A driving force for sustainable development

Both Norway and the world community urgently need to restructure in the next few years in order to achieve the climate targets for 2030. As a regional savings bank, we have the power to influence, both through banking and through the projects we get involved in. This presents us with responsibilities and opportunities that we take very seriously. 

Sparebanken Møre was established in 1985 by the merger of a number of local savings banks. The oldest bank that was part of this merger was Herrøe og Røvde Sparebank, which was founded in 1843. Ever since the first banks saw the light of day, they have played an important social role in their various local communities. The same is true today. 

The savings bank model contains within itself both the strength and power to contribute to sustainable social development. Sparebanken Møre has also committed itself to being a driving force in this work through the bank’s vision of being the leading contributor to creative enthusiasm in Nordvestlandet. Every day. 

The vision entails us taking a leading role in developing our region. Through knowledge, engagement and returning a significant contribution back to the community, we shall create value for the benefit of people, business and society. 

In 1987, the Brundtland Commission defined sustainable development as the use of resources that meets today’s needs without destroying the chances of future generations to meet their needs. 

As a regional actor in Nordvestlandet we are interested in sustainability, growth and development in the communities of which the bank is a part and this will be our area of focus. We will also look at the bank’s sustainability work from a national and global perspective. 

An integral part of the strategy

During 2020, the bank both further intensified and structured its work on sustainability. Sustainability representatives have been defined for all relevant fields, and together they constitute the bank’s sustainability committee. 

A materiality analysis was conducted in order to focus our efforts on the areas of greatest importance for both stakeholders and the bank’s long-term value creation. Specific goals have been formulated based on this and these are included in an overall strategy for sustainability that has been approved by the Board. 

Sustainability has also been made a priority focus area in the bank’s group strategy for the period 2021-2024. The overarching objective is for Sparebanken Møre to be a driving force for sustainable development. The objective has been firmed up through special action plans and measures in all of the bank’s units/divisions. The work is in an initial phase and there will be a high level of activity within the area throughout the strategy period. 

Over the year, sustainability became better integrated into the bank’s governing documents and training measures were implemented throughout the organisation. Several internal processes were also initiated to implement sustainability considerations in the bank’s operations. A more detailed description of this can be found under ‘Material topics’. 

A green framework for the issuance of green bonds was also drawn up in 2020.

Sparebanken Møre will continue this work at full steam in 2021, both inside the bank and outside. We will do our bit for our shared future by being a driving force behind sustainable development in Nordvestlandet.  

Reporting standards 

The bank reports on its work on sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) every year in connection with the annual report in line with section 3-3(c) in the Accounting Act. This stipulates requirements regarding human rights, labour rights and social conditions, the external environment and combating corruption in business strategies, day-to-day operations and in relation to stakeholders. 

In order to ensure it takes a systematic and structured approach, the bank reports in line with the GRI standard ‘Core’ option. This also means reporting the Group’s CO2 emissions in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative (GHG protocol). 

As a consequence of signing up to the UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking in 2019, in 2021 the bank is for the first time preparing a self-assessment that must be reviewed by an independent third party. 

In 2021, Sparebanken Møre will start work on reporting in line with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).  

Sparebanken Møre will also comply with market practices as well as relevant recommendations, including Euronext’s ESG Guidelines for Issuers. The reported information must be accurate, balanced, understandable, comparable, timely and reliable. 

The bank’s sustainability reporting is included in its annual report. It will also function as a stand-alone document that is published on the bank’s website. 

Organisation of the work 

The Board is responsible for establishing guidelines and strategies for the bank’s sustainability work, while the CEO is responsible for implementing the strategies. 

In 2020, the bank established a dedicated sustainability committee, which consists of ten sustainability representatives from various areas in the bank. The committee is responsible for the preparation and follow-up of the bank’s sustainability strategy and reporting to the executive management group. The committee will with its multidisciplinary organisation contribute to disseminating sustainability to all employees. 

In connection with the establishment of a green framework for the issuance of bonds, a green bond committee has also been established that will ensure the follow-up of, and compliance with, the green framework.