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    HomeTOPICSInvestmentING Bank Romania invested 5.2 million Euro in social projects in 2023

    ING Bank Romania invested 5.2 million Euro in social projects in 2023

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    ING Bank Romania has announced details of its sustainability initiatives from 2023. In 2023, ING Bank continued to support the shift towards a sustainable economy with more than EUR 1 billion in volumes mobilized in sustainable transactions, interest rate cuts for EcoLife loans, reducing the CO2 footprint in its own operations and 100% recyclable bank cards. In 2023, EUR 5.2 million was invested in supporting financial health and climate action projects.

    “Even though 2023 showed us that we are operating in an increasingly complex social context, alongside our customers and partners we are able to keep up and make progress towards the shared ambition of living in a healthier environment and ensuring economic progress without endangering natural resources.

    2023 was the year when our customers accessed financing with sustainability components at a rate twice as fast as the previous year, and together with civil society we invested a record amount for ING in social projects: over EUR 5 million.

    We are making significant progress in terms of our commitments to financial health and climate action, proof of a maturing process – both when it comes to embedding sustainability in ING’s business strategy, but also to the increased interest coming from Romanians for products and services with a low environmental impact”, says Alexandra Maier, Sustainability Manager, ING Bank Romania.

    Progress of sustainability actions in 2023 by business line

    • Wholesale Banking: ING Bank Romania supported bonds and loans (syndicated or bilateral) of more than 1 billion Euros in sustainable transactions. By comparison, in 2022, ING mobilized over 600 million in bonds and loans (syndicated or bilateral).

    In 2023, ING Bank became the sole financier of the Deposit Refund System in Romania, the most important circular economy project at national level, which enjoys the involvement of both the private sector and the Romanian state. The financing supports the creation and operation of regional centers where the packaging returned as part of the project will be counted, sorted and prepared for recycling. The financing package comprises a EUR 69 million investment loan with a 5-year maturity and a EUR 16.7 million working capital loan with a 2-year maturity.

    • Business Banking: EUR 31.5 million in financing sustainable assets and projects.
    • Retail: EUR 67 million in green discount loans, EUR 63 million of which in Ecolife discount offered for mortgage loans and EUR 4 million in consumer loans for the purchase of electric cars or solar panels. Moreover, the total mortgage loans in this segment aligned with the EU taxonomy amounted to EUR 216 million. The total value of sustainable mutual funds (under SFRD Art. 9) was EUR 31 million.

    Progress in the bank’s own operations

    In the context of the implementation of carbon footprint reduction measures in its own operations, ING Bank reduced its greenhouse gas emissions in Scopes 1, 2 and partly 3 (employees travel and ING fleet transportation) to 804t CO2, as compared to 860t CO2 in 2022. Thus, the bank reduced gas consumption by 28% as opposed to the consumption values recorded in 2022, while fleet car and air travel increased by 13% each.

    In 2023, ING reduced the use of natural resources for the fabrication and disposal of plastic cards by implementing a group-first recycling process whereby 6 million tons of plastic from 1 million expired debit and credit cards can be recovered and turned into pipes every year. Expired or damaged ING cards can be collected at offices and put back into circulation. The measure comes after ING Bank began transitioning its card portfolio to a sustainable, recycled plastic alternative in 2022, which offers the same durability and quality of traditional bank cards. With the rPVC card approach, the bank is reducing the carbon footprint of newly issued cards by 75%, while the energy required to produce them is dropping by 54%.

    Social Involvement

    ING Bank Romania continued its partnerships with civil society and provided EUR 5.2 million for projects supporting financial health and climate action.

    Financial Health

    Through a new strategic partnership with Teach for Romania, over the next 2 years ING Bank will join 10 school principals in a leadership program aimed at good performance and resource management at school level. Two of the schools included in the program will also benefit from a sustainable school transformation and school culture program, replicable at national level.

    In 2023, around 28,000 people used simulators and resources from Banometru.ro, while 2,279 of the program’s 4,000 new beneficiaries were coached in 1:1 coaching sessions. 3,150 hours of coaching were conducted in 130 days. According to Banometru, more than EUR 190,000 is saved or used to pay off debts in a group of 100 participants. Within the same program, over 1,500 students interacted with the Banocontrol new dedicated platform through offline events. Digital simulators were also launched for young people to help them understand the fees that gross vs net income entail (Net Gain) or to help them organize six months of spending (Money Wise).

    Startarium.ro, the platform dedicated to entrepreneurs, has reached 100,000 active users. In addition to the 14 educational events organized in 2023, Startarium relaunched the PitchDay competition initiated by Impact Hub and ING Bank, with the support of Pluxee, with a new identity (“Romanians are entrepreneurs”), with cumulative prizes worth EUR 100,000.

    Climate action: support for quality of life in cities and biodiversity

    Community investment: EUR 2 million to make the Capital a better city to live in. In 2023, ING Bank accelerated its investment in the expansion of the Environmental Platform for Bucharest, initiated with the Bucharest Community Foundation in 2021. A EUR 1.25 million investment aims to protect and preserve five new urban natural areas over the next five years. EUR 750,000 goes towards the “In your area” project aimed to involve citizens in initiatives concerning environmental protection in the vicinity of ING’s offices in Bucharest. Two years after its launch, the Environmental Platform brings together 11 funded projects, 6 partner companies, 55 NGOs, and 10 authorities.

    For the third consecutive year, ING is supporting Foundation Conservation Carpathia to reconstruct Făgăraș National Park. In 2023, apart from ING’s support for the development of Roadele Munților food-hub and entrepreneurship in the area, ING customers were able to donate to Conservation Carpathia through the Home’Bank Donations Hub.

    Through the Sustainable Schools section of the Adopt a Project grants program, 7 grants were awarded to 18 kindergartens, schools and high schools from 8 counties. The investments include the installation of photovoltaic panels in 5 schools in Iasi and Prahova, the installation of motion sensors LED bulbs and water-savers in 4 schools in Cluj and sustainable refurbishment through participatory design in 5 schools in Bucharest, Hunedoara, Suceava and Vaslui.

    Social involvement of employees

    In 2023, 443 ING colleagues got involved in fundraising and volunteering. ING volunteers raised more than EUR 40,000 through the Adopt a Project and Swimathon programs, or by donating their birthday. In addition, ING financially supported with EUR 1.3 million the Children’s Heart Association, one of the most voted and appreciated NGOs in the history of Adopt a Project, the grants program launched and supported by ING Bank Romania, where grants are decided exclusively based on employee voting. The amount will support the expansion of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit of the Marie Curie Children’s Hospital in Bucharest and the construction of the new Newborn Intensive Care Unit of Târgu-Mureș Emergency County Clinical Hospital.

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