Our indirect environmental impact

Our largest environmental impact is indirect, through financing and insuring as well as investing in other parties. These activities may have a positive or negative environmental impact.

The strategy of our Sustainable Finance Programme concerning our indirect footprint consists of a number of elements: 

  • White Paper approach: Our climate-related strategic initiatives focus in large part on the eight sectors that are the most carbon intensive. We refer to these sectors as our ‘White Paper sectors’. In these White Paper sectors, we take a progressive approach towards environmental objectives, beyond those related to climate change. 
  • Customer Engagement: We believe that we can only achieve significant change by supporting and collaborating with our clients. Customer engagement is therefore a central element in our sustainability strategy. 
  • Product development: We identify climate-related opportunities and aim to incorporate them in our core products – such as bonds, loans, investments and insurance contracts – to the maximum extent possible. 
  • Internal Carbon Pricing: We have developed an approach for Internal Carbon Pricing (ICP). ICP refers to a methodology through which the estimated costs of emissions can be included in the internal accounting of companies and organisations.

Furthermore, KBC has calculated financed emissions (i.e. KBC’s Scope 3) for at least a portion of its lending portfolios since 2019. We have been producing estimates of emissions that are financed by our entire lending portfolio since 2021. 

More information on our strategy and on the results of our Scope 3 calculations can be found in our Sustainability Report.

Finally, in 2022, for the first time, we formulated decarbonisation targets for a portion of our indirect environmental impact. This target-setting formed a part of our CCCA commitment. Specifically, we set targets for: 

  • sectors that make up the majority of our lending portfolio
  • KBC Asset Management's Responsible Investing funds

More information on these targets can be found in KBC Group’s first Climate Report, which was published in September 2022.