Corporate social responsibility

As a major regional bank, SpareBank 1 SMN shares a common destiny with the region. Ever since the Bank was established in 1823, further developing the society of which we are a part has been has been a central focus of our policy choices and dispositions. With our local knowledge and closeness to our customers we base our assessments not on economics and risk alone but also on a social perspective, and we work closely with customers and local communities to foster sound businesses and good living conditions.

The Bank’s focus on public issues is integrated in our ongoing planning work. This ensures that ethics, the environment and important social issues are on the agenda throughout. Through the Bank’s gift fund we have for many years returned funds to the region we are a part of. This has been done through grants to talented individuals in the arts and sports, support for local associations and organisations, well-being measures at neighbourhood level and contributions to business development in Trøndelag and Nordvestlandet.

An active interplay between research, development, education and the business sector is important for the region’s development. Each year SpareBank 1 SMN devotes substantial resources to stimulating innovation and to bringing together industry, business and knowledge institutions. The collaboration with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and the Foundation for Scientific and Industrial Research (SINTEF), both in Trondheim, along with iKuben in Molde and Aalesund University College, is key to this effort.

The three-part bottom line

Solid banking creates a foundation for responsible social development. As a basis for our work, we have sought a balance between the financial, social and environmental aspects of the three-part bottom line. Under each theme we have defined key areas on which we maintain a special focus, and goals and initiatives have been developed for each area.


CSR status and goal achievement 2007-2011

Parent company figures

    2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

Strategy/ financial

Group strategy Established Updated Continued Continued Continued
Develop CSR strategy N/A Established Continued Continued Continued
Pre-tax profit (NOKm) 1,045 778 1,147 1,282 1,279
Total assets (NOKm) 71,503 84,670 84,541 97,992 101,455
Return on equity 18.90 % 11.90 % 16.20 % 14.60 % 12.80 %
Core capital ratio 8.40 % 8.10 % 10.40 % 10.90 % 10.43 %
No. of ECCs issued (m) 53.98 57.9 69.43 94.9 94.9
Quoted price 31.12 72.25 22.85 49.02 54.00 39.30
Market capitalisation (NOKm) 31.12 3,900 1,750 3,749 5,124 3,731
Direct return 8.29 % 5.10 % 4.60 % 5.6 % 5.1 %
No. of owners 9,111 9,123 9,500 9,654  9,532
Knowledge of bank’s ethical rules at least 90 % 96 % 96 % 96 % 96 % 96 %
Society/ social conditions No. of FTP equivalents 746 775 805 793 794
Sickness absence 3.57 % 3.84 % 4.22 % 4.00 % 4.00 %
Women’s share of workforce 48.50 % 51.50 % 51.50 % 51 % 52 %
Women’s share of senior positions 22 % 26 % 28 % 28 % 27 %
Average age 44.5 years 45 years 45 years 46 years 45.5 years
Employee satisfaction 75 75 75 I/T 715 *
Agreement on inclusive employment Established Continued Continued Continued Continued
Strategy on life phase policy Established Continued Further developed Further developed Continued
Managerial development programme Established Continued Continued Continued Continued
No. of offices 58 56 56 54 54
No. of customers 191,000 192,000 194,000 194,500 196,500
Share of internet banking customers 52 % 54 % 57 % 73 % 81 %
Share of electronic bill payments 90 % 91 % 92 % 99 % 99 %
Share allocated to culture 12 % 22 % 24 % 22 % 24 %
Share allocated to sports 12 % 16 % 20 % 23 % 23 %
Share allocated to humanitarian work 5 % 6 % 4 % 6 % 6 %
Share allocated to business development 66 % 56 % 52 % 43 % 38 %
Environment Purchase of paper ** 40.4 tonnes 46,5 tonnes 35.9 tonnes  39.1 tonnes 35.7 tonnes
Energy consumption *** N/A 6,193,000 kWh 6,580,000 kWh  7,004,400 kWh   6,900,500 kWh
No. of flights **** 4,324 3,984 3,585   3,816 3,910
E-waste return scheme ***** 6.10 tonnes 5.30 tonnes 2.90 tonnes  3.43 tonnes  3.40 tonnes
Waste sorting at source Established Continued Continued Continued Continued
Printer and toner return scheme Established Continued Continued Continued Continued
No. of videoconferencing rooms 2 3 6 6 8
Strategy/action plan for energy and the environment at the new head office Established Continued Continued  Continued   Continued
No. of offices certified under the ‘Environmental Lighthouse’ scheme N/A N/A 1 1 2
* New system for organisational analysis as from 2011
** Reduction of approx. 3.4 tonnes from 2010 to 2011 essentially due to switch to secure print and increased electronic communication
*** Reduction in 2011 due to a full year of operation in the new head office (a low-energy building)
**** Change due to increased travel related to customer activities in general and the enlargement of the bank’s catchment area in particular
***** Volume due to procurement of new computers in 2010 and disposal at end-2010 and start-2011


The Group consistently implements measures designed to reduce consumption of electricity, paper and other resources and to ensure that limits are imposed on resource-demanding travel. Handling of e-waste and purchase of environment-friendly solutions also receives much attention. The Bank strives throughout to ensure the right procurement of technological equipment. To this end, energy and environmental requirements are included as specific assessment criteria. 

All technological equipment is handled as special waste, and is thereby subject to environmentally correct disposal. In 2011 3.40 tonnes of technological waste were returned compared with 3.43 tonnes in 2000. Increased use of electronic communication and the introduction of new print solutions have reduced paper consumption from 39.1 tonnes in 2010 to 35.7 tonnes in 2011.

