Sustainability

27 April 2020

What is ING doing to mitigate the social impact of the coronavirus?

From doing the shopping for an elderly neighbour to reading fairy tales over Skype, millions of Belgians are lending one another a helping hand during these challenging times. How are ING and its employees helping to make a difference?

The coronavirus crisis is not only an economic blow for individuals and companies, it is also a humanitarian crisis. Discover how ING and its employees are helping to make a difference in the following ways:

In the first three weeks of April, ING and the other banks have already granted more than 160,000 requests for payment deferrals of loans.

For practical questions about payment deferrals and the (financial) impact of the coronavirus for you and/or your business please consult the overview page.

1. Donation of 500,000 euros to a healthcare fund

The King Baudouin Foundation has launched a solidarity fund for the benefit of hospitals and healthcare institutions (targeting the care home, youth welfare and disability sectors).

In addition to the bank's own ING Fund, which is administered by the King Baudouin Foundation (the Fund is dedicated to the circular economy, digital inclusion and financial education), ING have decided to donate 500,000 euros to the solidarity fund. ING employees can also support this initiative voluntarily. For every euro donated by employees, ING will match the donation.

A portion of the money will go to the institutions most in need of assistance and where the need is greatest. This support may include equipment, logistics and personnel. The money is awarded in consultation with the government and representatives of the specified sectors.

Another portion of the money is for medium-term initiatives; projects that contribute to ensuring sustainable care after the crisis. The allocation of these resources will be led by a panel of experts.

2. Volunteer work: from food assistance to sewing face masks

We are proud that a lot of employees at ING are making their time available to help others. As an employer, we endeavour to support them in these efforts.

Traditionally, each employee can choose to work for a day at a charity during their normal working hours. ING usually offer this opportunity (ING Volunteering Days) from September through November. Due to the current, exceptional circumstances a large number of employees have spontaneously offered assistance. Many have already been active on the front line, in care centres or food distribution centres, and by sewing face masks for others. ING have been pleased to be able to shine a spotlight on these everyday heroes through an internal communications campaign for colleagues. 

‚ÄčOur colleague Carine D Haeyer supports healthcare workers

"Everyone knows that there is a shortage of protective masks in Belgium. However, these are essential for the healthcare workers to be able to perform their job in a safe way. That is why I support 3 hospitals in Antwerp with other volunteers 3 times a week after my working hours, from 5 pm to 8 pm. In doing so, we help them build up a stock of masks.

Every day, about twenty volunteer seamstresses work in one of the rooms of the hospital GZA Sint Augustinus in Wilrijk to manufacture as many masks as possible. On average, we manage to make about 3.000 masks per day. Last week we even managed to make a total of 3.320 pieces!

I am very happy that I can contribute to society in this way. As a volunteer I help fight the coronavirus and I support the healthcare workers - of which my 2 sisters are part! 

I wish our nursing staff a lot of courage and success during this crisis. And hopefully, my testimony will inspire others to volunteer!"

3. Laptops and IT equipment for care institutions and vulnerable youth

Every year, we take hundreds of laptops, monitors and other equipment out of service. Instead of sending this equipment to be recycled, we prefer to give this equipment a new lease of life.

Old or defective items are erased and completely cleaned and are then refurbished or upgraded. ING employees are given the opportunity to buy this equipment for an attractive price. We partner with Close The Gap on this project. Reuse is not only good for the environment; it is also one of the ways in which we can support the circular economy.

In response to the current circumstances, ING have decided to gift the full inventory of these items, instead of making them available to employees. A portion of the equipment has already been sent to several care institutions.

Another shipment of laptops went to Digital For Youth. This organisation allocates the devices to disadvantaged youths so that they too can follow classes from home and stay in contact with others.

4. Beyond Belgium as well

In addition to organising initiatives within Belgium, ING also support initiatives in other countries where the bank has operations. For example, by giving or donating equipment to local organisations. ING also support UNICEF's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in every country where it is active. In addition, money that ING employees raise for this emergency fund (over 50,000 employees in 40 countries), will be doubled by a matching donation from ING.

More information?