New external green appointments for KBN

20 June 2019

KBN wants to help put sustainability on the agenda both in Norway and internationally. We are actively involved in developments in the area thanks to the range of external appointments held by our employees, which include a member of Finance Norway’s Sustainability Group and a member of the Norwegian Climate Foundation’s Council.

Our President and CEO, Kristine Falkgård, has recently been elected to the Council of the Norwegian Climate Foundation.

“Norway needs to make major capital-intensive investments in transitioning to a low-carbon society. The Norwegian Climate Foundation’s Council brings together some of the leading experts in climate research, and we at KBN look forward to using our leading expertise in green finance to contribute to the Norwegian Climate Foundation’s continuing development”, comments Kristine Falkgård about her new appointment.

The Council of the Norwegian Climate Foundation has an advisory function and comments on the Foundation’s strategy, projects, accounts and annual report, board appointments and other issues put before it. The Council’s members are also active collaboration partners for the Foundation, according to its press release (only available in Norwegian).

KBN’s Chief Financial Markets Officer, Sigbjørn Birkeland, has been re-elected to the Executive Committee of the Green Bond Principles, the leading international industry standard for green bonds. The Committee is made up of leading financial markets participants such as the World Bank, the Bank of China, and the investment management company Blackrock. The Green Bond Principles (GBP) are regarded as the leading set of principles for defining green bonds and are used as a guide by issuers of this type of bond.

“Green bonds can become a very important tool for bringing about the green shift. I hope that our involvement will be useful in helping Norway’s municipalities to successfully access financing for the important green projects they are undertaking”, commented Sigbjørn Birkeland when he was elected to the Executive Committee for the first time.

Torunn Brånå, Head of Green Finance at KBM, has been made a member of Finance Norway’s Sustainability Group. This newly established group has 18 members from organisations including Nordea, DNB, KLP, SpareBank1 Østlandet, Danske Bank, SR-Bank and SG Finans. The aim is for the group to have specialist expertise in climate risk in order to assist the finance industry, municipalities and the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection’s knowledge bank project with knowledge and insurance claims data.

On 28 and 29 May KBN hosted a sustainable finance workshop for members of the European Association of Public Banks (EAPB). EAPB is an umbrella organisation for European publicly owned financial institutions that together have total assets of EUR 3,500 billion. The workshop started with the Vice Mayor for Finance of the City of Oslo, who presented Oslo’s climate budget work, and it concluded with a visit to Oslo’s harbour where shore-side power supplies, self-driving busses and other environmentally friendly solutions were presented and discussed. The EAPB’s members, including KBN, presented their green and social bond programs, and a representative from the European Commission provided a regulatory update over Skype about the EU’s work on sustainable finance.

The EAPB’s General Secretary and a number of the members commented that KBN had organised a very interesting program, and that it provided a good basis for working further with the EU Commission and other regulatory authorities in the EU on promoting sustainable finance. The attendees’ views were subsequently presented at the EAPB’s general assembly at which the organisation and its other members, encouraged by KBN, took on board that this is now one of the most important topics on the European agenda, and that socially committed and responsible organisations have to become involved in the area.

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