Transitioning to a low carbon economy calls for new ways of doing things. This means using new, sometimes untested, technologies and solutions. And with it comes new financing needs, new risks and the complexity of new rules and changing regulations.
Such a responsibility is, of course, not something any one company can manage on their own. It requires a coordinated effort across industries and sectors, and over a company’s entire value chain, which is only as sustainable as its weakest link.
ING recognises that the route to net zero can be complex. Activities will need to be scaled up, they are capital intensive and, in many cases, employ novel technologies. As a result, ING has established a Sustainable Value Chains team, focused on providing financial services and solutions to new value chains that will need to be built and expanded upon to support the sustainable transition, including energy transition.
Made up of a global network of product, sector and finance specialists, to help clients to achieve their sustainability goals in a structured and coordinated way, the team is zooming in on four specialist areas: battery manufacturing, EV charging and charging services, recycling and bio-based materials, and cleantech components and services. It is there to make first-of-a-kind financings or investments happen and, where possible, replicate and scale these to expand new value chains.
ING is busy supporting clients in each of these four areas. Hot of the presses this week is the financing of five battery gigafactory blocks across France, Germany and Italy, built and owned by Automotive Cell Company (ACC) which is a joint venture between car giants Stellantis (makers of cars including Citroën, Fiat, Chrysler and Alfa Romeo among others), Mercedes Benz and Saft, a wholly owned subsidiary of TotalEnergies. Once operational, these factories will produce the batteries that will go into electric vehicles.
ING, together with three other banks, also acted as underwriter of this €4.4 billion transaction. The Sustainable Value Chains team was able to bring ING specialists together working closely with colleagues in the Netherlands, Germany, France and Italy, working across the energy, transportation, logistics & automotive, financial markets and structured export finance teams.
Another recent deal that ING has been a leading bank in that will boost the electric automotive industry involves the recent USD 5.0 billion financing of the expansion of Swedish company Northvolt’s first battery gigafactory, the largest green financing in Europe to date. Next to the expansion of Northvolt Ett’s cathode production and battery cell manufacturing, this expansion will also include a large-scale battery recycling plant that is a first move towards a fully integrated circular production of batteries for electric cars.
In the words of Lynn Ng, global lead of the Sustainable Value Chains team, these types of projects are a great example of the kind of technologies that the world needs to invest in to accelerate the energy transition.
Society is transitioning to a low-carbon economy. So are our clients, and so is ING. We finance a lot of sustainable activities, but we still finance more that’s not. See how we’re progressing on ing.com/climate.