Environmental Programme

... min read

To make a difference to people and the planet, we have the ambition to be a banking leader in sustainability. We put sustainability at the heart of what we do, and aim 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 through 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.

Business travel

As a global bank, communication across our network is key. Traditionally this often resulted in large amounts of business travel. With our digitalisation strategy and as we have shifted to the new normal following the Covid-19 pandemic, we are focusing on the increased use of technology for seamless digital collaboration, such as video conferencing, to limit unnecessary business travel. Where business travel is deemed necessary, we mandate or encourage employees to utilise the most sustainable options (such as high-speed rail) and continue to increase the number of electric vehicles in our fleet.


The issue of water stress is an increasingly concerning 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 two focus areas as we strive for the conservation of natural resources in our operations. 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.

Sustainable procurement

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 make an impact and drive our sustainability ambitions through our relationship with these suppliers.

We've included social and environmental responsibility requirements in our procurement process since 2012. ING's Procurement Sustainability Standards were originally based on the UN Global Compact Principles and are 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 incorporates other social and environmental aspects, e.g. compliance with modern slavery prevention legislation. We aim to only do business with companies that agree to meet our sustainability requirements.

Contribution measures

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 supply chain. In 2023, we started exploring partnerships with organisations with the goal of donating to projects on carbon removal and nature restoration and developing carbon removal technologies. We intend to continue this approach in the future using a contribution model rather than purchasing carbon credits, a practice we stopped in 2022. Moreover, we 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. We started supporting this fund in 2022, and the latest impact reporting can be found on the Milkywire site.

ING Cedar office

ING Cedar office


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 has largely been removed from the restaurants and coffee bars.

Another example is the upcoming Linden Building project, the latest addition to the ING head office in Amsterdam. From design to construction, sustainability is an important part of the project. Just like the Cedar office, the building's sustainable approach will be assessed using the BREEAM-NL methodology. Read more about the Linden Building case study.

Our commitments

We want to show leadership on environmental performance, so we've committed to significant milestones in our specific impact areas.

Our reduction targets

  • 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 achieve 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 over which we have management control worldwide, using RE100 technical criteria as a reference for reporting, (in 2023 we achieved more than 98%).
  • 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.

Our progress

We have already achieved progress on many of our objectives.

Theme Indicator Unit 2014 baseline figures Target (from baseline 2014) Target year 2023 results
Energy CO2e emissions (scope 1, scope 2, and scope 3 business travel) kilotonne CO2e 106 −75% 2025 −72%
Energy CO2e emissions (scope 1+2) kilotonne CO2e 81 −90% 2030 −81%
Energy Energy consumption GWh 451 −65% 2030 −51%
Energy Sourcing renewable electricity* % 73% Source 100% each year Since 2020 Above 98%
*for all ING buildings where we have management control. In 2023 98,3% of our sourcing of renewable electricity was aligned with the market boundary criteria of the RE100 initiative.

CO2e and emissions

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Reducing our direct CO2e footprint is one of ING's key environmental goals. With the help of the Environmental Programme. In 2023, 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.

Carbon emissions (scope 1, 2, and business travel scope 3)
  2023 2022 2014
Total extrapolated carbon (in kilotonne CO2e) 29 29 106
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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 2023, 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 98% of total electricity consumption for ING managed buildings in 2023, according to the technical criteria of RE100. This includes the use of renewable electricity contracts and renewable energy certificates (RECs).

Energy consumption
  2023 2022 2014
Sourcing renewable electricity %* Above 98% Above 99% 73%
Total energy (in GWh) 219 248 451
*for all ING buildings where we have management control, and includes the use of purchase agreements and renewable energy certificates (RECs). In 2023 98,3% of our sourcing of renewable electricity was aligned with the market boundary criteria of the RE100 initiative.

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Business travel

ING aims to continue to reduce the impact of our business travel. In 2023, we promoted work practices that encourage employees to be conscious of the CO2e impact of their impact on the climate. We focus on striving to reduce our business travel through the use of CO2 budgets, better video-conferencing infrastructure and policies designed to encourage rail travel for the destinations below 500km. We have also continued introducing more fuel-efficient vehicles including fuIIy electric and hybrid vehicles to our car fleet, which is still mostly combustion. As such, the overall efficiency of our fleet has increased since 2014. 17% of our total car fleet consists of fully electric vehicles and our aim is to be at 90% by 2030.

Business Travel
  2023 2022 2014
In # vehicles
Fully electric vehicles 1977 1144 59
Hybrid vehicles 3027 2878 473
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Full details on the progress we are making on our environmental objectives and other important environmental data can be found in our 2023 annual report.

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