ING: Big business more focused on digital investments than sustainability

AMSTERDAM - Large Dutch companies find it slightly more important to improve themselves in the digital field than to make themselves more sustainable. The top executives of 77 major Dutch companies predominantly identified improving digital offerings as their top priority as the coronavirus crisis appears to be on its way out. They did this in a study commissioned by ING's investment bank among companies with an annual turnover of at least 250 million euros.

Of the companies approached, 70 percent indicated that digitization is now the most important strategically. For example, companies want to offer more digital services, but also improve processes, work on cybersecurity and do more with data analysis in order to improve marketing. According to the managers, the coronavirus crisis accelerated digitization.

Sustainability is second on the list and 69 percent of companies said they are becoming more sustainable more quickly since the coronavirus crisis. This mainly concerned making the energy used greener and reducing waste. The directors see opportunities in this for improving their image and the opportunity to tap into new markets, said ING director of Wholesale Banking Pim van der Velden. "But also important is the demand for this from capital providers such as institutional investors and private investors."

It is also striking that the directors see the adjustment of the business activities due to the changed demand as more important than growth in new markets. Also, more top managers are thinking about acquisitions than last year and fewer of them expect to divest business units.


In the financial field, paying back deferred taxes is cited as the main challenge.

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