The Danish financial sector has the ambition to actively promote and accelerate the sustainable transition in Denmark. The sector plays an important role in all parts of the economy and thus has the potential to become a key catalyst for a greener Danish economy through the use of investment funds, lending to private individuals and businesses, mortgage lending and green bonds.
Thus, Finance Denmark decided already in the autumn of 2018 to set up an advisory Forum for Sustainable Finance charged with making a series of recommendations on how the Danish financial sector could take the lead and contribute to the green and sustainable transition. The Forum consisted of representatives from the financial and other sectors as well as from universities and NGOs, and other selected top experts. Based on five forum meetings, numerous workshops, round table discussions and conferences, the Forum in December 2019 handed over 20 recommendations to Finance Denmark. The first sustainability report from the Danish financial sector clearly concludes, that the financial sector is well underway in implementing these recommendations.
“The green transition is an important and necessary agenda. Consumers, investors, the business sector, the financial sector and society at large must contribute – no one can accomplish this task alone. Even though the financial sector in itself leaves a relatively small carbon footprint, the financial sector plays a vital role in channelling loans and investments in a more sustainable direction. The sector makes the biggest difference through its interaction with customers: when we advise individuals and businesses on sustainable options and support these options by offering sustainable loan and investment products,” says Ulrik Nødgaard, CEO of Finance Denmark, and continues:
“In 2020, we have taken many important steps towards a more sustainable world. Nevertheless, there is still lots of work ahead of us, and we look forward to making an active contribution to the green transition and helping to achieve, in time, the shared goal of a sustainable future.”
Main results from the report:
- In 2020 the financial sector's contribution to the green transition passed the DKK 460 billion mark.
- At the end of 2020, more than nine in ten financial institutions offered sustainable products.
- Finance Denmark has developed a framework for financed emissions accounting for the financial sector, paving the way for members to deliver on the recommendation of setting targets for the reduction of carbon emissions from investments and lending in connection with the annual report from 2021 and 2022, respectively.
- The Danish Investment Association made the first sector-wide commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of Danish retail equity investment funds ("Danish equity funds") by 75% by 2030 relative to MSCI ACWI Index (All Countries World Index) in 2020.