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We are reducing our carbon footprint

KBN has a target of cutting its own greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030.

Despite being somewhat indirect, the most important contribution made by KBN to the achievement of climate change goals is our discounted green loans for projects undertaken by the local government sector that reduce energy consumption, cut greenhouse gas emissions and/or contribute to local climate change adaptation. KBN considers this an important and impactful part of how we fulfils our social mission. In 2020 KBN also adopted a long-term climate target for its own activities, which is that we will reduce our emissions by at least 50% compared with the 2019 level by 2030.

KBN’s emissions between 2016 and 2020 and an emissions trajectory (dotted line) that would enable KBN to achieve its target of halving its emissions by 2030 compared with the 2019 level.

This target means that we will need to do things differently in future. In 2019 flights were responsible for about two thirds of our calculated carbon footprint. With all of Norway’s municipalities as customers, KBN employees attend meetings across the country. In addition, we meet with investors in numerous different locations across the world in order to ensure we are able to offer the local government sector the best possible borrowing terms on loans from KBN. There will continue to be some need for KBN employees to travel by plane in the future. However, we can take some steps to reduce this, particularly after the end of the coronavirus pandemic. An internal survey revealed that a large proportion of the flights taken by KBN employees in 2019 were for journeys which could be made by train. KBN has therefore increased the incentives it offers for taking the train over flying. KBN has also reduced the number of its employees who travel to its various meetings. In 2019 KBN introduced Microsoft Teams as a work tool, and we have for several years now been streaming our events for customers who cannot attend them physically with the aim of being able to replace some of our travel activities with digital meetings. With the lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the need to hold meetings digitally increased very significantly in a short space of time. Society is digitalising more quickly than anyone had anticipated, and the barriers to holding meetings digitally decreased significantly in 2020. Although digital meetings cannot fully replace physical meetings, it will be natural for digital meetings to continue to account for a significant proportion of our meetings even after the pandemic comes to an end. KBN’s 2020 customer satisfaction survey revealed that its customers are very satisfied with KBN’s digital offering and want more meetings to be held digitally. Like other organisations, KBN finds that digital meetings save time and resources that can instead be used to improve the customer experience.

KBN’s emission from 2016 to 2020 by scope. In tonnes CO2 equivalent.

KBN’s greenhouse gas accounts are based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s Corporate Standard and are produced annually as part of the annual climate and environment report that we produce for the Eco-Lighthouse Foundation. KBN has been Eco-Lighthouse certified since 2009.

At present KBN only includes the greenhouse gas emissions associated with flights taken by employees and the residual waste it produces in its Scope 3 emissions figures. However, Scope 3 can contain all the emissions generated by our activities that are emitted from sources that we do not control, e.g. by our suppliers, lending portfolio and liquidity portfolio. Over the long term KBN wants to measure and report its Scope 3 emissions to the greatest extent possible. 

Ernst & Young has for 2020 done an assurance report on KBN’s emission figures.

As a company KBN compensates for its emissions. This means that we buy carbon offsets for those emissions that we currently cannot avoid. We purchase the carbon offsets once we have the emissions figures for the year in question, meaning we will compensate for our 2020 emissions in 2021 and will thus include this information in our annual report for 2021. KBN uses the EU’s carbon price for the year concerned as the basis for its purchases of carbon offsets. KBN’s residual emissions for 2019 were approximately 200 tonnes of CO2e and the EU’s allowance price was EUR 25/tonne. KBN therefore bought carbon offsets, known as verified carbon units, equivalent to this amount to compensate for its emissions in 2019. The project we selected was clean-burning cookstoves in Malawi. The project helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and indoor air pollution and to protect forests and biodiversity. The project supports a range of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and is VCS certified and CCB certified at the gold level.