Climate research statement

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On Wednesday, 4 November 2015, ING received the highest possible score of 100A from CDP for its climate change reporting. This score means that ING enters the Benelux Climate Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI). The 100 stands for disclosure, or how transparent we are about our performance, actions and our climate change policy. The A refers to our results.

ING scores highly in sustainability ratings

In September 2015, Sustainalytics, a global leader in sustainability research, rated us the third best performing bank for sustainability out of a group of 409 banks. ING also further improved its score in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index this year. ING scored 86 out of a possible 100 points. The average score in the sector is 61 points and the highest score is 94. These organisations applaud ING’s sharpened sustainability focus, the products that enable customers to make better financial decisions, our tightened social and environmental policy and our sustainable financing efforts. And recently, Central government announced that it had chosen ING Bank as its principal bank, partly because the government believes that ING is a sustainable bank.

The report that Eerlijke Bankwijzer (Fair Bank Guide) published on 4 November 2015 on CO2 emissions and the role of banks is therefore in stark contrast to what independent international benchmarking organisations think about ING’s sustainability performance.

ING one of the largest financiers of renewable energy projects worldwide

ING is a bank that supports business across the board. Our sustainability policy is targeted at helping large companies make the transition to more sustainable production and use of energy sources. Several years ago, we set up a special sustainability finance department for this purpose. The department advises our large business customers on how they can make this transition. For example, there is a clear trend towards financing sustainable electricity generation in our energy portfolio. The share of renewable energy in the financing of electricity generation projects by ING grew from 23% in 2009 to 43% in 2014. This makes ING one of the largest financiers of renewable energy projects worldwide.

The data that Eerlijke Bankwijzer presents in its report shows that ING invests more in renewable energy than all other Dutch banks combined. For example, ING has a leading role in the largest near-shore wind farm in the Netherlands, Westermeerwind, which will provide 160,000 Dutch households with energy. In addition, we have numerous renewable energy projects abroad: from wind farms in the Philippines to geothermal energy in Indonesia.

Oil and gas are still important energy sources

The transition to more sustainable energy, however, is not always possible on a large scale. Coal is used to generate electricity, but is also used to produce steel and cement. Gas is an important fuel for the continued supply of sufficient energy: wind turbines do not produce energy when there is no wind and solar panels do not produce energy at night. The Dutch transport sector could not operate without oil and gas. We are therefore still financing fossil fuel extraction to provide Dutch and foreign households with the energy they need. However, we have virtually stopped the new financing of coal mines and coal-fired power stations, and we are focussing as far as possible on helping our customers in and outside the energy sector to make the transition to more sustainable production and to use renewable energy sources. We believe that this is the way to make the greatest impact as a bank.

Working together

ING is keen to finance more renewable energy. To achieve this, it is important that governments enter into long-term agreements about a price for CO2 and the transparent reporting of CO2 emissions during the Paris Climate Conference in December 2015. This is also mentioned in the CEO Climate Change Statement of 17 April 2015. It is also part of the climate statement published by the Dutch Banking Association (NVB) on behalf of member Dutch banks and the ING climate statement. In this statement, we explain in more detail what we are doing about climate change.

We are determined to continue on this path and also to continue putting our portfolio on a more sustainable footing in the future.

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