We have an important role in society
With a background as an agent at one of Intrum’s call centres, Vanessa Söderberg has personal experience of meeting indebted individuals while meeting the needs of clients at the same time – experiences that prepared her well for her role as Global Sustainability Director.
Given our position and size, it is our responsibility to drive the development of a sustainable debt collection industry.Vanessa Söderberg, Global Sustainability Director at Intrum
We have an intense 2022 behind us, one of the highlights of which was the development of Intrum’s materiality analysis. What opportunities does a debt collection company have to contribute to sustainable development?
“As a major provider of credit management services, we play an important role in the financial ecosystem. Essentially, this is about creating long-term sustainable economic conditions for people and businesses, and thereby indirectly for society as a whole. Given our position and size, it is our responsibility to drive the development of a sustainable debt collection industry. Our latest materiality analysis shows that social sustainability issues remain a key concern, especially ethical debt collection which relates to dealing with customers respectfully. Climate is also an important issue. At the same time, we also need to support healthy transactions with our clients.”
You began your career at Intrum as an agent in one of our call centres. How have your experiences in that role influenced you as Sustainability Director?
“I have been part of many success stories and have seen first-hand the value we create for people and businesses. My time at the call centre has also given me a deeper understanding of the complex work that we do there. As an agent, you sometimes meet people who are going through very difficult periods in life. Coming up with good solutions that also work for our clients is demanding, but that has to be our aim at all times – to see opportunities for all parties and create long-term sustainable solutions.”
We live in a time of rapid change in sustainability. What are the biggest challenges you face?
“To keep pace with everything that is going on, for example in terms of the implementation of new reporting standards and stricter legal requirements. Our aim is to always be well prepared. In 2022, we initiated important work with materiality assessments based on the GRI Standards and the EU’s planned ESRS. This forms the basis of the sustainability strategy we are currently working on and which we will begin to implement in 2023.”
How do you build internal engagement, get all employees on board and see their role in what we’re doing?
“It is all about training and increased dialogue. We need to bring issues to life so they feel relevant. Different issues need to be handled in different ways, of course. While ethical debt collection is our focus in dialogue with our customers, diversity and inclusion relates to all stakeholders. To increase understanding of this complex issue, in 2022 we developed an internal training course on unconscious bias. Implementing training programs like these clearly involves a lot of work and it is important.”
2023 will be another intense and exciting year with focus on bringing the findings of our new materiality analysis into strategy and action.Vanessa Söderberg
What are you most proud of about Intrum?
“It has to be the value we create for people and businesses. I am also proud of the work we do to drive the industry in a more sustainable direction. We focus on issues in industry forums and at EU level. I am pleased to see the progress we have made on sustainability at Intrum and that this is being noticed externally. In 2022, we received our first CDP rating, (B), which demonstrates that we have robust processes in place to address the climate issue. Having said that, we should not relax. 2023 will be another intense and exciting year with focus on bringing the findings of our new materiality analysis into strategy and action.”
Download the full Annual and Sustainability Report 2022 today
More on sustainability at Intrum
Climate change – taking responsibility at business level
The climate issue is one of the greatest challenges of our time and it is high on Intrum’s agenda. In order to get a more comprehensive view of our climate footprint, during the year, we have expanded our reporting to include additional categories of emissions. In doing so, we are able to take further responsibility and address the climate footprint we bring through our operations, directly and indirectly.
Intrum's Annual and Sustainability Report for 2022
Today we published the Annual and Sustainability Report for 2022 – a challenging year for Intrum, our industry and the economy at large. In turbulent macroeconomic times, Intrum plays a central role in ensuring the sustainability of the financial ecosystem. Our market leading business platform has, during the year, showcased its fundamental strengths and delivered strong financial performance.