climate credits equalling 300 tonnes of carbon.
As a strong local bank, we have always been conscious of our importance to the local communities in West, Central and North Jutland and are happy to shoulder this responsibility. In our advice, we place greater emphasis than ever on sustainability – including improvements to energy efficiency. We support replacement of oil and gas burners throughout Denmark, and on landbobanken.dk our personal customers can find inspiration for energy savings through Totalkredit’s energy calculator. We finance investments in local business development and support more than 1,400 local clubs, associations, initiatives and events.
In 2020, Ringkjøbing Landbobank’s board of directors endorsed the 25 recommendations for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing measures. The recommendations were the result of the work of Finance Denmark’s Anti-Money Laundering Task Force in late 2019. The bank spends substantial resources on combating money-laundering and financing of terrorism. In addition, we make a substantial contribution to society at national level by solving a range of tasks, e.g. in tax reporting and digitalisation and as one of Denmark’s 100 biggest taxpayers. We are therefore disappointed that a majority in the Danish parliament, the Folketinget, has decided to levy a surtax on the financial sector which means that we will pay higher income tax than other private-sector businesses from 2023.
Ringkjøbing Landbobank’s business model must be robust and sustainable for all our stakeholders. This is a precondition for generating a satisfactory return on our shareholders’ investments. We believe we have succeeded and look forward to continue working along this path.
Ringkjøbing Landbobank supports the 15 ESG key figures defined by Nasdaq Copenhagen, the Danish Finance Society and FSR – Danish Auditors to make data comparable across industries and sectors.
On the following pages, which constitute Ringkjøbing Landbobank’s second ESG report, you will find the status of these key figures for 2020 and much more about sustainable banking operations. The bank’s ESG effort is a process and it is now up to you to judge how far we have come.