Growing use of technological solutions imposes greater demands on safety and personal protection. The following measures are being put in place to ensure a focus on, and competence in, safety.

  • regular internal safety courses
  • national safety exercises (disaster preparedness exercises)
  • free-of-charge software for enhanced customer safety
  • instructing older users in safe internet banking and in becoming more self-reliant bank customers

SpareBank 1 SMN made 3,910 business trips in 2011 compared with 3,816 in 2010. Increased customer activity and the Bank’s involvement in committees and projects under the auspices of the SpareBank 1 Alliance are key factors behind the high travel frequency. Steps taken to reduce the number of air trips include greater use of video conferencing, telephone conferencing and digital tools to support teamworking and knowledge sharing.

Very low energy consumption at the new Head Office
SpareBank 1 SMN relocated to its new head office in Trondheim in autumn 2010. Our energy consumption target was an ambitious 85 kWh per square metre for the new office premises part of the building. The target was met by a good margin in the very first year of operation. Measurements show energy consumption below 60 kWh per square metre, which is far below the limit of 150 kWh per square metre set by the authorities. No other office building in Norway comes close to this figure. Compared with the 150 kWh per square metre consumed by the old bank building, the operating expense economies are substantial. The causes of the low energy consumption are numerous and complex, but the main individual factors are:

  • a well isolated and efficient building envelope
  • a highly energy-efficient ventilation system
  • a sophisticated control and operation-monitoring system
  • organisation of the workplace and monitoring by the building's users

Environmental lighthouse
SpareBank 1 SMN has opted for certification under ‘Environmental Lighthouse’, a national certification scheme catering to the private and public sectors. At end-2011 the Trondheim Head Office and the office in Ålesund had achieved certification. This meant that offices in which about 450 staff work on a daily basis were now certified in the following areas: work environment, procurements/materials use, energy, transport, waste, emissions and aesthetics. In 2012 the offices in Stjørdal, Levanger, Steinkjer and Namsos will achieve certification and work will start on certification of Molde and Verdal.


The Group’s business activities are dependent on the confidence of customers, public authorities and the wider society. Staff at SpareBank 1 SMN must be recognised for their high ethical standards. To this end each of us, in any context where we are identified with SpareBank 1 SMN, must display a conduct that is perceived to be confidence inspiring, honest and trustworthy and in compliance with the norms, rules and statutes by which the society is governed.

SpareBank 1 SMN intends to provide factual, correct information in an honest, trustworthy and open manner about the Bank’s business and services.

SpareBank 1 SMN has set up the following formalised and recurring review of the Bank’s ethical guidelines vis-à-vis the Group’s employees; this, in sum, constitutes the formal framework tool for the practical conduct of all staff of the Bank.

  • the ethical guidelines are a part of the staff handbook, and thus a part of the employment contract
  • the ethical guidelines are reviewed at induction sessions for new staff
  • ethics is a module in its own right at the Bank’s educational facility and must be successfully completed by all staff
  • ethical guidelines are a central part of the Bank’s managerial development programme

Organisation and staff

SpareBank 1 SMN intends to be an attractive and inclusive employer for staff in all age groups and life phases. The Bank sets the stage for all staff to experience a good balance between work, home and leisure. We also encourage staff to maintain good health by promoting physical activity. This is based on the belief that staff members whose needs are catered for put in a better performance in the best interest of themselves and the enterprise.

SpareBank 1 SMN has relatively low sickness absence, and we believe this is to some extent ascribable to staff who are motivated by challenging and stimulating work at the same time as many stay in shape through various types of activities.

We currently have a good gender and age balance. The Bank is working to raise the proportion of women in senior positions. Currently 27 per cent of senior positions are held by women (28 per cent in 2010).

The Group has established a robust framework in the trade union area: 

  • staff handbook, health, environment and safety (HES) handbook, inclusive employment agreement
  • internal committees fixed by agreement: liaison committee, appointments committee and negotiating committee
  • ethical guidelines, procedure for reporting concerns and procedure for handling conflicts
  • management development programme
  • adviser programme and educational facility
  • framework for professional development sessions
  • annual staff survey
  • induction sessions for new staff
  • phase-of-life policy

The Group has established a project known as ‘Better Shape’ to promote good health, increased motivation and well-being. The project is a targeted drive aimed at motivating staff to raise their level of physical activity.

SpareBank 1 SMN Fund  

The SpareBank 1 SMN Fund bases its work on the precept that the Bank’s gifts should be non-profit, i.e. all financial support should be for the common good and benefit as many as possible. The Fund emphasises that all awards should contribute to building, supporting and developing the region. The Bank’s gifts to non-profit causes therefore make demands in the sense that the recipient also has to contribute to ensuring that the cause attains its goal. In order to create new assets and make the region an attractive place to live, the Fund employs two primary methods in its work: 

  • we apply a process-oriented approach in which individuals, ideas and resources are brought together to create the symbiosis that produces value creation
  • we supply capital through donations to activities that promote our social objectives

We therefore impose the same ethical and environmental demands on our partners as on ourselves before, during and after implementation of projects and initiatives. In processes, and in the case of awards of some size, written agreements are established to ensure that our social requirements are complied with.

Business development: 

  • innovation
  • competence transfer to the region’s business and industry
  • assisting infrastructure development
  • developing entrepreneurship
  • start-up assistance (seedcorn and venture capital)


  • cultural, sports, health, environmental, ethical and humanitarian purposes
  • special focus on children and young people
  • helping to strengthen the region’s identity and historical foundation based on the St. Olav tradition and legacy
  • helping to stimulate talented individuals, young people and enthusiasts in the spheres of culture and sports
© SpareBank 1 SMN