To make the difference to people and planet, we have the ambition to be a banking leader in sustainability. We focus on climate, and the first step is to lead by example by striving for net zero in our own operations by reducing the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions associated with our own activities. That's why we monitor and manage the impact of our operations though our Environmental Programme.
lNG's Environmental Programme, established in 2015, aims to effectively tackle the combined challenges of climate change and the need for more efficient use of natural resources in our operations.
The Environmental Programme is focused on improving our environmental performance in the following areas:
One of the largest sources of carbon emissions globally is energy production and consumption. To understand and reduce our energy use, we carry out regular monitoring, reporting and reduction strategies across our global operations. Our strategies range from more efficient use of building space to increasing the energy efficiency of our buildings and data centres, to the sourcing of renewable electricity.
As a global bank, communication across our network is key. This traditionally often meant large amounts of business travel. With our digitalisation strategy and with the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are focusing on increased use of technology for seamless digital collaboration, such as video conferencing, to limit unnecessary travel. Where travel is deemed necessary, we encourage employees to utilise the most sustainable options like high-speed rail and continue to increase the number of electric vehicles in our fleet.
The issue of water stress is an increasing environmental issue worldwide. Although as a financial institution our water footprint is comparatively small compared to other industries, we still focus on reducing our water use to minimise our impact. We make use of water-efficient infrastructure such as rainwater collection for sanitation, aerators for faucets and updated appliances for optimal efficiency.
Waste and recycling are also two focus areas due to our concern for the conservation of natural resources. That's why we aim to reduce our use of paper through greater utilisation of digital media and more efficient printing. We are also increasing our use of eco-labelled and environmentally friendly paper and recycle disposed paper worldwide. Next to paper we also aim to reduce plastic and e-waste. For general waste we have focused our efforts on increasing our recycling rate, management of e-waste and overall reduction of residual waste.
To continue to be a safe and secure bank for our customers and society, it’s important to know our suppliers and ensure they share our commitment to fighting climate change and protecting human rights. We have a process in place that encourages our suppliers worldwide to act responsibly. We believe this is a real opportunity to have an impact and drive our sustainability ambitions through our suppIy chain.
We've included social and environmental responsibility requirements in our procurement process since 2012. ING's Procurement Sustainability Standards was based on the UN Global Compact Principles and is now incorporated into our global know our supplier (KYS) process. The sustainability part of the KYS process today has evolved and expanded beyond UN Global Compact Principles and also holds other social and environmental aspects, e.g. compliance to modern slavery acts. We aim to only do business with companies that agree to meet our sustainability requirements.
Our priority is to reduce CO2 in our operations. We also take accountability for our unabated emissions and look for ways to contribute to impactful projects that can mitigate climate change outside of our value chain. In 2022, we stopped the use of voluntary carbon credits. Our approach now focuses on contributing to organisations that work to restore nature, empowering communities, and developing carbon removal technologies. We intend to continue this approach in the future using a contribution model rather than carbon credits and will not use the environmental impact of any current or future projects for any claims related to carbon neutrality.
Our contributions include a partnership with Milkywire, through the Climate Transformation Fund (CTF). We chose to support Milkywire’s CTF as it seeks to create and build scale for new solutions to tackle climate change. The CTF focuses on climate impact, and thereby not only supports small effective grassroots organisations (for example HUSK, Hierloom, and previously Climeworks) but also climate advocacy projects (for example the Clean Air Task Force), and catalytic research into new carbon removal techniques. Milkywire’s CTF impact first approach focuses on carbon removal and transparent impact reporting. Since we started supporting this fund in 2022, we aim to share impact reporting from 2023 onwards.
A good example within ING is our corporate office Cedar, which opened in January 2020. Sustainability is key for the building. Cedar's design was awarded the BREEAM Outstanding score for design, one of the highest sustainability ratings by BREEAM-NL at the time. It was partially built with the concrete from the previous building on the same location. Around 5,000 square metres of solar panels provide energy for the building, while triple glazing and insulated window frames help to save energy. Various sustainable measures save up to 12 million litres of water per year. Single-use plastic is banished from the restaurants and coffee bars.
We want to show leadership on environmental performance, so we've committed to significant milestones in our specific impact areas.
- We aim to reduce our scope 1, 2, and scope 3 (business travel) emissions by 75% by year-end 2025 (base year 2014).
- We aim to reduce our scope 1 and 2 CO2e emissions from our buildings and data centres by 90% by year-end 2030 (base year 2014. This target would put us on track to with the globally required 45% reduction by 2030.
- Beyond 2030, we aim to reach net zero emissions in our buildings (rented and owned) by 2035, ahead of the 2050 global plan.
- We aim to source 100% renewable electricity each year for all ING buildings where we have management control worldwide, using RE100 technical criteria as a reference for reporting, (in 2022 we achieved more than 99%).
- We preferably procure green energy from local renewable projects: electricity supplied by energy sources that are naturally and continually replenished, such as wind, solar power, geothermal and hydropower.
- We aim to reach 90% electric vehicles in leased vehicles globally by 2030.
We have already achieved progress on many of our objectives.
|2014 baseline figures
|Target (from baseline 2014)
|CO2e emissions (scope 1, scope 2, and scope 3 business travel)
|CO2e emissions (scope 1+2)
|Sourcing renewable electricity*
|Source 100% each year
|*for all ING buildings where we have management control. In 2022 99.2% of our sourcing of renewable electricity was aligned with the market boundary criteria of the RE100 initiative, where the remaining 0.8% was not aligned. This was because the EACs for the energy sourced by some of our smaller markets were from outside of the market boundaries specified in the RE100 criteria.
CO2e and emissions
Reducing our direct CO2e footprint is one of ING's key environmental goals. With the help of the Environmental Programme, In 2022, we reduced emissions from scope 1, 2 and business travel scope 3 by 72 percent from 2014, to 29 kilotonnes – 28 percent of where we were in 2014. In 2021 the figure was 26 kilotonnes where our operations were heavily impacted by Covid-19-related restrictions.
|Carbon emissions (scope 1, 2, and business travel scope 3)
|Total extrapolated carbon (in kilotonne CO2e)
Energy & renewable electricity
We want to lead the way when it comes to energy efficiency and using renewable electricity. Since 2014, ING has increased the percentage of renewable electricity sourced for our operations. In 2022, we further aligned with the reporting guidance of the RE100, a technical group that sets industry standards around corporate use of renewable electricity. We assessed that our sourcing of renewable electricity was above 99% of total electricity consumption for ING managed buildings in 2022, according to the technical criteria of RE100. This includes the use of renewable electricity contracts and renewable energy certificates (RECs).
|Sourcing renewable electricity %*
|Total energy (in GWh)
ING aims to continue to reduce the impact of our business travel. In 2022, we launched a Green Travel Budget Programme to make employees aware of the CO2e impact of their travel choices and encourage them to find greener options. We have continued introducing more fuel-efficient vehicles including fuIIy electric and hybrid vehicles to our car fleet. As such, the overall efficiency of our fleet has increased since 2014.
|In # vehicles
|Fully electric vehicles
Our residual waste was reduced by 48% in 2022 relative to 2014.
|Coverage (% of employees)
|Total residual waste
Since 2014 our measured water footprint decreased by 49%.
|Coverage (% of employees)
|in thousands of m3
|Total water consumption
Full details on the progress we are making on our environmental objectives and other important environmental data can be found in our 2022 Annual Report.