Building up capital

15 September 2018

Sustainable investment: the ING approach

Thinking of investing? But only in companies that take their ecological and social responsibilities seriously?

You are not alone! In fact, more and more investors are turning to sustainable investments and at ING, they form an integral part of our global strategy. So it is little wonder that ING is recognised as one of the world’s most sustainable banks.

Responsible investment

As a bank, ING is committed to ensuring our customers are as informed as possible about investing, so they are in the best possible position to manage their assets. That is ING encourages investors to invest in sustainable change.

There are various strategies that can be applied when investing sustainably:

  • Excluding companies that do not adhere closely enough to ESG rules or that are active in controversial sectors (weapons, tobacco, coal).
  • ‘Best-in-class' investments: investing in companies with the best ESG scores compared with their competitors in any given sector.
  • Active shareholding on the basis of a permanent dialogue between you, as a shareholder, and the company. In this case, the ESG fund manager will actively promote ESG values in dialogue with the management team at, e.g., general meetings. 
Sustainable change

Most funds apply a combination of these strategies, an approach which ING wholeheartedly supports ING. As an investor, exclusion offers you the highest certainty that your capital will be invested exclusively in sustainable investments, while the other investment strategies stimulate sustainable thinking and action, including with other operators. Which in turn encourages improvement at all levels: from general business management to product design and manufacturing processes.

Investing with ING automatically means investing in sustainable change. Which is why ING enforces certain rules of its own :

ING never invests in companies that:

  • display distinctly negative behaviour relative to other companies in the same sector
  • focus on products with potentially negative effects on people, the environment or society.

ING does invest in companies that:

  • are distinctly positive relative to other companies in the same sector in terms of their sustainability policy
  • offer products that help bring us closer to global sustainable development goals.
Selecting funds

For many years ING has selected the best sustainable funds with the utmost care and in accordance with a unique selection process. Three elements play an important role here: sustainability, return and risk. These elements are reviewed in four steps.

  1. Analysis of the fund’s history, with a focus on return and risk.
  2. Comprehensive questionnaire focusing on the fund’s sustainability and governance and that of the fund manager.
  3. Discussions with the fund manager about investment and sustainability policies.
  4. Continuous monitoring of the selected funds with regard to return, risk, sustainability and other qualitative aspects such as the composition of the management team and the investment process.

Only funds which score at least above average on this sustainability test are eligible for inclusion in ING’s “sustainable investment universe”. 

Want to become a sustainable investor?