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.
ING has been climate neutral in our operations since 2007, but it’s not enough to only look inwards—we know that our biggest impact is in our financing. As a bank, that’s how we can help transition to a greener economy with a smaller carbon footprint. For example, ING has invested billions of euros in wind farms, solar energy, and geothermal power production.
Our business supports the transition to a low-carbon economy, for example through our green bonds, our circular economy programme and a sustainable loan construction where clients are given better interest rates for having a better rating with Sustainalytics.
We’re also committed to understanding the impact our lending has on the climate in order to steer our business in the right direction. We announced in September that we’ll begin steering our €500 billion lending portfolio towards meeting the Paris Agreement’s well-below two-degree goal.
We’re able to start doing this by co-creating an innovative, accurate way to measure our portfolio, called the Terra approach. With this, we’re the first global bank to commit to using science-based scenarios to steer our business strategy.
The Terra approach looks at the technology shift that’s needed across certain sectors to keep the rise of global temperatures to well below two degrees Celsius. Terra then measures that needed shift in technology against the actual technology clients are using today and planning on using in the future.
We recognise the need for transition and the importance of having a strong government policy on climate, including a price on carbon. You can read more in our Statement on Climate action.
We’ve also endorsed initiatives including the following in an effort to have the most impact:
- ING has signed the International Business Declaration ahead of the One Planet Summit in December 2017. This supports, for example, carbon pricing and a phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies.
- ING joins call global business leaders for greater disclosure of climate risks and opportunities
- European Financial Services Round Table (EFR) Statement on Climate Change
- Renewable energy 100% (RE100)
- UNEP FI/ EBRD Statement by Financial Institutions on Energy Efficiency Finance
- World Economic Forum CEO Climate Statement
- Dutch Banking Association (NVB) Climate statement
We know that transparency is an important aspect of sustainability, and have published a detailed breakdown of our portfolio by sector.
We also decided to accelerate the reduction of our financing to coal power generation, reducing our exposure to close to zero by 2025. This policy, which goes a step further than the policy update in November 2015, is part of our efforts to support the transition to a low-carbon economy. Read more on our energy page.
Still, the fact is that the economy (and a number of countries in particular) can’t yet do without fossil fuels. There is still too little renewable energy and experts haven’t yet been able to develop an efficient and affordable means of storing sustainable energy.