Support for the UN SDGs
Íslandsbanki participates in various initiatives that support the four SDGs which the Bank has chosen to focus particularly on: education for all, gender equality, innovation and climate action.
The SDGs are based on three pillars of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. Financial institutions' operations touch on many different aspects of the economy and inevitably affect most of the SDGs. The SDGs function as a unified whole, and Íslandsbanki supports them all. However, to sharpen its focus, the Bank has chosen to give particular support to four of them:
- Nr. 4 quality education;
- Nr. 5 gender equality;
- Nr. 9 industry, innovation, and infrastructure;
- Nr. 13 climate action.
Íslandsbanki supports good causes in its home community and abroad, either through direct financial support or in collaboration with others. The Bank attempts to focus in particular on projects that are clearly linked to the goals it has chosen to support.
Employee participation is key to achieving the Bank's sustainability objectives and creating a corporate culture that supports the process. The Bank's new sustainability calendar will be reflected in events, educational efforts, and opportunities to give a Helping Hand, with the aim of boosting awareness of the UN SDGs, fostering a sustainability culture, and giving all of our employees the opportunity to be a force for good.
- Since 2015, some 30,000 guests have attended Íslandsbanki's educational meetings and lectures in person. The Bank's educational work was quickly adapted because of the pandemic, and most of it was moved online. In addition, particular emphasis was placed on household finances in connection with the pandemic, and on company finances.
- During the year, 23 digital meetings were held, and 13,000 either attended or watched the videos afterwards. A number of smaller remote meetings with customers were held as well.
- We produce educational videos that explain financial concepts in a simple and accessible manner.
- We help young children to learn to read letters and numbers in our Georg apps, and we have an app that teaches children to tell the time.
- Íslandsbanki has participated actively in the project Fjármálavit – financial education for students in junior high school. The Icelandic Financial Services Association (SFF) sponsors the project in cooperation with member companies and school teachers.
- During the year, the Bank supported the Red Cross project Bridging the Digital Divide by loaning employees who helped Red Cross workers in Malawi to implement tech solutions.
- In 2020, Íslandsbanki was awarded the Equality Scale by the Icelandic Association of Business Women (FKA)
- The Bank has held meetings on equal rights for five years in a row, welcoming over 2,000 guests.
- In September, the Bank cooperated with FKA to hold a symposium entitled Women and Finance: How do we become catalysts in the financial market?
- According to an equal pay certification appraisal conducted in November 2020, the Bank's gender-based pay gap in comparable jobs is 1.1%, which is well below the 5% threshold set by the certification body
Industry, innovation and infrastructure
- In 2020, Íslandsbanki's Entrepreneurship Fund awarded over ISK 60 million in grants to 27 projects. In allocating the grants, consideration was given to projects that promote the four UN SDGs that the Bank has decided to support.
- Íslandsbanki is a supporter of the Icelandic Seafood Cluster and has participated in the development of the Icelandic Geothermal Cluster.
- During the year, the Bank continued collaborating with Reykjavik University (RU) on the operation of the university's Center of Financial Technology (Fintech Center), with the aim of developing technology, knowledge, and practical services for the banking systems of the future.
In June 2020, the Bank began offering green financing at preferred rates for eco-friendly vehicle purchases.
The Bank reached a milestone with the October 2020 publication of its Sustainable Financing Framework, the first of its kind in Iceland, and thereafter it obtained funding with two sustainable bond issues and began granting green and sustainable loans to corporate borrowers. Íslandsbanki has set ambitious goals for shrinking the carbon footprint from its operations by 50% between 2019 and 2024 and enduring that its operations are carbon neutral with mitigating measures from 2019 onwards.