Sustainable Development Goals
The United Nations (UN) plays a big role in encouraging sustainable progress. ING has partnered with the UN since we signed the UN Global Compact in 2006. We were committed to the former Millennium Development Goals and are now also supporting the current Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
As a bank committed to empowering our customers and accelerating sustainability within our company, with our customers and in society, our primary focus is on the SDGs promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth (goal 8) and sustainable consumption and production (goal 12).
Below are examples of how ING contributes to the SDGs through our supply chain, our own operations, our Retail Banking and Wholesale Banking activities.
Our supply chain
We try our best to minimise our impact throughout our supply chain. Our Sustainable Procurement Programme ensures we have high standards of supplier sustainability performance and green purchasing strategies. We employ strict social, environmental and anti-corruption standards and monitor supplier performance via specialised sustainable supplier management agencies. Furthermore, we engage in the transition to the circular economy through our circular purchasing strategy.
Thanks to our commitment to sustainable procurement, 91% of our total electricity consumption came from renewable energy in 2016. We will procure 100% green electricity for all ING buildings worldwide by 2020.
Through our carbon offsets we support the SELCO project in India, which provides sustainable energy solutions and services to under-served households and businesses.
With more than EUR 4 billion spent on procurement globally and 25,000 suppliers worldwide, we have a real opportunity to drive our sustainability agenda through our supply chain.
ING contributes to the economies of more than 40 countries where we operate. As of the end of 2016, ING engaged with 647 suppliers in sustainability performance assessments.
By encouraging suppliers to share our standards and work towards continual improvement, we believe we can make a demonstrable impact while mitigating risks.
ING’s procurement policies and procedures require us to take into account the social and environmental aspects of the products we procure as well as the attitude of the supplier towards sustainability.
We believe that circular purchasing is the future model of sustainable procurement. ING realised 18 circular purchasing projects in 2016. We have a commitment to pilot 20 circular purchasing projects.
The Environmental Programme was established to ensure that we’re not only empowering our clients to make the transition to a more sustainable economy, but that we’re making our own transition to become a more resource-efficient and climate-resilient company.
ING encourages employees to take the lead in their own personal and career development. Around EUR 70 million was spent on training and development in 2016. Trainings and development includes a variety of educational and business reading, inspirational videos, e-learning courses and the compulsory Promoting Integrity Programme, online training for all employees designed to strengthen our risk culture.
We introduced a diversity manifesto, “Success through difference”, in January 2016 that applies to all employees worldwide. This policy sets out what diversity means at ING, why it is important, and what employees can do.
We’re committed to encouraging diversity, for example through our Lioness network, which is designed to help women realise their goals. ING was ranked as one of the most transparent financial sector companies for diversity and social equality in the Bloomberg Financial Services Gender-Equality Index.
The Human Capital Return on Investment indicator shows ING’s profitability in relation to total employee costs. This ratio helps ING identify the influence of HR contributions, such as performance management, training and development, automation and organisational structures, on the bank’s profitability. We are improving in this area. In 2016, the indicator was 2.59, compared to 2.48 in 2015.
ING consistently works to reduce our use of paper, residual waste, water and energy consumption through our Environmental Programme. We always look for opportunities to drive sustainable consumption and production. For example, our new global headquarters is under construction and will reuse 14K tonnes of ballast.
We are a climate “A-list” company, according to CDP. In 2016, ING reduced its total extrapolated CO2e emissions by 27% compared with our base year of 2014, passing our target of 20% reduction by 2020. ING will continue to remain carbon neutral by off-setting carbon emissions and will also set new ambitious CO2e reduction targets.
ING has several processes in place ensure fair operating practices. Among these are the Banker’s Oath, the Orange Code, the compliance and whistle-blower policy, and the bribery and corruption statement.
Our purpose is to empower our customers to stay a step ahead in life and in business. One of the main ways we do this is by offering products, services and tools that make it easier for them to handle their money matters and to make better financial decisions, now and for the future.
These better decisions improve their day-to-day finances. We also believe financially empowered people contribute to a healthy economy and help drive social progress.
In 2016, 23.9 million people felt financially empowered by ING. We help people make smarter financial decisions through our Financially Fit programme and the Think Forward Initiative, for example.
