CSR Highlights 2018

Responsible lending, UN Sustainable Development Goals and extensive education for the public was amoung the highlights of Íslandsbanki's CSR activities in 2018.


Corporate social responsibility is one of Íslandsbanki's strategic priorities. In all of its work, the Bank has been guided by its determination to be a positive force in the community. Íslandsbanki's social strategy is based on five pillars: business, education, environment, workplace, and community.

10 principles of the UN Global Compact that Íslandsbanki has pledged to follow

  • Principle 1 - Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights.

  • Principle 2 - Businesses should make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.

  • Principle 3 - Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.

  • Principle 4 - Businesses should uphold the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour.

  • Principle 5 - Businesses should uphold the effective abolition of child labour.

  • Principle 6 - Businesses should uphold the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation

  • Principle 7 - Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges.

  • Principle 8 - Businesses should undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility

  • Principle 9 - Businesses should encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies

  • Principle 10 - Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery

Sustainable and responsible business activities

Íslandsbanki has put a great deal of emphasis on responsible lending during the year. This has meant looking into environmental and social factors along with corporate governance, when selecting companies to cooperate with. This approach both mitigates risk and promotes sustainability in the long run. An important milestones for Íslandssjóðir was the launch of the first domestic green bond fund.

Extensive educational programmes

Íslandsbanki's educational programme was almost unprecedented in scope in 2018. The Bank held 96 educational and informational meetings and talks for almost 5,300 guests and 9,000 online viewers. This is in line with one of the Bank's objectives, which is to enhance the public's knowledge of finances by offering accessible and interesting information on finances and economic affairs.

A new podcast series was launched during the year, as was the publication on social media of regular bullet points about matters such as inflation, value-added tax, the current account balance, tourism, and other subjects. Nearly 70 videos were published on Íslandsbanki's social media pages and watched by almost 140,000 viewers.

Among the offerings were:

  • talks on finances at retirement,
  • a seminar in finances for refugees,
  • informational meetings on homebuying and saving in Icelandic and English
  • entertaining presentations about the finances of Disney, the World Cup, and other topics.
  • meetings about the Icelandic króna, equal rights, tourism, foreign investment, and operation of SMEs.

Positive environmental impact

In recent years, Íslandsbanki has taken decisive action so as to have a positive impact on the environment. The Bank has taken climate issues very seriously and, in 2015, signed an agreement with Festa on action to combat climate change. This is in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal no. 13, which centres on stepping up contingency plans and preventative measures to combat the threats caused by climate change and natural disasters worldwide.

Equal rights at the forefront

Íslandsbanki has worked effectively for equal rights, and management and employees participated in equal rights discourse during the year. The Bank has held annual equal rights meetings for a combined total of 2,000 attendees. In 2018, the discussion centred on women and men in various economic sectors.

Helping hand initiative for a good cause in society

Íslandsbanki's ambition is to have a positive effect on society by supporting good causes. Projects are supported either financially or with assistance from Bank employees who lend a Helping Hand by contributing their time in support of good causes. The Bank invites its employees to contribute to charitable causes. It gives employees the chance to take one work day per year and donate their time to the cause of their choice, where they work as volunteers. Over 400 Bank employees lent a Helping Hand in this manner in 2018.

Nordic co-operation to support the UN SDGs

In 2018, Íslandsbanki became a member of Nordic CEOs for a Sustainable Future, an association comprising large Nordic firms that work jointly towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Members of the group include the CEOs of Equinor, Hydro, GSMA, Íslandsbanki, Nokia, SAS, Swedbank, Telenor Group, Telia Company, Vestas, and Yara.

Equal rights are important

„We are proud to work with this group towards realising the UN Sustainable Development Goals and to join forces with Nordic companies that are world leaders in corporate social responsibility. At Íslandsbanki, we have long placed strong emphasis on equal rights inside and outside the Bank. Gender Equality is goal number 5. We are aware that Iceland's success in gender equality is noticed abroad, and we intend to keep the discourse on the agenda.”

- Birna Einarsdóttir CEO of Íslandsbanki at the launch of the group