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Orange blog - Sustainability

Becoming more sustainable is not easy. Sometimes you need to take one step back to go two steps forward. Moving towards sustainability is not about achieving perfection. It is about achieving improvement.

Many companies have already reaped the benefits of sustainable improvement through our sustainable finance solutions. Our Sustainability Improvement Loan, for example, provides financial incentives for those whose sustainability rating goes up. But we also team up with experts who assess and track our own sustainability performance, next to that of our clients.

Our sector specialists understand the complexities that come with the transition to a more sustainable business, but also the opportunities brought by smart technology.

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

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Geothermal energy in Geretsried - sustainable heat supply powered by ING

02 July 2024

More than half of Germany's energy requirements are used for heating or industrial purposes. Around 85 percent of this heat has so far been generated using fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal . This is set to change. In addition to familiar forms of renewable energy generation such as wind power, solar energy and biomass, geothermal energy is increasingly coming into focus.

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02 July 2024

(Green) financing for the public sector

The federal, state and local authorities provide an essential part of public services for millions of citizens. Whether infrastructure, hospitals or energy supply - the areas that are financed by the public sector are diverse and vital. However, public budgets have recently also come under pressure due to rising interest rates and high investment requirements. The demands on banks as reliable financing partners are also becoming more complex as a result.

03 April 2024

Export financing in transition

Conventional export financing is undergoing change. The sustainable transformation of the economy and society is also becoming visible in this sector. The decarbonization of the energy industry is one of the biggest challenges of this century, as it is responsible for around 38% of CO2 emissions worldwide.

19 June 2024

Land Transport sets the course for the future

The European transport system connects people, goods and markets across the continent. However, as demand has grown over recent years, so has the sector's carbon footprint.It is clear to all market participants that Land Transport has a key role to play in the decarbonization of the European transport sector.

12 March 2024

Climate targets in the financing of the automotive industry

The upheaval in the automotive industry is obvious and is affecting more and more companies. The industry will not be able to manage this change without external capital. As financiers, banks can play an important role in this transformation. But what does this mean for banks' sustainability strategies?

14 February 2024

Climate action at ING

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. The economy must transform its business models into more sustainable and low-emission ones; the financial sector can play an important role in this. As a bank, we want to help align economic growth with environmental and social action.

28 February 2024

What will happen on the hydrogen market in 2024?

Hydrogen is considered a versatile energy source and is set to play a key role in the energy transition. At the UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai in 2023, it was decided to continue phasing out fossil fuels. However, renewable energies are often not yet sufficient, especially for energy-intensive industries. In addition, they cannot replace fossil fuels as raw materials for products such as plastic or steel. Hydrogen has therefore been seen as a promising option for some years now, as it can both supply enough energy for high production temperatures and, in combination with hydrocarbons, serve as the basis to produce plastics and steel. After a rather disappointing performance in 2023, the question now is how the market for hydrogen will develop in 2024.

19 October 2023

New role for the Treasury in the transport and logistics sector

These are challenging times for companies: Alongside the ongoing risk of recession, far-reaching structural changes are afoot. The increasing geopolitical tensions worldwide and the growing rivalry with China in particular are prompting global supply chains to be restructured. And above everything else, there is the impact of climate change and the energy transition.

24 August 2023

Climate change and digitalization - the revolution in the automotive industry

The automotive industry is in a state of upheaval: climate change and digitalization are leading to a fundamental shift in the requirements for and provision of mobility.

14 September 2023

How the aviation sector is returning to its former strength

Very few sectors were as directly and as profoundly impacted by the global Corona pandemic than the aviation sector. The impact was not limited to airlines only, airports, travel agencies, aircraft leasing companies, tour operators and many other players in the wide eco-system of the aviation sector suffered as well. But fortunately, we are now witnessing an unprecedented recovery as travel restrictions were lifted and demand for air travel did not fade.

02 August 2023

Sustainable Syndicated Loans: Need for Expertise

There are many reasons for companies to become more sustainable. But regardless of whether it is a question of transforming energy supply, reducing pollutant emissions, or responsibly designing production processes - in the end, a sustainable approach must always be economically feasible. To offer companies an additional incentive, banks like ING have developed a broad toolbox of sustainable financing solutions in recent years.

