A More Resilient Mid-Norway

At the heart of SpareBank 1's group strategy lies a commitment to stimulate sustainable development in Mid-Norway. With this, a long-term collaboration with ÆRA has been established.

SpareBank 1 SMN

The Opportunity

SpareBank 1 SMN is more than ‘just a bank’. They carry a great responsibility of contributing to regional and positive change. A responsibility that largely makes up their societal role as someone stimulating sustainable development. They call this role ‘a green instigator’.

As a green instigator, SpareBank 1 SMN yearly performs a sustainability barometer, measuring sustainable development within the region’s municipalities, businesses and inhabitants.

Results from 2021 showed an overweight of businesses and municipalities who neither saw challenges nor profitable opportunities in becoming more sustainable.

The bank had to lead the way.

So they did, and so they do, through sustainable shifts within the organization, adapting their client offerings and the way in which they manage their societal dividends.

To ensure continuous improvement, SpareBank 1 SMN teamed up with ÆRA.

The Way

Since 2021, we’ve worked with SpareBank 1 SMN on finding opportunities for sustainable growth amongst a wide array of Mid-Norwegian businesses. This through three simultaneously ran mechanisms:

  • We have tailored an internal Learning & Upskilling course for SpareBank 1 SMN employees, aiming to enhance their competency within strategic and sustainable innovation. The outcome is concrete suggestions as to how the SpareBank 1 group can strengthen their role as a sustainable driving force.
  • We have tailored a semi-annual innovation program for managers of Mid-Norwegian businesses. Our competency, tools and methodologies are taught in order for them to create sustainable business opportunities in a profitable, competitive and actionable way.
  • The contents of the above-mentioned points are communicated to the local communities of Mid-Norway, and the SpareBank 1 group’s employees, to inspire and motivate a sustainable shift.

In other words, the collaboration is built on the belief that change will occur beyond those who participate in our Learning & Upskilling programs.

"In wanting to better understand the risks of today’s business, and the unique business opportunities of tomorrow’s business, where all sectors have to adjust to a low emission society, ÆRA felt like a natural choice."

Jan-Eilert Nilsen

Head of Sustainability SpareBank 1 SMN

The Result

The businesses who have participated in our SpareBank 1 SMN-tailored innovation courses and program thus far, had an aggregated turnover of 8.8 billion Norwegian Kroners in 2021. They represent 14 different industries, ranging from construction to farming.

We view these numbers as figures on the collaboration's potential impact.

The long-term proof of impact lies in seeing a durable development in regional businesses over time. Not just measured in the number of new employments created, but also those kept stabile over time. A regional resiliency.

Beyond sowing the seeds for new employment, our courses are also providing a new arena for building relations, sharing experiences and creating new collaborations in Mid-Norway, with the latter being an explicit factor of success for the SpareBank 1 group.

"100% of the participants say they’ve gained a clearer understanding of green growth opportunities for their business, according to the assessments we’ve done so far. That brings us hope for the future."

Siri Borthen Flatås

Person in charge of SpareBank 1 SMN’s societal dividends

What We're Providing

  • Innovation course for employees
  • Master class for local businesses

Related projects

TOMRA Collection

The Leadership Summit

Learning & Upskilling