ING has reached 95,227 adolescents through our Power for Youth partnership with UNICEF. We aim to reach 335,000 adolescents in six less-developed countries by 2018, helping them to develop the social and financial knowledge and skills needed to build a brighter future.
ING Groenbank is a 100 percent subsidiary of ING Bank N.V. It finances sustainable investment by offering lending services at favourable rates to a variety of Dutch sectors. These include organic farming, renewable energy generation, sustainable construction and the re-use of waste materials. In addition to its lending services for green investments, ING Groenbank also directs up to 10 percent of its balance sheet towards impact activities, including education and research.
ING partners with about 80 fintechs and operates two “incubators”, the Fintech Village in Belgium and the ING Innovation Studio in Amsterdam. There we link start-ups with internal teams around the globe to develop ideas into viable products and services.
ING Groenbank finances sustainable investment by offering lending services to environmentally friendly projects. We also include sustainability criteria in the investment funds and portfolios offered and managed by ING Private Banking. Our sustainable assets under management amounted to EUR 3.32 billion in 2016.
Retail customers can invest in sustainable projects that tackle climate change with ING Groenbank and several sustainable investment funds.
ING has various valuable partnerships to achieve the SDGs goals, such as UNICEF (Power for Youth Programme); Microsoft, Dell EMC, Deloitte and more in the Think Forward Initiative, which aims to help Europeans improve their financial decision-making; and the World Bank in our “A Billion to gain” global partnership for financial inclusion.
We continue to believe that financial services play a significant role in creating a healthy and sustainable world. We can help facilitate the transition to a fairer, greener economy by financing projects that help clients themselves become more sustainable and by supporting clients that contribute solutions to environmental and social challenges.
ING leads research on water issues, such as with our report “Too little, too much: the diverse sectorial challenges of water”.
ING was a key participant in a consortium of banks financing the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm in 2016, powering 450,000 homes in Scotland.
ING provided new client Nagi PV GK with JPY 3.86 billion (EUR 31.56 million) to finance a new 14 megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) farm in the west of Japan’s main Honshu island. Once operational in the second quarter of 2017, it will generate up to 16,300 megawatt hours of renewable electricity per year. This is equivalent to powering 4,500 homes.
In Wholesale Banking our Energy, Transport and Infrastructure Group is committed to increasing long-term finance for public-private partnerships in transportation, renewable energy and communications infrastructure to contribute to the development of resilient cities and trade.
Our Sustainable Real Estate Finance portfolio totalled EUR 7.2 billion at the end of 2016, making up 23% of the total Real Estate Finance portfolio. In 2015, we developed an app that allowed clients to assess the energy efficiency of their real estate and take measures accordingly. Real Estate Finance in the Netherlands aims to cut emissions in their portfolio in half by 2023.
We support our wholesale clients in more than 40 countries, including developing countries, and apply strict environmental and social risk criteria. ING aims to drive the transition towards a sustainable economy. In 2016, we financed EUR 34.3 billion sustainable transitions.
We are a thought leader on the circular economy, conducting research and joining the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as a CE100 member, for example. We’re also using our PACE methodology as a structured method for innovation in client co-creation initiatives on circular economy. We’re taking action, too. For example, ING financed the merger in 2016 of international waste-to-product business Shanks Group plc and leading Dutch recycler Van Gansewinkel Groep, creating Europe’s leading player in recycling.
ING won Environmental Finance Green Bond Awards in 2016 in the categories “Biggest Issuer” and “Bond of the Year”. This is a recognition of ING’s role as leader in the sector and of our pioneering effort in raising awareness for green bonds. The 2016 award for “Corporate Bond of the Year” went to leading European electricity transmission system operator TenneT, for which ING was adviser and underwriter.
ING sees climate change as one of the biggest challenges of our time and we are committed to reducing the impact of our own operations as well as helping clients to reduce theirs. We are also measuring and steering our portfolio based on climate impact accounting and assessment by partnering with external parties and supporting initiatives like the Financial Stability Boards Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures.
ING is involved in a variety of agreements and partnerships such as the UN Global Compact, the UN Environmental Programme Finance Initiative, the OECD Guidelines for Responsible Business Conduct and the Equator Principles to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.