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.

NIB's carbon footprint management


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.

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.

NIB's carbon footprint scope and boundary definition
NIB's carbon footprint boundary definition



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 will be hybrids as of March 2021.

NIB's office renovation team

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.

Greenhouse gas emissions from NIB's internal operations
GHG emission source 2018
(t CO2e)
(t CO2e)
(t CO2e)
Scope 1 11 16 14 -11%
Scope 2 343 355 29 -92% 
Scope 3 1033 1007 724 -28%

Total emissions

(market based)

1388 1378 767 -44%

For more extensive calculations, see table below.


Internal carbon emission calculations


General indicators







Net internal area of office covered






Amount of permanent employees






Energy consumption







Total energy consumption (NIB headquarters)









1308 1316


Change in electricity consumption compared to previous year






Renewable electricity 






District heating






District cooling






Carbon free heating and cooling






Total energy consumption / m2






Total energy consumption / permanent employee






Scope 1: Direct GHG emissions (tCO2-ekv)*
  Note Unit 2018 2019 2020
Emission from NIB facilities 2 Tonnes 5 9 10
Emissions from NIB fleet 3 Tonnes 6 7 4
Scope 1 GHG emissions, total     11 16 14
Scope 2: Electricity indirect GHG emissions (tCO2-ekv)
  Note Unit 2018 2019 2020
Electricity, market-based, Headquarters 4 Tonnes 0 0 0
Electricity, market-based, other own real estates 5 Tonnes 18 18 14
Electricity, market-based, total   Tonnes 18 18 14
Electricity, location-based, Headquarters   Tonnes 171 172 161
Electricity, location-based, other own real estates   Tonnes 8 8 7
Electricity, location based, total   Tonnes 179 181 168
Heating, Headquarters 6 Tonnes 275 294  0
Heating, other own real estates   Tonnes 20 16 15
Heating, total   Tonnes 295 310 15
Cooling, Headquarters   Tonnes 31 26 0
Cooling, total 7 Tonnes 31 26 0

Scope 2 GHG emissions, total (market-based)






Scope 2 GHG emissions, total (location-based)






Scope 3: Other indirect GHG emissions (tCO2-ekv)**
  Note  Unit 2018 2019 2020
Purchased goods and services, total 8 Tonnes 216 220 304
Capital goods, total 9 Tonnes 74 78 102
Fuel- and energy-related activities not included in Scope 1 or Scope 2, total 10 Tonnes 93 97 82
Waste generated in operations, total 11 Tonnes 1 1 1
Business travel, total 12 Tonnes 482 449 100
Employee commuting, total 13 Tonnes 30 33 17
Upstream leased assets, total 14 Tonnes 137 132 118

Scope 3 GHG emissions, total






Scopes 1-3 GHG emissions, total   Tonnes 1388 1378 767


*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 SDGsNIB climate action and the UN SDGs

Baltic Sea

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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