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 been calculating 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.

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.
  • During 2022, we developed our monitoring for key indicators such as water, and heating and cooling management. This will improve how we follow up and report on our internal operations.
  • In 2023, NIB launched its Climate Strategy where the Bank has also committed to reducing its internal Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 35% by 2030 from the 2022 base year.

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. In 2023, our internal carbon footprint increased 26% from the previous year. This was mainly due to increased travelling.

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 source2021
(t CO2e)
(t CO2e)
(t CO2e)
Scope 1151317
Scope 2323315
Scope 37189271,190
Total emissions (market based)7659721,222

For more extensive calculations, see table below.

General indicatorsNoteUnit2020202120222023
Net internal area of office coveredm218,48818,48818,48818,488
Energy consumptionUnit2020202120222023
Total energy consumption (NIB headquarters)MWh3,2453,6403,3743,278
Electricity 1MWh1,2251,2111,2581,198
Renewable electricity %100%100%100%100%
District heatingMWh1,6572,0021,7411,764
District coolingMWh363426375316
Carbon free heating and cooling%100%100%100%100%
Total energy consumption / m2kWh/m2176197183177
Scope 1: Direct GHG emissions (tCO2-ekv)Unit2020202120222023
Emissions from NIB facilitiesTonnes9959
Emissions from NIB fleetTonnes4688
Scope 1 GHG emissions, total14151317
Scope 2: Electricity indirect GHG emissions (tCO2-ekv)Unit2020202120222023
Electricity, market-based 2Tonnes1418160
Electricity, location-based 3Tonnes1681858045
Heating, market-based 4Tonnes15141715
Heating, location-based 4Tonnes241268287258
District coolingTonnes0000
Scope 2 GHG emissions, total (market-based)Tonnes29323315
Scope 2 GHG emissions, total (location-based) 5Tonnes409453366304
Scope 3: Other indirect GHG emissions (tCO2-ekv)6Unit2020202120222023
Purchased goods and services, total 7Tonnes304210204212
Capital goods, total8Tonnes1021175649
Fuel- and energy-related activities not included in Scope 1 or Scope 2, totalTonnes119165151163
Waste generated in operations, totalTonnes1011
Business travel, totalTonnes100113379582
Employee commuting, total9Tonnes17181953
Upstream leased assets, total10Tonnes11894117129
Scope 3 GHG emissions, totalTonnes7617189271,190
Scopes 1-3 GHG emissions, total (market-based)11 Tonnes8037659721,222
GHG intensities and miscellaneous GHG information
Total Scope 1-3 GHG emissions / permanent employeeTonnes/employee4.
Total Scope 1-3 GHG emissions / m2Tonnes/m20.0430.0410.0530.066
Change in GHG emissions compared to baseline year (2018)12%-42%-45%-30%-12%


1. Electricity consumption includes just NIB’s headquarters. The electricity consumption of other NIB owned properties was 63 MWh.
2. Emissions are based on the electricity that organizations have chosen to purchase, including the purchase of Guarantees of Origin.
3. Emissions are based on the emissions intensity of the local grid area where the electricity usage occurs.
4. From 2020, the HQ’s district heating is based on waste heat.
5. Adjusted to disclose also location based heating for 2020 and 2021.

6. The calculation does not include NIB’s investments.
7. Includes water and wastewater, canteen, cleaning services and greenery services and office paper purchases.
8. Includes purchased cars and ICT hardware.
9. Calculation updated in 2023 with updated assumptions behind remote working days.
10. Includes leased properties and leased ICT hardware.
11. Due to changes in calculation methodology, the number for 2020 has been revised.
12. Scopes 1-3 GHG emissions, total (location based) 2018: 1,388 tonnes.

Compensating for our footprint

We follow the best practices in order to find the most suitable ways to mitigate our footprint. When selecting projects to compensate for the residual emissions that cannot be avoided, we evaluate the monitoring, reporting and verification methodology, and check against set rules for issues such as additionality and avoidance of double counting.

To compensate for our footprint in 2018, 2019 and 2020, we have supported 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.

NIB’s carbon compensation projects support the UN SDGs

To offset our internal emissions from 2021 and 2022, we have purchased carbon dioxide removal credits from projects that store CO2 in soil, biochar and in bio-based construction materials. Through these projects, NIB not only ensures the durable removal of its own carbon footprint but also supports circular economy projects in its member countries.

In addition to carbon removal projects, we also voluntarily support environmental projects in the Nordic and Baltic countries. So far, NIB’s contributions support peatland restauration in Finland, protecting old-growth forests in Lithuania, dam removal and river restauration in Finland as well as cleaning the port operations around the Baltic Sea. Through supporting these projects, NIB aims to enhance biodiversity in our region.

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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NIB Climate Strategy

NIB is committed to addressing the climate challenge in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement and become a net-zero bank by 2050