Climate change, or global warming, is widely considered to be one of the greatest challenges facing our planet. As one of the largest financial institutions in the world, ING Group had a global environmental program in place for years. In 2006 ING reduced its overall global CO2 emissions by 30% compared to the year before. In January 2007, ING announced that it plans to be carbon neutral by the end of this year. Only a handful of financial institutions have taken such a step. ING plans to achieve carbon neutrality by significantly expanding its current energy saving program. Any GHG (Green House Gas) emissions leftover at the end of the year will be compensated through reforestation. ING already supports the planting and rehabilitation of 300 hectares of degraded tropical rainforest in Malaysia to compensate for the emission from all global business travel.
Moreover, ING has built up its global presence in carbon emission market, with its Asia carbon finance unit started in 2006. In China, ING has been actively involved in Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) activities under the Kyoto Protocol, which allow developed countries to invest in emission reducing projects in developing countries as an alternative to what is generally considered more costly emission reductions in their own countries. CDM brings great opportunities to some Chinese companies, with extra income from selling emission credits and more environment friendly technology acquired. Besides providing financing for CDM application, ING is able to provide full services for these emission reducing projects to be registered according to CDM rules under Kyoto Protocol, and help finding buyers for the emission credits generated through these projects. ING is also working with Chinese government to promote CDM nationwide with sponsorships to technical training and conferences. So far, ING has involved in renewable energy projects like wind farm, hydro power and LNG as well as in energy efficiency projects like waste heat utilization.
ING Bank has used innovative banking ideas and products for carbon emission projects by providing cash flow discounting, foreign exchange risk management, and bank guarantee on international buyers¡¯ payment performance.
With its global presence, product capabilities and our understanding of different cultures and regulations, we believe ING Bank is well positioned to providing top quality services and banking products for the healthy development of the carbon market in China as well as in other places around the world.
By Xiaomin Qian