Adrian Huma, ING Bank Romania: Transport, mobility and automotive are sectors that interest us as a bank

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Transportation is one of Romania’s major issues, so how do we integrate sustainable business models in the automotive industry and change the way we travel? How to integrate more green cars in our smart cities? Important questions posed at the recent BR Environment and Sustainability Summit 2021 were quickly answered by Adrian Huma, Automotive, Transport and Logistics Sector Manager at ING Bank Romania, speaking in the Sustainable Communities panel.

“I think that the first condition for integrating green cars into a smart city is to have green cars and to have a smart city. Green cars are more and more present here, but they are still few in number for various reasons, such as costs and infrastructure. Here we also have a ‘chicken or egg’ type dilemma. The more the infrastructure is developed, the more people will tend to buy such cars and vice versa. If there are enough cars, then more investment will be made in infrastructure projects.

Today we are mainly talking about electric cars, but in the future we will see more types of green cars. We already know that hydrogen technology is quite advanced, already cars using hydrogen are circulating in many parts of the world. In addition, with hydrogen being an abundant resource, more and more manufacturers and more and more governments are considering investing in hydrogen technology. There are also projects that are working on technologies that will allow the continued use of combustion engines, but with environmentally friendly fuels.

So there are a lot of options ahead of us, we will see more and more innovations in this area for sure, and their integration into cities will likely depend on the availability and affordability of charging infrastructure. filling. It will also depend on getting people to adopt them, through certain facilities that will be available to those who will drive such cars. “

How does ING Bank approach sustainable development in the automotive, transport and logistics sectors?

“Transport, mobility and automotive are sectors that interest us as a bank, both globally and locally. And making these sectors sustainable also from the point of view of the credit portfolio is of the utmost importance. We are globally committed to reducing the carbon footprint of our loan portfolio as we have committed to these sectors, in accordance with the provisions of the Paris Agreement. We are on the right track with this strategy (the Terra project) and progress is posted on the Bank’s website.

We are very interested in getting involved in such projects, we would also like to see in Romania as many projects as possible to encourage the sustainable development of both the automotive sector and transport / mobility. Regarding transport and mobility in order to see more projects, it will help to have a legal framework first to help both their development and their implementation, and we are really looking forward to it.

Until then, if we need to talk about concrete actions, we have just launched a green loan dedicated to the acquisition of electric and plug-in hybrid cars, with a special interest rate (2% lower than the standard) and very light conditions to access the loan (no advance, no casco, no car key at the bank, only the proforma invoice from the dealership which certifies that the car to be purchased is a plug-in electric or hybrid … and of course the passage of the credit score – that is enough income to allow reimbursement – this is done on site by checking with the ANAF).

Regarding smart cities in Romania, I think we shouldn’t be afraid to dream big and watch what other people are doing in other parts of the world. There are many examples of cities around the world, which have evolved tremendously in a few decades, if not less. It might sound too big, but I think we can look at cities like Singapore or cities in South Korea, which are very good examples of smart and sustainable cities. And concerning South Korea for example, this country is now an exporter of smart city technologies.

But back to what we can do here in Romania. I think we have to start from the beginning: a smart city cannot exist without data and without the capacity to collect data. Thus, first of all, a city must be able to deploy an infrastructure capable of collecting all kinds of data: air quality, traffic, temperatures, etc. After collecting this data, it must be processed and then interpreted. This should be a joint action of the private sector and the city management / public administration. The city management should prioritize projects and the private sector (why not also civil society?) Provide technical solutions and then implement those selected. The selection of the solution should remain with the city management in consultation also with the community, while the implementation should be carried out by the private sector.

After having set up a data collection infrastructure and finalized the interpretation of the processed data, we will know where we are, then we can act accordingly: propose actions / projects to make the city smarter. Otherwise, it’s hard to suggest a way forward when you don’t know the exact status / where you are right now. “

So what are the most important trends in urban ecosystems today?

“From what I have noted, the majority of trends are towards a symbiosis between living things (people, animals, vegetation) and non-living things (buildings, roads, data infrastructure). More and more concepts target an increasing weight of green spaces within cities. In addition, the tendency is to develop smaller cities and avoid the further development of mega-cities, as these become more and more difficult to manage. While up to 70% of the world’s population is expected to live in urban areas by 2050, more than half live and will live in cities of less than 500,000 inhabitants. Ensuring access to quality and affordable education and health services should also be a priority for city managers.


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