What is the Bank actually doing?

Íslandsbanki's Sustainability Policy aims to ensure that the Bank's becomes a role model within the Icelandic economy, based on internationally recognized standards on environmental issues, social aspects and corporate governance. The Bank shall be a force for good and shall place a special emphasis on four of the UN's SDGs: Gender Equality,Climate Action, Quality Education and Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. Here are some examples of what the bank has done:

Contribution to society

  • We provided additional funding from the Entrepreneurship Fund in June 2020 with an increased emphasis on four of the UN’s SDGs.
  •  Íslandsbanki encourages its employees to contribute to charity. Our employees can use one working day every year to contribute to a cause that they believe in.
  • We support the Icelandic Red Cross's relief work in Africa by supplying funding and providing our staff expertise to those in need.
  • We are the main sponsor of the Reykjavík Marathon, which is now the largest annual fundraising campaign for most charities.
Knowledge dissemination and marketing
  • We want to increase the public’s knowledge and interest in finance by offering easily accessible information.
  • We have given over 500 lectures and received 30,000 guests, and hundreds of thousands have watched our recordings and podcasts.
  • We offer internal and external educational meetings on the UN’s SDGs, sustainability indicators, action on climate change etc.
  • We produce easily accessible educational videos that explain financial concepts in a simple way.
  • We help young children with their numeracy and literacy skills via the ask George and clock apps.
  • We want to prevent pollution and waste. We previously gave our younger customers gifts that contained plastic but are now focused on alternative ways of reaching this customer base, such as visiting our branches or utilising our digital solutions.
  • We are focused on using only digital marketing, to reduce our footprint.
Gender equality
  • The Bank has a Gender Equality Policy on equal pay, which supports wage decisions, based on informed decisions, and preventing gender-based discrimination.
  • In 2018, we received equal pay certification that is valid for three years.
  • Annual audits are carried out by a certification body. The last audit, carried out in November of last year, showed that the gender pay gap was 1.14% (when compared with other similar fields), which is well within the 5% limit set by the certification body. The gender pay gap has decreased between audits, but the difference was 1.9% last year. Our policy calls for a 0% gap.
  • We were awarded the Equality Balance Award, from the Association of Women Business Leaders in Iceland (FKA), in 2019.
  • We have held equality meetings for five years in a row, attended by a total of over 2,000 guests.
  • We sponsored the Women Political Leaders- WPL Summit, held in Reykjavík in 2019. The summit was attended by women leaders from over 80 countries, from politics, business, culture, science, technology and other areas of public life.
Policy and knowledge dissemination
  • We launched our new sustainability policy at the end of 2019, which outlines our intentions.
  • We published our first sustainability report in February 2020, based on Nasdaq ESG and the GRI standards. We also published our carbon footprint results.
  • We set a code of conduct for suppliers to encourage our business partners to excel in the field of environment, equality and effective corporate governance.
  • We made new sustainability commitments regarding climate, equality and diversity, as part of the Nordic CEOs co-operation.
  • In 2020, we became a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Banking, and are already a member of the Global Compact.
  • We are a founder of Festa, the Center for Corporate Social Responsibility and Iceland SIF.
  • We are a founding member of the Wetlands Fund, established in in 2018 and will continue cooperation on carbon offsetting measures.
Business and risk assessment
  • This summer, we introduced Ergo's green finance, for the purchase of electric cars, charging stations and other green vehicles. Our aim is to increase the number of green and sustainable credit options for customers.
  • We carried out a risk assessment on the sustainability of 24 of the Bank’s largest loans.
  • Iceland Fund's Green Bond Fund - the only fund in the country that finances projects that have a positive effect on environmental and social development..
Our headquarters
  • We introduced charging stations in our bicycle storage facility so that more employees can charge electric bicycles and electric scooters
  • Electric charging stations were set up for the car fleet
  • We reduced the number of square meters used for the bank's operations by more than 8,000 m2 (we now run one canteen instead of three) when we moved to our new headquarters in 2017
  • The relocation off our headquarters has meant fewer kilometres and a shorter travel time for our employees
  • We introduced project-oriented work facilities, which means less unused equipment
  • We now only use LED lighting, with timed sensors, in all our facilities
  • We have changing rooms and lockers at our headquarters for people who bicycle to work
  • We have reduced our food waste. In the summer of 2019, we began weighing organic waste from our canteen to reduce food waste. We have shared the results on information screens, within the bank, since 2020 - the goal is to teach staff that food waste is unnecessary.
  • Coffee grounds are collected and sent to Maggi, a mushroom farmer who grows oyster mushrooms using the grounds, which we then buy back from him. He uses 1 tonne of coffee grounds every year, which would otherwise go to landfill.
  • Samhjálp receives food leftovers and dishes that are not used by the bank.
  • We have one ‘no meat day’ during the week and more variety in the salad bar - less carbon footprint and increased health. The production of meat and dairy products involves much more energy and water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions than the cultivation of vegetables.
  • One meat-free day per week means that we are reducing the pressure on natural resources and reducing our carbon footprint.
  •  We recently applied for Nordic Swan ecolabeling for our kitchen.
  • Waste from diesel: All waste oil is used to produce biodiesel, or 600 - 800 litres per year, which would otherwise go to landfill with the associated costs and negative environmental impact. 
  • We have reduced paper consumption by 2.6 million since we began the process of becoming a paperless bank in 2016. We have removed 130 printers from our premises.
  •  We have actively encouraged our suppliers to minimise packaging and use only environmentally friendly products.
  • Our used computer equipment is donated to Africa, and we also donate screens and other items to schools and companies.
  •  Our employees can work remotely, and we have introduced ways to reduce air travel. We have electrified our car fleet and introduced new green transport priorities. We purchased electric bicycles and electric cars for employees, to reduce our carbon footprint.
  • We sort all waste.
  • We do not use disposable plastic on our premises.
  • All detergents are Nordic Swan Ecolabelled.
  • Surplus is returned to suppliers and refunds received.

    We encourage you to look at Íslandsbanki's sustainability results for 2019.