Sustainability direction

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The world is changing so quickly, sometimes it’s hard to keep up. ING’s purpose is to empower people to stay a step ahead in life and in business, and we believe this also means helping customers and society stay a step ahead of the challenges they’re facing.

We want to help create a healthy planet with prosperous people. A planet free from the threat of the climate crisis. People with basic human rights, decent work, good labour conditions and, ultimately, good financial health.

We must at the very least ensure that our own operational impact on the environment and people is being made responsibly. Looking inward, that means making sure our operations – our buildings, data centres and how we use transport – are in line with the low-carbon economy of the future. That our employees are treated well and that neither we nor our suppliers infringe on human rights.

But we can do more. As a global bank with billions flowing through our books, we have a huge opportunity – and responsibility – to make an impact for the better. Doing more than just mitigating harm by bringing aspects of fighting climate change and protecting human rights into our dialogue with clients and financing decisions.

We can play a role by financing change, sharing knowledge and using our innovation skills. Being sustainable is in all the choices we make—as a lender, as a partner and through the services we offer our customers.

Where can we make the biggest impact while addressing the biggest challenges? We think that’s in two areas.


The biggest challenge society as a whole is facing is the climate crisis. If the world doesn’t work together and take action, it will result in devastating and lasting impacts on life as we know it. Banks have a major role to play in financing the transition to a low-carbon economy.

We’ve financed billions of euros of renewable energy projects while saying ‘no’ to certain companies and sectors and ‘yes, but’ to others, outlining sustainability improvements they have to make first. On top of that, we’ve committed to measuring and steering our lending portfolio towards global climate goals. Read more here about ING’s approach to climate action.

Financial health

And what is the biggest challenge facing average people and households? Money. Managing money is one of the leading causes of stress for people around the world as many struggle to meet their day to day needs or plan for their future. As a bank, money is what we know best. And as innovators, we put insights on people and money into products, tools, research and education that help contribute to a financially healthy society. Read more about ING’s approach to financial health.

Ultimately, we’re determined to put our balance sheet, data and capabilities to work to help future-proof our customers and society. To help them stay a step ahead, finding opportunity within the threats of climate change and poor financial health so they can thrive in tomorrow’s world.

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