ING jointly launches ‘Positive Impact Manifesto’ for a green economy

ING, united in the Banking Commission of the United Nations Environmental Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), today issued with 10 other banks the 'Positive Impact Manifesto'. The manifesto calls for an impact-based approach to banking, offering a bold and innovative vision of the banking sector’s central role in achieving sustainable development.

"Given our close relationship with businesses that make up the real economy, we have a special contribution to make in the transition to the new economy,” said Leonie Schreve, head of Sustainable Finance at ING. “As a financial institution, we can play a role in enabling this transition by financing change, sharing knowledge and using our influence."

Sustainability banks portrait Leonie

"We finance change, for example, by increasing our lending volume for sustainable clients and projects in the first half year of 2015, reaching over EUR20.9 billion. ING’s target is to grow its financing of sustainable transitions, including loans to renewable energy schemes, environmental outperformers and other sustainability projects. We also took a stake in a recycling company, share knowledge through research and use our influence by joining peers in important initiatives such as this one." 

Schreve adds: "ING Bank’s focus is not only limited to energy related areas, but also includes water, waste and other sectors of its mainstream portfolio, collaborating with companies who are transitioning to become tomorrow's leaders in sustainability.” 

The transition to a green, inclusive economy requires considerable finance. Research by an American non-governmental organisation, CERES, estimates that a “clean trillion” dollars of additional investment is needed annually up to 2030 to enable new infrastructure to be made green. At the same time, Trucost puts the annual cost in natural capital degradation and negative environment externalities at USD7.3 trillion a year.

 

Driving solutions

Over the next couple of years the UNEP FI’s Positive Impact Working Group, co-headed by ING, will work with peers, clients, and other stakeholders to deliver a set of Positive Impact Principles that will guide providers of financial services in their efforts to increase their positive impact on the economy, society and the broader environment.

The group also aims to establish a Positive Impact Incubator where new business models and financing approaches can be tested by financiers and corporates to improve the bankability of positive impact transactions. Ultimately, the group expects a series of pilot projects to create a vibrant market place where needs, solutions and financing can be matched effectively.

 

UNEP FI: www.unepfi.org

Positive Impact Manifesto: www.unepfi.org/fileadmin/documents/PositiveImpactManifesto.pdf