18 July 2023

Sailing towards a sustainable future – the Shipping sector

Ships are going green. The EU Commission recently approved a new set of EU Taxonomy (“EUT”) rules to expand the eligibility of the ships in scope.

20 April 2023

When challenges and opportunities meet: The transport and logistics sector

The Transport and Logistics sector is a sector with demonstrated resilience and an ability to adapt to change.

13 April 2023

How sustainability is finding its way into the cement industry

With its Terra approach, ING has set itself the goal of making companies from industries with high CO2 emissions in their loan book climate-neutral by 2050.

18 March 2023

Biodiversity: Why it should also be the driving force in funding

Companies and banks are facing high societal expectations to prioritise the protection of biodiversity. Their interests are complementary. They should therefore jointly explore ways and means of driving the transformation forward.

09 November 2022

The Success Formula for the Energy Transition

At the center of public discussions, not entirely without reason, is the energy sector, because it will have to deliver a large part of Germany's CO2 reduction targets by 2030.

07 November 2022

Ridding the world of plastic

Plastic waste is set to triple by 2060, according to a new report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. But the world has woken up to the threat posed by the scourge of plastic pollution and is taking action.

26 October 2022

Natural gas paves the way for the energy transition

Natural gas plays a pivotal role in both solving the ongoing energy crisis in Europe as well as in reaching Germany’s ambitious climate targets. As Russian pipelines no longer supply gas, Germany must swiftly build its own Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminals. Meanwhile, two promising new technologies are becoming increasingly important for the Energy Transition in Germany: green hydrogen and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

24 October 2022

The path to net zero for the meat and dairy industries is far from clear cut

A rising number of major European and American meat and dairy companies have set targets to reduce emissions and become net zero by 2050. As strategies evolve, it has become clear the industry is looking to use a broad range of measures.

12 October 2022

Utilities between the pillars of energy transition

As the 4th largest economy in the world and a global export powerhouse, Germany has been a key player in the globalized economy.

28 September 2022

ING real estate finance supports green transition

In 2021, ING and HECF agreed on the first of several Green Loans in line with the Green Loan Principles.

21 September 2022

ING supports Vonovia in issuing social and green bonds

Sustainable transactions have become an integral part of the capital market. A particularly successful project in the recent past saw Vonovia issue two social bonds and one green bond.

14 September 2022

The challenges of the energy transition

The energy transition now affects all companies, with no exceptions. However, each industry has its own unique challenges. In our new series of articles, various ING colleagues report on where the different industries stand in the transition, what challenges have to be overcome, and how we support our customers in the process. We start with a macroeconomic assessment by our Chief Economist Carsten Brzeski.

29 August 2022

ING & Green Schuldschein

The market for green financing has been booming for several years now. This also applies to specialized products, such as sustainable Schuldschein. But what makes these instruments so special? And what are the advantages for corporate customers?

23 June 2022

News from Berlin: Why biodiversity is increasingly in focus

The paper of Convention on Biological Diversity was officially adopted at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) on the 22nd May 1992.

25 March 2022

Future financing

The energy transition in Germany is an enormous project. One of the greatest challenges has been (and still is) financing, which is provided primarily by the private sector.

23 February 2022

News from Berlin: Germany's road to climate neutrality

The new traffic light coalition government has given itself a lot to do in its coalition agreement: launching a "decade of modernisation", making significant investments in infrastructure and achieving its Paris Agreement targets through these and similar initiatives. On 12 January, Minister for Economic Affairs and Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck presented his "opening balance sheet on climate protection" and announced measures that could come into effect as early as 2023. What specific actions is the German government planning to take? Are these measures sufficient, and what opportunities and challenges will they cause for companies?

27 October 2021

Green Advisory: Managing change together

Transformation has become the buzzword of the day. Many companies are currently setting out to make their business model sustainable for the future. Firstly, because many want to contribute to the fight against climate change. And secondly, because it is already apparent today that sustainable companies are set to remain competitive in the long term.

16 November 2021

Enpal: a rooftop revolution

Many homeowners in the US lease solar systems for their rooftops , and the trend is now catching on in Germany. At the heart of this shift is German photovoltaics (PV) leasing company Enpal. How exactly is this four-year-old start-up disrupting the green energy market and making homes smarter?

