From green-label greenhouses to sustainable home construction, ING Groenbank finances sustainable projects in the Netherlands, using funds from both corporate clients and retail customers.
Other sectors financed include organic farming, renewable energy generation and the re-use of waste materials. Assets covering ING Groenbank loans must receive Dutch government accreditation. This helps us accurately quantify the sustainable impact of these green investments.
In 2016, ING Groenbank made a strategic shift in its lending portfolio by increasing the volume of loans to SME (small to medium-sized) and mid-corporate clients. New channels were opened to offer lending services to clients in commercial real estate as well as structured finance transactions for clients operating SME renewable energy generation projects.
ING Groenbank profited from increases in investment volumes throughout those sectors, as the overall economic climate was more favourable in 2016.
Impact Finance activities
In 2016, there was a strategic shift from traditional microfinance portfolios in India and Turkey to a more diversified portfolio, both in location and the mix of financial services offered. Microfinance was rebranded to Impact Finance, which now acts as a catalytic fund to initiate impact investments both inside and outside of ING.
In addition to its lending services for green investments, ING Groenbank directs up to 10 percent of its balance sheet towards these Impact Finance activities. Plus, up to 10 percent of Impact Finance’s profit is used for education and research purposes.
Impact Finance research supported the finance sector’s appetite for more SME finance. “A Billion to Gain 2016” looked at the role technological innovation can play in unlocking micro/SME finance opportunities. This became the second-most-read publication out of 200 new items posted last year on Microfinance Gateway, the most important platform for the financial inclusion sector.