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Our approach to corporate sustainability

Working together with our customers, suppliers and other stakeholders we want to minimise our negative imprint to the environment and society, while maximising the opportunities for positive contribution. We engage in activities that are of importance to our local markets and use our resources wisely to increase positive return.
We focus on three main areas: governance responsibility, environmental responsibility and social responsibility. Each area has a defined set of business priorities.

We engage in sustainability in order to:

  • assist and enable our customers to become more sustainable
  • make lasting and relevant contributions to the communities which we serve
  • ensure that SEB continues to be a successful company


Targets and business priorities

We are committed to:

  1. Enabling our customers to increase their positive contribution y developing sustainable, innovative solutions and offerings.
  2. Developing and implementing Group-wide sector policies and position statements to govern our business.
  3. Harmonising and broadening our community investments and social engagement.
  4. 45 per cent by 2015 and fully compensating for the remaining emissions.
  5. Increasing dialogue with all stakeholders and strengthening our communication.

Our business priorities

Our sustainability work focus on eight business priorities, inspired by Standard Chartered Bank's sustainable business model. By focusing our efforts on these priorities, we can contribute to protecting the environment, enhance our social contribution and contribute to better banking governance. Our priorities are supported by SEB's Code of Business Conduct.



Our business is governed by a set of policies and instructions. Within the Corporate Sustainability area, we abide by the Corporate Sustainability Policy, the Environmental Policy and the Ethics Policy among others.

Sector policies and positions statements

SEB's sector polices and position statements provide guidelines on best practice as well as on the international conventions and standards that we encourage companies to follow. We aim to work with our clients and portfolio companies towards improved business practices.

Positions statements

Child Labour

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is one of the most widely accepted human rights treaty, still child labour is a problem of immense global proportions. SEB fully appreciates the severity of child labour and reducing it is of high priority.

Climate Change

Climate change is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world today. SEB fully appreciates the risks of climate change and is addressing the risks in our corporate sustainability efforts. SEB has taken several steps to mitigate our direct climate impact.

Fresh Water

Freshwater is a scarce commodity, but one that is essential for sustaining life. SEB are aware that the increasing global water stress threat destabilised regions and increases our clients' financial risk.

Sector policies

Arms and Defence

SEB understands the concerns of many people regarding the role of banks in supporting the defence industry. SEB acknowledges the right of every nation to defend itself, as stated in the United Nations Charter.


The forestry industry plays a pivotal role in the economy at large, globally as well as regionally. SEB promotes a sustainable forestry industry, works to prevent adverse environmental and social impact and supports good governance among it's clients.

Fossil Fuel

The fossil fuel sector is responsible for the provision of power and fuel across the globe, playing an essential role in the world economy. However, fossil fuel activities contribute to climate change.

Mining and Metals

The mining and metals industry is fundamental for society. The industry in itself underpins economic growth. Mining activities can potentially have a negative impact on the environment and society.

Renewable Energy

Energy plays an essential role in the global economy and drives economic growth. As the world is seeking new solutions to mitigate climate change and best utilise scarce resources, the renewable energy sector is becoming a growing component of the energy landscape. SEB seek to facilitate this development based on sustainable principles and governance.


The shipping industry, through the transportation of raw materials, semi-finished goods and finished goods from producing countries for further processing and to end-user markets, is a major facilitator of global trade and is thereby a fundamental industry for society.

Code of Business Conduct

Code of Business Conduct

SEB's Code of Business Conduct describes SEB’s way of working and guides us in our business relationships. The Code helps employees in their efforts to build long lasting relationships with customers and other stakeholders. All SEB employees are responsible for adhering to the content of this document and for asking for guidance when necessary.
The Code of Conduct covers all employees of the SEB Group – in all markets where SEB operates – and all those who represent companies within the Group, including members of the board, independent contractors and consultants.

Code of Business Conduct

Whistleblowing at SEB

SEB has a whistleblowing process for reporting irregularities. If an employee or other person should discover possible unethical or unlawful behaviour, you should report your observations. Your identity will be kept secret during the subsequent follow-up, enquiries and discussions relating to the matter, provided that we are not obliged by law to disclose it.

Who to contact
Ivo Leetmaa, Head of Compliance: phone +372 665 6261
Liia Tiks, Internal Audit: phone +372 665 6527

You can also raise your issue anonymously on special internet platform by using service WhistleB:


Sustainability governance in SEB Estonia

Clear and effective structures for responsibility distribution ensure that our sustainability efforts address relevant issues and are underpinned by strong ethics, sound governance and readiness to report on them.

Managing sustainability

Group Corporate Sustainability

The SEB Group Corporate Sustainability has the overall responsibility to monitor progress and to support Group entities in their work on the eight business priorities.

Risk and compliance

Sustainability risk management

The goal is to support the board in its work to ensure that all inherent risks are identified. The most relevant risks from a sustainability perspective are credit risk, operational risk and reputational (business) risk. A clear and effective structure for distribution of responsibilities and governance is essential to manage the risks encountered. SEB attaches great importance to the creation of clearly defined roles for officers and decision-making bodies.

Sustainability compliance

Group Compliance is responsible for securing Group-wide compliance with the CSR Policy (and related policies) and Code of Business Conduct. Areas of Group Compliance responsibility are Customer Protection, Market Conduct, Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism and Regulatory Systems and Control. The Group Compliance function is fully independent from the business operations, although it serves as a support function for the business operations. It is also separated from the legal functions of the Group.

Ethics & Values

Ethics and Values

As a financial institution, we work to earn the trust of our customers, shareholders, suppliers and of society at large on a daily basis. High ethical standards are an integral part of our business.

In our business dealings we are guided by SEB’s Code of Business Conduct. The code provides guidance on how to live by SEB’s values: commitment, continuity, mutual respect and professionalism. Our ethical standards are based on our values and they guide our actions and reflect who we are and what we believe in.

The code was developed in order to:

  • describe our standards of business conduct;
  • describe the responsibilities that come with employment at SEB;
  • guide employees on how to resolve potentially difficult situations;
  • set out procedures for reporting issues.


Our business is governed by a set of policies and instructions. Within the Corporate Sustainability area, we abide by the Corporate Sustainability Policy, the Environmental Policy and the Social Policy among others.

Client Communication

Client Communication

Likewise to our responsibility for the impact of our activity to society and the stakeholders, we also take good care that our client communication is fair, transparent, and enables our customers to have a say in our doings and enter into a dialogue with us. The most important principle in high-level client communication is simplicity - both in products and services, as well as in daily client communication. We ensure that our customers get the necessary banking information through the most suitable communication channel and we constantly contribute to the quality and comprehension of client communication.

In order to obtain information on the customer satisfaction, we use the Net Promoter Score based survey. We send the survey to customers, who have visited either a bank office, Internet Bank or called our contact centre. We analyse the responses carefully together with the employees responsible for the service quality, and discuss, how to offer the customers the service, which corresponds to their expectations. In addition, we involve our customers as much as possible in the development of new products and services. For example, we have launched one of the best mobile banks in Estonia as well as elaborated the Internet Bank for Business, where user feedback played the key role in developing the final solution.

International Commitments

International Commitments

We recognise that sustainability challenges must be undertaken in close co-operation with the international community and other large international players. We have therefore chosen to adopt and support a number of global initiatives and international codes of conduct which guide our business decisions and the overall sustainability work. It also gives us an opportunity to learn, share knowledge and impact rules and regulations on a higher level.



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