ING’s Davos to-do list

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18 January 2017

The weather may be freezing, but the energy is electric at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland this week.

It’s the one moment at the beginning of each year where leaders from government, business and society come together to create an agenda for helping the world adapt to change.

CEO Ralph Hamers is in Davos representing ING, along with Head of Wholesale Banking Isabel Fernandez and Leon Wijnands, ING’s head of Sustainability.

Ralph Hamers in Davos

A special report from CEO Ralph Hamers on #ING’s to-do list at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland #WEF17

Posted by ING on Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Ralph Hamers’ self-filmed impression from Davos (1:03).

Here, ING Sustainability Head Leon Wijnands gives some insight into ING’s Davos to-do list.

What is the most important part about Davos for ING?

“Davos is like a giant marketplace combined with speed-dating. In five days we get the opportunity to meet with dozens of clients, peers, government officials, NGOs, you name it, and catch up, exchange ideas and do business. On top of that, we get the chance to present ourselves on important topics for ING, such as financial stability, innovation and the circular economy. Ralph will have an active role during the Forum in doing so. For him it is a very practical way to meet clients and influencers in a relatively short time frame.”

– Leon Wijnands

What do you most look forward to in Davos?

“There is this Dutch saying that under pressure everything becomes fluid. Well, in Davos there is a lot of pressure, with over 1,500 global business leaders, heads of international organisations and NGOs present. This could yield interesting outcomes, especially regarding global challenges that no organisation or government can solve by themselves, such as climate change. And of course, the snow gets fluid as well. Mostly inside your boots or collar.”

How important is being named runner-up for the Circular Economy (CE) award?

“A big achievement, as we’re the only mainstream commercial bank in a category with smaller sustainability-focused investment firms. It certainly helps us in creating more awareness on the topic among our colleagues, clients and peers. That’s what’s needed to make all actors in our current system truly move to a circular one. This will also be the next step in our CE journey: to move from thought leadership to action, driving this change.”

So how are you going to do that?

“During Davos we will take the lead in creating a European Circular Economy hub, a public-private platform to address the big questions related to financing the circular economy. We’ll do this together with circular economy frontrunners and parties such as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and supported by the Forum. We also want to take a thought leadership position through the reports of our Economics Department, our active Ellen MacArthur Foundation membership and deals we have done in this area with clients, on renewable energy and in recycling, such as the Shanks deal.”

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