05 November 2021

Achieving the first green bond

Successfully establishing a Green Finance Framework was a learning process for Volkswagen, as the company had to overcome numerous obstacles.

25 October 2021

Hydrogen: Financial sector supports transformation

Hydrogen is becoming increasingly important as an alternative to fossil fuels. A versatile energy carrier, hydrogen is poised to take on an important role on the way to a sustainable and low-CO2 world. The size of the opportunity is measured in trillions and it means banks and private capital have a fundamental role in supporting these investments.

22 October 2021

The underestimated climate saver

CO2 storage is on the verge of a worldwide breakthrough. Promising industrial-scale projects are also getting underway in Europe.

15 October 2021

Towards a successful energy transition

As a result of the global energy transition, demand for electricity storage systems is growing rapidly. This is because powerful, long-lasting batteries are not only needed for countless new electric vehicles, but also to stabilize the power grids.

08 October 2021

Turbo for fiber-optic expansion

Germany still lags behind most European countries in terms of fiber-optic expansion. But the Corona pandemic and its impact on the world of work have led to a significant increase in data traffic. This is fueling demand for fast gigabit connections, and investment in building the necessary infrastructure is seen as a future-proof investment.

01 October 2021

Consume less, preserve more

Produce, sell, throw away - that has been the modus operandi of the European economy so far. However, this model will no longer be sustainable in the future. The new triad must be: reduce, use, recycle. "The circular economy is no longer a nice-to-have, but a must-have," says Stefanie Flora, Director Network Sector Coverage Germany. And there are countless ways to become part of a circular economy – whether through ridesharing or car-sharing apps, recycled fashion, or biodegradable products.

30 September 2021

ING speaks up for sustainability-linked finance

Sustainability-linked finance, where rates are linked to a client’s sustainability performance, was created by ING back in 2017. Since then, its popularity has grown immensely, with many banks offering similar products. But do they all make the right kind of impact?

20 September 2021

Paris climate targets must become part of banking DNA

In line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement, banks have the primary task of supporting companies that are firmly committed to achieving these goals by offering them smart, responsible lending conditions. To succeed in this task, banks need to develop a holistic understanding of sustainability and make climate protection in particular an integral part of their DNA.

08 July 2021

Pfandbrief banks are playing a major role

The EU wants to become the world's first climate-neutral bloc by 2050. To achieve this goal, the European Green Deal, the "EU action plan for financing sustainable growth", sets out the necessary measures for the financial market. Real estate funding is a central component in achieving this major goal, with Pfandbrief banks having a major role to play.

15 June 2021

Sustainability success factor: DIC Asset's sustainability journey

Sustainability has become a key success factor in recent years. The issue is integral to many different fields within the industry and is becoming increasingly important for finance departments. Real estate company DIC Asset has been working for around 10 years to put itself in a sustainable position for the future.

04 May 2021

Sustainability-linked success

For a solution that didn’t even exist four years ago, the sustainability-linked finance business is booming. More and more companies are seeing the benefits of linking their financing to their efforts to protect the planet and its people.

30 April 2021

DWS and ING: Energy efficiency lowers interest rates

Sustainable funding is booming. In the past year, the issuing volume of sustainable transactions has once again risen significantly despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Even in difficult times, sustainable business management seems to be a high priority for companies. But what advantages does sustainable funding offer companies?

20 April 2021

How sustainability is changing the real estate sector

There are few topics that impact the real estate sector as much as sustainability. And this is no surprise: According to the German Environment Agency, buildings in Germany account for around 35 percent of the country's total energy consumption and 30 percent of its CO2 emissions. It is therefore particularly worthwhile to make adjustments in this sector in order to protect the environment more effectively.

30 March 2021

Study: Analysis of the market maturity of the EU taxonomy test criteria for buildings

Sustainability has long been a concern for the real estate industry. Nevertheless, the sector still accounts for around 40 percent of global energy consumption and global greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve the goal of a low-carbon economy, it is therefore particularly important to increase efforts in the sector and to include environmental factors and risks in financial decision-making processes such as funding.

16 March 2021

Can project finance ride the hydrogen wave?

Hydrogen technology is experiencing a renewed wave of interest due to the decreasing costs of producing low- or zero-carbon hydrogen and expanded applications for hydrogen in the energy sector.

