Best practice example: Mortgages

De Volksbank

De Volksbank provides about 290,000 mortgages, primarily in the Netherlands, through its brands ASN Bank, BLG, RegioBank and SNS. The mortgage portfolio comprises about 46 billion euro of assets on de Volksbank balance sheet, which is about 80% of assets under management.

“Our long-term goal is to become climate neutral by 2030 if avoided emissions are equal or larger than the emissions resulting from the activities we finance. At year end 2020 we aim to be 45% climate neutral,” says Freek Geurts, Climate impact advisor at de Volksbank. “After a materiality analysis three asset classes appeared to have the biggest influence on our climate neutral balance sheet: mortgages, project finance and green bonds. Mortgages are at the core of the Volksbank’s business model and comprise almost 80% of our financial balance. The complete mortgage portfolio also lead to 80% of total financed emissions.”

To achieve a climate neutral balance sheet, KPI’s on absolute emissions are formulated for mortgages, project finance and green bonds, and are included in the operational plans of the involved business units. The progress is monitored quarterly, and the results are published biannually. The opportunities and dilemmas are discussed within the climate neutral committee with chairmanship of the CFO of de Volksbank, who bears responsibility for the long-term goal. De Volksbank’s climate neutrality has improved from 16% at the end of 2014 to 33% halfway through 2018.