Sweden’s Export Credit Corporation (SEK) has picked Maria Simonson to become the organisation’s head of sustainability, while at the same time boosting the position’s stature.

Simonson will take up the position on April 1 after a 20-year career at Danske Bank, where she was most recently head of group sustainability.

An SEK spokesperson says the government-owned export finance company has made the sustainability head role an executive management position with a direct reporting line to SEK chief executive, Magnus Montan. Simonson will also lead a team of 11 staff working on sustainability.

Simonson replaces current sustainability head Johan Henningsson, whose next steps have not yet been decided.

“SEK’s primary task is to strengthen the competitiveness of exporters and their suppliers through sustainable finance,” Montan says. “Maria Simonson’s extensive experience in banking, both within sustainability and company finance, strengthens our and our customers’ sustainability efforts.”

Simonson says: “My impression is that SEK has come a long way in integrating sustainability in its business, and I look forward to joining the team tasked with further developing this along with the clients.”

SEK, along with Sweden’s export credit agency EKN, introduced a council of experts last September to help both organisations trim greenhouse gas emissions generated from their portfolios, in line with their government’s aim of making the country a net zero emitter by 2050.

In the same month EKN also launched a green guarantee product for companies that contribute to the energy transition away from fossil fuels. Eligibility criteria is broad and companies do not need to be direct exporters to apply for the guarantee.