Milieudefensie NGO lodges a complaint against ING with the Dutch contact point of the OECD, the organization of developed countries. The environmental organization confirmed this after reporting by Het Financieele Dagblad (FD).
Milieudefensie’s complaint concerns the financing by ING of three palm oil companies: Socfin, Noble and Wilmar. The organization wants ING to break ties with these palm oil companies and to withdraw from the industrial palm oil sector. Milieudefensie points out that ING has long been informed of the abuses in the sector. “ING therefore knows the harmful consequences of their investments and knowingly continued to finance these palm oil companies.”
With the OECD complaint, Milieudefensie hopes to increase the pressure on ING. Palm oil is a versatile raw material for a range of products, from cookies to shampoo.
“ING shares concerns about environmental and social issues at palm oil plantations,” a spokesperson told the FD. “We enter into dialogue with our customers, including those from the palm oil chain, to encourage them to improve their business operations. This vision – involvement instead of exclusion of palm oil – is also shared by organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund IUCN. If the dialogue does not lead to improvements, we may ultimately decide to end our relationship.”