Managing our carbon footprint

NIB is stepping up its own climate efforts and aims for low carbon operations. What we cannot avoid and reduce, we will compensate for.

NIB’s most substantial sustainability impact arises from our lending operations. Even so, we believe it is important to measure, monitor, report, and manage our internal processes for business travel, energy performance, recycling, waste management, and responsible procurement consistently. This is how we learn how to further avoid and reduce our internal environmental impact. Understanding that our footprint cannot be entirely avoided, we engage in climate action and voluntarily support climate projects both in the Nordic-Baltic region and in the least developed countries.

We seek to engage with experts, NGOs, clients, employees, member country authorities, and other key stakeholders to learn from best practices and innovative cases. We understand that low carbon operations, targets, and the ways to engage with climate action will evolve with scientific research and technology development. This will be a journey and we will constantly measure, innovate, learn, and collaborate in order to achieve better results.


Measure, monitor and report

We have calculated our internal carbon footprint since 2018. We report our emissions according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s Corporate Accounting and Reporting standard as well as the complementing Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard. This allows us to take into account the full scope of greenhouse gas emissions in NIB’s value chain. 

The calculation boundaries have been defined to include Scope 1, which entails combustion of fuels in stationary sources, and combustion of fuels in company owned/controlled cars, and Scope 2, which includes purchased electricity, purchased heat, and purchased cooling.

NIB’s carbon footprint scope and boundary definition

The Scope 3 Upstream emissions from purchased goods and services, capital goods, fuel and energy related activities (not included in the Scope 1 and 2), upstream transportation and distribution, waste, business travel, employee commuting, and upstream leased assets are also accounted for in the calculations. 

NIB’s carbon impact from financing (Scope 3 downstream emissions from the investments) are excluded from the internal footprint results as their impact has been calculated separately. Furthermore, the procurement of consultancy services and the ongoing renovation at the NIB headquarters are excluded from the calculation due to the lack of emission data from ongoing activities.


Our reporting practices enables us to systematically calculate, track, and manage carbon emissions. Read the latest report to learn more about how we manage our internal operations.

Avoid and reduce

We avoid carbon emissions whenever possible in a cost-effective and strategic manner. We aim to reduce our carbon footprint as much as we can. Here are some of the actions we have taken so far.

Scope 1: Direct Emissions from owned and controlled sources

NIB has a reserve power generator, which is subject to regular checks. The annual test runs and fuel use is included. 

We include emissions intensity as part of our procurement criteria to enable the purchase of low-carbon vehicles. All NIB’s company cars used for administrative purposes are hybrids.

Scope 2: Emissions from the generation of purchased energy

Our headquarters in Helsinki, Finland, is fully powered with carbon free energy.

  • In 2013, NIB switched to 100% renewable electricity in our offices. The electricity we purchase is covered by Guarantees of Origin, which verify that our electricity has been produced with renewable energy sources.
  • In 2018 and 2019, the district heating at our headquarters constituted about 20% of the Bank’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
  • In 2020, NIB switched its offices to district heating, which is 100% based on waste heat. This will significantly decrease our emissions.
  • Since 2020, NIB’s offices have been connected to district cooling that is 100% carbon free. This will have an impact on our carbon emissions.
  • We are continuously designing our headquarters to be as energy efficient as possible. We have a smart and intuitive building automation system. In addition, office lights are changed to energy-efficient LED lighting.

Scope 3: Indirect emissions that occur in NIB’s value chain

As an international financial institution, business travel is an unavoidable part of our operations, with flights significantly adding to our emissions. The COVID-19 pandemic has sharply reduced the amount of travelling. Already before the pandemic, NIB had established a broadcasting studio at its headquarters, allowing it to effectively hold presentations virtually and thus reduce further business travel.

NIB’s waste management is based on the principles reuse, reduce, and recycle. We aim for our business operations to be paperless, and many of our processes are totally digitalised. During office refurbishments, NIB’s old furniture is reused or recycled. NIB has also stopped using disposable items in the office entirely.

NIB provides its employees with public transport and bicycle benefits to promote environmentally friendly commute to work.

Greenhouse gas emissions from NIB’s internal operations
GHG emission source2019
(t CO2e)
(t CO2e)
(t CO2e)
Scope 11614157%
Scope 2355293210% 
Scope 31,007761718-6%
Total emissions (market based)1,378804765-5%

For more extensive calculations, see table below.

