Blog.Jun 15, 2017

The Baltic Sea Project – A Water Dialogue seminar

Last week, Tove Erikslund, Chief Administrative Officer and member of the SIWI Board, shared lessons learnt from the bank’s innovative environmental, customer engagement project at the ICWC Water Dialogue at SIWI.

The programme helps to raise awareness among customers of environmental issues in the region, and provides an opportunity to make a positive impact on the health of the Baltic Sea – for example by supporting research projects funded by the bank or changing their consumption behavior.

Originating in Åland in 1919, Ålandsbanken has always had “green thinking” at its heart. It started off as a local option for the island’s fishing and agricultural community. Now a Nordic banking group that is sharing in the responsibility for the environmental well-being of the sea that surrounds its home, Ålandsbanken became a Founder of the Stockholm Water Prize in 1994, and initiated an Environmental Bank Account in 1997.

In 2015, the year after a massive blue-green algae bloom in the Baltic Sea, Ålandsbanken launched the Baltic Sea Project. The goal was to develop a clearer focus for its Environmental Account on the Baltic Sea and to increase commitment, engagement and collaboration.

The development of the Environmental Account led to the initiation of the Åland Index and the Baltic Sea Card. The Index calculates the environmental impact of each credit card transaction – and makes the information available to the customer. They are have the opportunity to offset the impact by supporting local or global environmental initiatives.