02 March 2021

The future of energy

Long synonymous with oil and gas, the energy industry is on a mission to expand its focus and explore new technologies. Here’s a look at what’s ahead.

25 November 2020

Aligning sustainability ambitions with business activities

In recent years, the number of companies that explicitly align their business targets with sustainability criteria has grown significantly. Following this mindset transformation, the use of sustainable finance instruments has equally seen a tremendous growth, with some banks and companies gaining recognition as first movers that support the continuous refinement of this developing market segment.

20 October 2020

ING publishes second progress report on climate alignment

ING today published its second progress report on Terra, ING’s approach to steer its €600 billion lending book in line with the well-below two-degree climate goal of the Paris Agreement.

14 September 2020

Electric rail transport as a key to sustainable mobility

Whether it's the daily commute, going on holiday or freight transport, rail transport plays an important role in the daily lives of many people. In addition, rail is regarded as a particularly socially acceptable and environmentally friendly means of transport. According to calculations carried out by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, the transport sector is responsible for one fifth of the CO2 emitted in Germany. The railway, which is already 90 percent electrified, is the key to further reducing CO2 emissions in transport and to protecting the climate in an effective way.

02 November 2020

Climate change is risky business

Imagine the impact on mortgages if climate change would cause mass flooding. Or what would happen to the value of houses if governments would enforce stricter energy efficiency measures faster than expected. And then imagine the impact situations like these would have on consumers and companies, and ultimately on banks like ING. This is how climate risk also becomes financial risk. That’s why assessing and managing climate risk is important. It’s an area that continues to evolve and will mature as more and more data on the impact of climate becomes available and methodologies are further developed. Now ING has released our first climate risk report. Here are some takeaways.

29 June 2020

Sharing economy: A double-edged sword?

Sharing things is considered to be a more sustainable way of life. However, new research by ING finds that shared products are often quickly disposed, replaced or re-sold. The sharing economy might not be so sustainable after all.

01 June 2020

Sustainable business during the Covid-19 pandemic

The issue of sustainability remains an important one, even during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many companies are still struggling with the negative effects of the crisis, but are also looking at how they can become more resilient in the future. What approaches and tools are available to help make the economy greener?

04 May 2020

World's first €STR loan: a different form of sustainable financing

Since 2 October 2019, the European Central Bank has regularly published a new reference interest rate, the €STR (Euro Short-Term Rate). This was developed against the backdrop of a fundamental reform of the European reference rates and is intended to provide a long-term replacement to the EONIA reference rate for the overnight money market. ING recently issued the world's first loan tied to the new €STR.

Are we shopping sustainably? Do we care?

11 November 2020

Examining consumer attitudes towards the circular economy and sustainability in 2020. Last year we surveyed business leaders in the US on their interest in the circular economy. While only 16 percent of US businesses have adopted the circular economic framework, 62 percent say moving toward this is part of their business strategy. This year we surveyed 15,000 members of the general public across 11 countries in Europe, APAC and North America. Here’s what we learned.

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16 March 2020

How the circular economy can change the way we consume our food

One of the main issues that we associate with sustainability is the food sector. Whether it’s organic food, separating household waste or using reusable coffee cups – we have been changing many of our habits for some time now. However, ING's Circular Economy Report suggests that consumers and industry can become even better at dealing with food resources and sustainable consumption.

09 March 2020

Circular economy in the textile industry: sustainable fashion is part of the future

Concepts such as slow fashion, second-hand shops, recycling, renting or leasing fashion items are just a few examples that prove that sustainability is entering the fashion and textile industry. This trend is also confirmed by the ING Circular Economy Report. But where do consumers really stand on the subject of sustainable fashion, and what does this trend mean for the textile industry?

10 February 2020

Circular economy and electronics

The issue of sustainability also applies to the electronics industry. While consumers are already changing their habits in other areas such as food, fashion and mobility, there is also increasing pressure on electronics companies to adapt their business models to the circular economy.

18 November 2019

Green finance: sustainability is becoming the new normal

In future, a company’s credit rating will no longer be measured solely in numbers alone: in addition to quantitative financial analysis, the focus is increasingly on qualitative assessment, such as an assessment of the company's sustainability and future viability. If companies are unable to adapt to these new circumstances, they risk jeopardising their own business models.