As a 100% Belgian bank and insurance company, our aim is not only to be the driving force of the Belgian economy, but also to play an active role in the community. Working with our customers, staff and long-term partners, we are committed to making a difference in the social challenges facing us and to encourage solutions that contribute to a more sustainable society in Belgium.
This has resulted in 10 key commitments that will shape our ambitions for 2025-2030 and about which we will communicate transparantly...
we are committed to making a difference in the social challenges facing us and to encourage solutions that contribute to
a more sustainable society in Belgium.
10 commitments for 2025-2030
Transition to a sustainable Belgian economy and society Starting with our role as a Belgian bank and insurance company, we aim to play a pioneering role in making the transition happen – both for our customers and for the community at large. We will also deal selectively with sensitive and controversial areas of business, with our ESG targets driving our day-to-day activities and the decisions we take..
Being CO2-neutral and staying that way
Belfius is the very first major bank to receive the CO2 Neutral® label created by its Belgian partner, CO2logic, and issued by Vinçotte. This label is only awarded after far-reaching efforts have been made in relation to the climate and it guarantees that Belfius will actively calculate, reduce and offset its local and overall impact on the climate by providing finance for global climate-related projects. We are also working with CO2logic on solutions to ensure energy efficiency and reduce CO2 for our customers.
Encouraging customers to invest sustainably Our aim is to offer our customers nothing but sustainable funds by 2025. These funds will either have the Belgian SRI label or have a dual positive impact on the community, e.g. by redirecting part of our management fees to good causes.
Working actively towards a sustainable balance sheet Between now and 2025, 30% of our long-term loans to businesses and 100% of new funding to the public and social sector will be allocated to projects that have a positive impact on society.
Reinventing mobility by looking to the future Belfius is evolving towards shared, multimodal and sustainable mobility solutions by creating an extensive ecosystem of carefully chosen partners. For our fleet of vehicles (cars driven by both customers and staff), Belfius Auto Lease aims to reduce its CO2 emissions by 25% by 2025. We will do this by dramatically lowering the number of kilometres driven and by rolling out a greener fleet.
Making future-proof infrastructure an absolute priority We also plan to play a key role on the road to a better and more sustainable infrastructure in Belgium. In practical terms, this means bringing partners together as part of an ecosystem to develop solutions for the infrastructure-related challenges in our country. This way, we are also helping to relieve the burden for the government.
Our customers’ privacy and data protection comes first The privacy and data protection of our customers is an absolute priority for us. Under no circumstances do we ever sell personal data to third parties and we do everything we can to make customers aware of the importance of security and privacy.
The use and exchange of data with our partners in the Belfius Mobile app is totally transparent and only with the customer’s permission. We also ensure high security standards and are constantly raising the awareness of our customers for issues such as PSD2, the European directive that opens up the payment market to new providers.
Creating equal opportunities through our social commitment is more important than ever Belfius has a strong tradition of supporting good causes, such as Red Nose Day, Viva for Life and Special Olympics. We also create opportunities for the disadvantaged through our “Philanthropy” offering. And while Belfius Art supports up-and-coming Belgian artists, we also share our impressive art collection with the general public.
Setting a good example as an employer We also aim to include sustainable business practices in our HR policy. We do this by creating a culture of lifelong learning that raises the resilience of our staff. Elsewhere, we have set ourselves the target of having at least 44% women represented at every level of the organisation by 2025 through an active diversity policy.
Risk management and financial stability are non-negotiable factors for Belfius We have set ourselves firm goals in terms of risk management and financial stability so that we can create value for the community. We also maintain strong solvency and liquidity ratios through our ability to cope with unexpected risks. This enables us to deal responsibly with the trust and responsibilities placed in us by our stakeholders.
Global Goals (SDGs) as a guide
What are SDGs?
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) or Global Goals are a universal set of objectives, targets and indicators that define global sustainable development aims for 2030. Together, they form an agenda that calls for all actors in society – governments, businesses and civil society – to take urgent action in the fight against poverty, while protecting the planet and creating prosperity for all.
Belfius aims to help fulfil these 17 SDGs by adopting the 10 commitments detailed above
5 priority areas
We have selected 5 priority areas where we can make the strongest positive impact as a locally based bank and insurance company:
Belfius is putting its financing capacity to maximum use in the transition to a low-carbon energy system by financing energy-efficiency projects and developing renewable energy products via specific financing techniques and programmes, or through leasing.
