Global Head of Sustainability, ING
Representing UNEP FI member: ING (Netherlands)
Representing UNEP FI member: Société Générale (France)
I see sustainability as a resource of opportunities that inspires to innovate and thus create more value for customers, the company and society, as envisaged in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. With reference to UNEP FI’s Mission Statement in the latests 5-year strategy, I’m looking forward to share the experience of ING’s ‘sustainability journey’ and to strengthen the collective view and voice of the financial industry as represented within UNEP FI. For me this goes beyond the Banking sector: as FIs we are facing the same sustainability challenges and I’m convinced we would benefit from collaborating in finding joint solutions and speaking with one voice. The UNEP FI platform encompasses the banking, insurance and investment elements of the financial sector which enables us as a collective to take into account different perspectives when addressing cross-cutting issues, such as climate risk or human rights – which is a unique value.
ING Global Sustainability is ultimately responsible for ING’s long-standing and wide-ranging engagement with UNEP FI – coordinating the involvement of several different departments such as Structured Lending, Sustainable Finance, Environmental and Social Risk, who actively support the work of the Banking Industry Committee and the Thematic Advisory Boards (Climate Change, Ecosystem Management, Positive Impact, Social Issues).
Furthermore I would like to mention ING’s active contribution to the recently published second edition of the Guide to Banking and Sustainability, the launch of the Positive Impact Principles, the current review of the Statement of Commitment and the development of the Sustainability Dashboard.
Léon Wijnands is Global Head of Sustainability at ING since 1 November 2013. Over the past years he has succesfully guided further integration of sustainability into the core business of ING with a focus on two themes where ING can have an impact on society; financially empowering people and navigating sustainable transitions for businesses, including targets on sustainable transitions financed: all the business that we do with clients that are environmental trendsetters in their sectors and projects that provide sustainable solutions.
The team is leading on disclosing non-financial information and defining ethical standards. As a result ING has leading positions in independent indices like DJSI, Sustainalytics and CDP. ING is also recognized for it’s frontrunner position in accelerating the circular economy, a topic on which Léon frequently is asked as speaker.
Prior to his current position, Léon led the ING Bank Customer Contact Centers and managed the handling of 8 million phone calls and 1 million e-mails contacts annually. He has more than 25 years of experience in banking, particularly in the field of sales and marketing. Over the years he was responsible for the 21 branches in the “District Amsterdam” and has led many marketing initiatives as well as change programmes.
Léon Wijnands holds a master degree in business economics, business administration and in financial economics. He joined ING in 1990.
Recent examples of Léon speaking on sustainable finance: