Global financial institution ING has partnered with the European Investment Bank in committing €300 million to support green investments in the European shipping sector.
Dutch multinational banking and financial services company ING announced this week that it had partnered with the European Investment Bank (EIB) in an agreement whereby each would commit €150 million to support green investments in the European shipping market to ensure that green and sustainable projects in the maritime transport sector had the financial resources they needed to develop.
The new €300 million financing facility will be open to clients with significant European interests and will be focused on supporting and developing projects with an element of green innovation for new vessel construction or retrofitting, for both inland and seagoing shipping operators. It seeks to financially support projects that will improve the environmental performance of transport vessels specifically as it pertains to reducing emissions and increasing fuel efficiency.
“Sustainability is an important strategic priority for ING and we are very proud to partner with the EIB to encourage our shipping clients to think about more green and sustainable financing options,” explained Isabel Fernandez, Head of Wholesale Banking at ING. “This agreement helps us support our shipping clients into making changes to their business models by adapting for the future in increasingly sustainable ways, and supports them throughout their green journey.”
The move comes as part of ING’s larger sustainable strategy which is intent on contributing “to a low-carbon or self-reliant society” through four specific objectives:
- Becoming the industry leader in sustainable finance
- Creating products to specifically help SME/Mid-Corp clients future-proof their businesses
- Helping the Think Forward Initiative financially empower 100 million people
- Figuring out how to align portfolio with the two-degree scenario (which is a big one)
It also follows two big announcements over two months that highlight ING’s commitment to sustainable investment and management. At the end of 2017, ING announced that it intended to reduce its exposure to coal power generation down to close to zero by 2025, and that by the end of that year ING will no longer finance clients in the utilities sector that have over 5% coal generation in their energy mix.
“We realise that contributing to the Paris Agreement targets is also about making clear choices in what we’ll no longer finance, especially when there are good alternatives available,” said ING Vice Chairman Koos Timmermans. “We are taking this decisive step as part of our overall ambition to support the energy transition.”
The new announcement also comes after the Dutch banking giant announced a commitment of €100 million for sustainable investments, specifically sustainable ‘scale-ups’ which can boast a proven concept and a positive impact on the environment.
“Sustainability has become a strategic priority and boardroom topic for many of our clients,” said Mark Weustink, director within ING’s Corporate Investments team, who will lead and manage Sustainable Investments. “Our commitment of risk-bearing capital, ranging from junior debt to ordinary equity, enables ING to fill a client need and add to our overall sustainable finance strategy.”
The new €300 million commitment will be invested with the EIB gradually over the next three years and ING’s shipping team will lead and manage the commitment.
“I think it’s no secret that the shipping sector is a major contributor to CO2 emissions,” added EIB President Werner Hoyer. “Climate action is one of the EIB’s top priorities, and this type of financing should be seen as an incentive for ship owners to consider doing things differently. The facility was set up after numerous discussions with Dutch counterparts from the public and private sector and aims to help the shipping sector transition to a greener future. ”
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