Belfius will only provide finance to companies in the fossil fuel sector if they are transitioning to new, renewable technologies and applications.
Linked to commitments 1, 2, 3 and 4
Seven years ago, Belfius provided around 10 billion euro of long-term finance, spread across all customer segments. By the end of 2019, that figure had doubled to 20 billion. This clearly demonstrates the desire and growing funding capacity that Belfius has to fulfil its role as a driving force for the Belgian economy.
Belfius is also assisting 14,245 new start-ups which, thanks to a partnership with the European Investment Fund (EIF), are able to benefit from loans on favourable credit terms.
Linked to commitments 1, 4 and 9
In 2019, Belfius provided technical, financial, administrative and legal support to 26 government authorities in their new projects. Belfius Public Real Estate helps guide projects for schools, sports infrastructure, police stations, administrative centres, residential care centres, accommodation for seniors, youth care services, accommodation for people with disabilities and cultural centres.
Via The Studio, Belfius continues to invest in digital innovation for customers, in line with its leadership position in the “mobile” market.
Linked to commitments 4 and 6
Belfius is firmly established in all segments of Belgian business and society, redirecting virtually all of the savings deposits received from customers back into the Belgian community and economy.
Redirecting customer savings into loans for projects carried out by local individuals, businesses and authorities for the benefit of the community is Belfius’s core mission.
Linked to commitments 1, 8 and 10
Through Belfius Lease, Belfius promotes vendor leasing as a financing technique for promoting the circular economy, using the principles of pay-as-a-service and pay-per-use.
Belfius makes its buyers aware of the principles of the circular economy. Following on from completing two Green Deals Circular Purchases in Flanders, Belfius also signed the Walloon Green Deal in 2019.
Belfius is a member of Green IT Belgium for reducing the environmental footprint of its IT services.
Belfius continues to head towards a paperless corporate culture. This includes a programme to reduce the volume of waste, as well as maximising the recycling of residual waste or converting it into biogas.
Linked to commitments 1, 2, 3 and 9
Other important domains
We have also identified 5 other SDGs where we are striving to make “operational excellence” a meaningful concept for people, the environment and society as a whole:
The diversity policy applied by Belfius is focused on giving every member of staff the opportunity to develop his or her talents. It focuses on three cornerstones: gender, generations and personality type.
Belfius aims to achieve a better gender balance at all levels of the organisation. The proportion of women in management positions rose to 32% in 2019. By the end of 2025, Belfius has set itself the goal of having 44% of women at all levels.
Linked to commitment 9
Belfius opts for meaningful Belgian long-term partnerships with organisations that work on behalf of people who have fewer opportunities.
With a range of social banking and credit products, Belfius aims to give everyone access to a banking relationship and/or a home loan.
Belfius offers customers a specific framework for including a good cause as a structural component of their asset management or inheritance planning.
Linked to commitment 8
With a specific credit formula, Belfius helps companies and governments translate their climate ambitions into concrete long-term objectives.
Together with Candriam, Belfius has launched a thematic investment fund that invests in companies offering solutions to the major climate change challenges. Residual emissions of CO2 will be offset by supporting projects for CO2 reduction or storage.
Belfius has started a programme to reduce its own consumption of energy, raw materials and fossil fuels. Any remaining emissions will be offset by Belfius supporting various climate projects so that the Belfius group will be CO2 neutral from 2020, complete with its own "CO2 Neutral" label and external certification.
Sustainable commuting remains one of Belfius’s strengths.
Linked to commitments 2, 3, 4 and 5
Belfius requires every employee to have a responsible, honest professional attitude when dealing with customers, partners and each other, at every level of the organisation. Based on our values and the applicable laws and regulations, a series of policies has been formulated to this end.
Customer privacy and data protection is a top priority. Belfius also makes every effort to raise awareness of security and privacy among its customers.
Belfius will underline its commitment to sustainable and responsible business practices by signing up to the leading international norms and standards on sustainable development in 2020.
Linked to commitments 1, 7 and 10
Belfius recognises the added value of cooperation and partnerships in the pursuit of achieving the SDGs.
Belfius enters into targeted partnerships in order to achieve its ecological and social objectives. Belfius is open to working and joining forces with other parties to increase our combined strength.