Sustainability | Rabobank

Growing a Better World Together

Our responsibility to undertake some of the world’s most crucial sustainability problems has led to our Banking for Food strategy. Experience has taught us that caring for people and the environment often goes hand in hand with the creation of new income and wealth opportunities. By leveraging our position as the world’s leading food and agriculture focused provider of financing, expertise and global connectivity, we work together with the sectors we serve towards increasing food availability, safety and security, reducing waste, and promoting balanced nutrition and stable supply chains. We call this mission Growing a Better World Together.

Kickstart Food

To underpin our mission, in October 2017, Rabobank announced Kickstart Food: a three-year action program focused on accelerating the transition to a more sustainable food and agricultural sector.

Through this initiative, the Bank is putting its knowledge, networks and financial solutions to work to intensify our efforts to help our clients and partners develop and scale sustainable innovations across the food value chain. To do so, Rabobank will concentrate on four focus areas:

These four themes are considered as key levers to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Globally, we took a large first step to address the Kickstart Earth theme by partnering with UN Environment to build a $1 billion program to catalyze sustainable food production, called AGRI3.

In North America, Wholesale Banking along with Rabobank’s other regional entities Rabo AgriFinance, Rabobank N.A., and DLL, we’ve organized a vibrant regional team  to focus on Kickstart Waste. By catalyzing our inherent capabilities across banking, research, innovation and sustainability,  and engaging partners, we are pursuing opportunities to help address food waste in North America, from farm to fork.

Knowledge, Networks & Partnerships

We are dedicated to maintaining our position as the preeminent thought leader in food and agribusiness, and sustainability is a key theme throughout our research.

Our RaboResearch analysts cover cross-sectoral issues such as the implications of global water management, organic conversion, alternative ingredients, waste and packaging solutions, and sustainable on-farm technologies.

Rabobank also convenes and participates in global roundtables and discussion forums in collaboration with industry, policymakers and academics in order to co-develop solutions around the biggest challenges facing food and agribusiness and share insights with stakeholders. Some of these partnerships include the UN Environment Programme, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Consumer Goods Forum, Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, Fish 2.0, International Dairy Foods Association, and many others.

By creating partnerships with leading universities we support the generation and dissemination of insights on key topics across the food & agricultural value chain. Through the Rabobank-MIT Food and Agribusiness Prize, we annually partner with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab to hold a premier business-plan competition for university and graduate students to identify and support emerging ideas. Information about our prize competition and 2018 winners can be found here.

Rabobank is also a founding partner of FoodShot Global, a consortium of corporations, universities, investors, and foundations including UC Davis, The Rockefeller Foundation, Generation Investment Management, Mars Edge, the Builders Initiative, Armonia, Stone Barns Ceter for Food and Agriculture, ACRE, FFAR, Soil Health Institute, Nature Conservancy, Path Foundation, and Activant Capital, looking to fund “Moonshots for Food” With debt, equity, and grant funding.

Rabobank’s annual Leader in Sustainability Award is presented each year  to recognize organizations making significant strides towards business, environmental, social and governance sustainability. Additionally, we celebrate high-potential emerging businesses seeking to solve the future food challenge –more food, for more people, with the same resources in a more sustainable way— as part of our Innovation platforms and awards.

Sustainable Finance

Renewable Energy: Project Finance

Rabobank is a leading financier of solar, wind, bioenergy, and energy infrastructure projects.  Our Project Finance team focuses on the renewable energy and infrastructure sectors, offering advisory, structuring, arranging and underwriting capabilities for Renewable Energy Financing transactions.

Green Finance: Bonds and Loans

Rabobank is a leading issuer of Green Bonds, a unique financing tool which empowers sustainable development projects and has been playing a leading role in green bond execution, with 12 other financial institutions, since the Green Bond Principles were founded in 2014. The Green Bond Principles, a framework for designating, disclosing, managing and reporting on Green Bonds, have grown to include more than 130 adhering financial institutions.

Additionally, we are active in constructing Green Loans, a newer product that is also aimed at facilitating and supporting environmentally sustainable activity. Green Loans can be:

  1. Used for specific sustainability projects or
  2. Link the ESG performance to the rate of the recipient and funds can be used for general purposes

Community Impact

We are equally committed to local community engagement, playing an active role in local organizations and supporting initiatives that improve quality of life in the neighborhoods in which we operate. Rabobank is committed to empowering its employees to be active in their communities: all employees receive 2 paid days a year to volunteer with a host of local charity partners in offices across North America. Some of our partner organizations in North America include City Harvest, San Francisco Food Bank, Midtown Assistance Center, and the Ronald McDonald House.

We are and always have been a bank with a vision. We believe in the power of private sector leadership to help secure a more prosperous future for our communities and our planet.