General indicators
Net internal area of office coveredm218,48818,48818,48818,488
Amount of permanent employeesemployees199202193198
Energy consumption
Total energy consumption (NIB headquarters)1MWh3,3923,5483,2453,640
ElectricityMWh1,3081,3161,225 1,211
Change in electricity consumption compared to previous yearMWh8-91 -14
Renewable electricity %100%100%100% 100%
District heatingMWh1,6541,8641,6572,002
District coolingMWh430368363426
Carbon free heating and cooling%0%0%100%100%
Total energy consumption / m2kWh/m2183192176197
Total energy consumption / permanent employeeMWh/ employee17181718
Scope 1: Direct GHG emissions (tCO2-ekv)*
Emissions from NIB facilities2Tonnes5999
Emissions from NIB fleet3Tonnes6746
Scope 1 GHG emissions, total11161415
Scope 2: Electricity indirect GHG emissions (tCO2-ekv)
Electricity, market-based, Headquarters4Tonnes0000
Electricity, market-based, other own real estates5Tonnes18181418
Electricity, market-based, totalTonnes18181418
Electricity, location-based, HeadquartersTonnes171172160175
Electricity, location-based, other own real estatesTonnes88710
Electricity, location based, totalTonnes179181167185
Heating, Headquarters6Tonnes27529400
Heating, other own real estatesTonnes20161514
Heating, totalTonnes2953101514
Cooling, HeadquartersTonnes312600
Cooling, total7Tonnes312600
Scope 2 GHG emissions, total (market-based)Tonnes3433552932
Scope 2 GHG emissions, total (location-based)Tonnes505518183199
Scope 3: Other indirect GHG emissions (tCO2-ekv)**
Purchased goods and services, total8Tonnes216220304210
Capital goods, total9Tonnes7478102117
Fuel- and energy-related activities not included in Scope 1 or Scope 2, total10Tonnes9397119165
Waste generated in operations, total11Tonnes110.70.5
Business travel, total12Tonnes482449100113
Employee commuting, total13Tonnes30331718
Upstream leased assets, total14Tonnes13713211894
Scope 3 GHG emissions, totalTonnes1,0331,007761178
Scopes 1-3 GHG emissions, total  Tonnes1,3881,378804765


*Scope 1, 2 and 3 calculation is based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s Corporate Accounting and Reporting standard as well as the complementary Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard. For more information about the standards, see here.
**The calculations do not include NIB’s investments.
***2019 calculation corrected in January 2021 with regards to heating and emissions from NIB fleet.
1. Energy consumption figures relate to NIB headquarters.
2. Emission from NIB’s own reserve generator, from which the annual fuel consumption data is collected.
3. The NIB car fleet includes fully owned company cars. NIB has no equipment with cooling agents, so this is excluded.
4. NIB headquarters purchases renewable energy that has the Guarantee of Origin.
5. The calculations include NIB’s other facilities.
6. In 2020, the HQ’s district heating is based on waste heat.
7. District cooling is the only source of cooling. In 2020, the HQ’s cooling is generated by renewable energy sources.

8. The calculations include water and wastewater, canteen, cleaning services and greenery services, and office paper purchases. Data is collected in various ways, using CO2 per product from suppliers, volumes (t, m3) or the spent-per-product (EUR) category. Some categories are more specific and are based on mass/volumes/pieces. Most are services (e.g. consultant work) and some are hardware.
9. The calculations include purchased cars, copying machines, laptops, displays and tablets. Data is collected in various ways, using CO2 per product from suppliers, volumes (t, m3) or the spent-per-product (EUR) product category.
10. All sources included and calculation are based on Scope 1 and 2 data.
11. Waste sources from NIB headquarters is included.
12. Flights, hotel stays and taxis included. Service providers provide the data on transport mode, KM and volume (t).
13. Employee commuting estimated in 2018 based on average data from Henkilöliikennetutkimus 2016.
14. The calculations include leased properties and leased IT hardware.

Engage in climate action

We engage in climate action and voluntarily support climate projects. NIB is funding projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

NIB only supports climate projects that have been awarded the Gold Standard. This is an internationally recognised standard, which also takes into consideration the positive co-benefits for sustainable development. When selecting projects, we also evaluate the monitoring, reporting and verification methodology, and check against set rules for issues such as additionality and avoidance of double counting.

Our projects reduce the amount of emissions in the atmosphere by generating Certified Emission Reduction units that have been verified by the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol of the UN Convention on Climate Change. The projects support the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including climate action, cleaner energy, quality education, and gender equality.

NIB’s climate action projects support the UN SDGs

To complement this, NIB also engages in climate action in its member countries. These climate engagements contribute to research, ecosystem services, nature conservation and restoration, and protecting biodiversity, thus supporting the corresponding Global Goals.

We understand that carbon markets and climate action develop constantly and we follow the best practices in order to find the most suitable ways to mitigate our footprint.

Annual reports

Annual and interim reports for download

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Corporate responsibility

An overview of NIB's approach to corporate responsibility

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