Rabobank is the second-largest commercial bank in the Netherlands. Established initially to serve farmers through cooperative structures, it has since expanded to have a significant presence not only in Europe but also in nations with large agricultural sectors.
ESG reporting has always been a focal point for Rabobank. The inevitable shifts of climate change, which directly impact the agricultural sector and farmers Rabobank funds, coupled with ever-tightening regulations, have underscored the importance of staying ahead in ESG reporting practices.
The bank’s journey in ESG reporting wasn’t devoid of challenges. Rabobank’s Product Owner of Sustainability Reporting, Shirin Kroes, and Senior Business Analyst of External Reporting, Rishabh Kapoor, recently spoke to Regnology to shed light on this journey, emphasizing the significant role Regnology played in navigating the intricacies of ESG reporting.
Rabobank’s Shirin Kroes remarked, “During our internal restructuring and engagement with Regnology, we encountered data availability, quality, and accuracy issues making it difficult to meet ESG requirements.” Sourcing data, especially from clients regarding energy performance indicators and alignment scores with the Paris Agreement, proved to be a hurdle. The bank also grappled with challenges from third-party providers, pushing them to seek a more streamlined and cost-effective solution.
Further complicating the ESG reporting process was the issue of data quality and accuracy. Combining FinRep data with ESG data was challenging due to the lack of connectivity with Abacus, the standard software used for data reporting at the national and international levels. This gap required Rabobank to implement an additional step: enriching CoRep data with ESG information to emulate FinRep data.
Shirin also touched upon regulatory discrepancies, which are often inherent with emerging regulations. The continuous evolution of ESG regulations led to differences in interpretations between financial institutions and Regnology, adding layers of complexity to the ESG reporting process.
To find out more about how Regnology helped Rabobank, read the full interview here.
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