Sustainable buying helps bank take green lead

6 April 2011

6 April 2011 | Rebecca Ellinor

The ING Group has this week published a report detailing how it hopes to become a leader in green procurement among financial institutions.

In its 2010 corporate social responsibility(CSR) report the company outlined its achievements over the past 12 months and its ambitions for 2011 and beyond.

Last year ING, which has been carbon neutral since 2007, exceeded its own goal to ensure more than a quarter of business units had set targets in relation to paper waste, electricity usage and business travel – 33 per cent have now done so. It also developed a programme to stimulate sustainable enterprise by setting up workshops and roundtable discussions for entrepreneurs.

It addition to these goals it reported buying one per cent more green electricity than in 2009 – 62 per cent of the electricity it purchases now comes from renewable sources. Furthermore,ING Bank and ING Insurance/Investment Management signed a sustainable procurement manifesto committing to include environmental and social criteria in all purchasing decisions.

As reported by SM, this involved ING drawing up of an agreement with CPOs at 15 other multinationals, including Philips, KLM and Heineken. Signed in December, the commitment means ING will notify suppliers that environmental and social criteria is part of purchasing decisions and challenge current and potential suppliers to come up with greener alternatives and innovations.

Pien Oosterman, domain manager of professional services, global procurement at ING Bank, said in the report: “I believe this manifesto will have a positive impact at ING. Not only will we reduce our environmental footprint and increase our positive social impact, but we’ll also engage employees and give them the satisfaction of knowing what they use at the office is as environmentally and socially friendly as possible.”

Going forward, ING said it plans to develop environmental and social criteria to: assess products and services in more than 22 procurement categories; decrease carbon dioxideemissions by 30 per cent compared to 2007; further minimise its environmental footprint; and develop plans suited to each country to further reduce the use of paper.

The company achieved carbon neutrality by minimising its carbon footprint, investing in renewable energy and better procurement.

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