Sustainability at the Bank of Finland
A central bank’s sustainability starts with its core functions. Our mission is rooted in the building of sustainable economic stability, thereby fostering the wellbeing of the general public.
The Bank of Finland’s role is to help ensure the level of prices remains stable, payment systems are secure and accessible, and the financial system is reliable. The Bank also has a role in the construction of a socially and ecologically sustainable society.
By carrying out our tasks in accordance with our objectives we contribute in the best possible way to the benefit of Finnish society. The Bank of Finland is also committed in its core activities to furthering the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.
The Bank’s Sustainability programme is focused on sustainable growth and the promotion of wellbeing, exercise of influence via information and cooperation, and management of climate risks.
The Bank reports on implementation of the goals set in the Sustainability programme in its Annual Report and Personnel Audit.
Implementation of the Sustainability programme is guided by the joint sustainability network of the Bank of Finland and the Financial Supervisory Authority. This met in an online seminar on a quarterly basis in 2020. The network has a good 40 members 40 and its steering group is led by the Bank’s Deputy Governor, Marja Nykänen. Themes dealt with in the seminars included: 1) The Bank of Finland’s and Financial Supervisory Authority’s climate work, 2) working methods in accordance with the principles of sustainable development, and 3) financial inclusion and promotion of financial literacy.
The Bank of Finland's social responsibility in facts
We investigated and clarified the financial stability impacts of climate risks. We participated in the work of the NGSF1.
We took care of our strong balance sheet and transferred EUR 100 million euro of our profits to the Finnish State.
We drew up Finland's first national financial literacy strategy.
We listened to the views of stakeholders about the environmental impacts of monetary policy.
The overall volume of cash transports and emissions declined further on 2020. We were constantly seeking solutions to prolong the life of our banknotes.
We follow the principles of responsible investment (PRI) in our investments activities. We renewed our own principles of responsible investment.
Our objective is to reduce our carbon footprint. With COVID-19 our emissions fell to 31 kilos of CO2 / 1,000 euro of operating expenses. 2
We took care of the wellbeing of our staff and the continuity of our operations during the pandemic by communicating actively and flexibly introducing new operational and working methods.
We drew up an employee value proposition to encapsulate what sort of employer the Bank of Finland is and what it offers to its employees as an employer.
Responsible investment is rooted in the sustainability goals and management of risks
Responsible investment is a key component of the Bank of Finland’s asset management. In December, the Bank of Finland Board approved the public responsible investment principles guiding the Bank’s asset management. During the course of 2020, the Bank updated its responsible investment practices.
Read more on responsible investment.
Work to survey financial sector climate risks progresses
Climate change also poses risks for the financial sector. The Bank of Finland takes part in a number of international cooperation working groups that are developing analytical methods and monitoring for the assessment of these risks.
Read more on preparations for climate risks.
Management of Bank of Finland’s financial risks
Monetary policy implementation and ensuring the stability and efficiency of the financial system are a central bank’s key responsibilities. Carrying out these tasks involves financial risks, for which the Bank of Finland prepares by ensuring the strength of its balance sheet. In 2020, there was an increase in monetary policy risks.
Read more on the management of financial risks.
COVID-19 pandemic cut the Bank of Finland’s emissions
In 2020, the Bank of Finland’s emissions were cut particularly by the changes in ways of working and travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Emissions were also cut by changes in operating practices on and updating of technology. The Bank of Finland engages in extensive cooperation to counter climate change.
Read more on environmental responsibility in the Bank of Finland’s own operations.
Environmental impacts of cash supply in 2020: a reduction in transport kilometres
Cash supply is one of the most operative tasks of central banks, and therefore it also creates emissions. However, at the level of the economy as a whole, cash supply is not a significant source of carbon dioxide emissions.
Read more on the environmental impacts of cash supply.
Personnel: strong expertise is the currency of stability
2020 was a challenging year for all employers and employees on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the prolonged pandemic the Bank of Finland supported its staff in many different ways. During the course of the year, the Bank also renewed its employer profile and drew up an employee value proposition.
Read more on the Bank of Finland’s social responsibility.
Finland gets its first financial literacy strategy
The project launched at the beginning of the year to foster financial literacy in Finland progressed well despite the exceptional circumstances. The result was a proposal for a national financial literacy strategy.
The proposal aims at Finns being the most financially literate people in the world in 2030. The concrete objective is that as many people as possible understand the importance of financial literacy in their own lives and can make good decisions in managing their own finances.
Read more on the Bank of Finland’s work to promote financial literacy.