Our Stance

With more than 34 million customers in more than 40 countries, our business activities have a significant influence on communities and the environment. With influence comes responsibility. For us, this means making the right choices in how, where and with whom we do business – and crucially, being transparent about the underlying principles that guide our daily business decisions. Our environmental and social risk policies form a large part of that. The ESR policies are applicable to all of our products and services, including corporate loans, project finance, investments for own account (e.g. bonds issuance), and asset management/private banking services. Each policy defines risk management procedures for its specific operational area. All ING Bank entities, representative offices, and companies that are under our control are to uphold our policies in all countries where we do business. On our website we have more specific information available on some of our policy frameworks – among which our ESR policies.

We regularly get questions from various stakeholders about our stance on certain issues. Here’s an overview.

Animal welfare

With global population projected to grow to some 9.7 billion people in 2050, the world faces a major challenge: how will we feed all those people?

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Climate

Climate change is an unparalleled challenge for our world, one where banks also have a role to play. ING plays its part in various ways.

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Defence

The defence industry is complex. Local, national and international authorities all recognise the importance of law enforcement. Police carry weapons in communities, and soldiers carry weapons in armies and during peacekeeping missions for international bodies such as the United Nations.

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Energy

The modern world depends on energy for everyday needs ranging from food production to the transport of goods and people, to heating and lighting.

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Extractives industry

Gas is a relatively clean source of energy and ING finances gas in various ways. However, there are concerns about certain types of gas extraction, such as shale gas.

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Fisheries

Fish is an important source of food and livelihood for many people around the world. The global population’s projected growth of up to some 9.7 billion people in 2050 means an increasing demand for food.

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Food speculation

Food speculation is when investors ‘bet’ on fluctuations in prices of land and food. This could potentially lead to excessive food prices and serious social problems, as poorer groups of the population with a very limited household budget may not be able to afford to buy the food they need.

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Human rights

ING is a firm supporter of human rights, with this forming the basis of our environmental and social policies.

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Income taxes

ING has about 52,000 employees worldwide serving nearly 33 million customers in more than 40 countries. As a responsible global company, we pay taxes in the countries where we’re active.

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Maritime sector

The shipping trade plays an important part in the global economy, as the transport of goods contributes to our prosperity and welfare. ING is a major financier of the shipbuilding industry.

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Palm oil

Palm oil is used in a range of products, from toothpaste, soap, cosmetics and shampoo to crisps and biscuits. Its wide use presents some environmental challenges.

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Resource scarcity

The amount of resources available to manufacture products is not unlimited, so we must use them responsibly.

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Transparency

Transparency and privacy are conflicting ideas but both extremely important in banking. Banks, entrusted with details of companies and private individuals, must consistently weigh the pros and cons between transparency and privacy.

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