Elena Flor is head of corporate and social responsibility at Intesa Sanpaolo, whose team helped launch the sustainability bond. Her role now is to maintain its original purpose and encourage investment into companies making real change.
“The Circular Economy is part of the group’s broader commitment to sustainability… It is a key point for our stakeholders as well,” says Flor. “Intesa Sanpaolo has adhered to international initiatives such as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and Principles for Responsible Banking. To support the Circular Economy perfectly fits with these goals,” she adds.
Intesa Sanpaolo is reaching out in three ways: towards businesses that want to effect change; towards investors who want to finance that change; and towards institutions who set the principles that will build a better future. As Italy’s largest bank, this is no small task. “We are all on a learning curve,” says Lolli. “The issuers, investors and supervisors. But the speed of this learning curve is increasing,”
“After two or three days of the roadshow, investors were buying the bond… although we are not close to the target of everything being green and circular, but we are more and more evolved,” he adds.
Amid a health pandemic that some commentators claim is exacerbated by climate change, the need to find and finance new ways of doing things has never felt more pressing. “Talking about the future today, in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis, can be both overwhelming and stimulating,” adds De Vecchi.
“It’s already pretty evident how the future will be shaped around our ability to co-operate at a private and public level in finding an innovative approach to the reconstruction of our economies and communities.”
New figures on the loan fund’s progress were released after this podcast was recorded. The ones in this story have been updated.