The commitment of the leading institutions and firms for a sustainable future

Futuro sostenibile: impegni di istituzioni e imprese
Futuro sostenibile: impegni di istituzioni e imprese

Scenarios of recovery and environmental policies are fostering the hope of an increasingly sustainable future. Stakeholders from all sectors, including energy, have put on the international agenda the proposals to get out of the pandemic crisis by focusing on environmental and social sustainability.

The European Green Deal and Next Generation EU

We have already heard about the European Green Deal, the action plan to make the continent’s economy sustainable, transforming climate issues and environmental challenges into opportunities in all economic sectors and making the transition fair and inclusive. In order to do so, important packages of measures have been proposed, with priorities that directly impact the EU’s multiannual budget proposal worth 1,100 billion euro for the 2021-2027 period. Concurrently with the recovery plans from the economic crisis, the European Commission has proposed a new additional financial instrument, the “Next Generation EU”, which amounts to 750 billion euro. These funds, within a framework of well-defined strategic objectives, can help Europe transform its economy, while at the same time achieving climate neutrality and sustainability and also addressing social inequalities.

The success of Green and Social Bonds

There is no doubt that the European Green Deal and the ambitious targets set by the Commission for 2030 represent an important driver for the growth of the green bond market which has already shown solid growth rates in recent years.

Many enterprises have shown an interest in this sense, especially those engaged in the fight against climate change and in the energy transition, also attracted by favourable market conditions. But the government Green Bond market is also becoming populated with new players, with various European countries applying for new issues by 2020, including Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Denmark, to name but a few.

However, the real boom in recent months involved Social Bonds: approximately 20 billion euro have been raised since the beginning of April, particularly in France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Japan and Africa, with a market growth of 43% in three months. This is 66 billion euro’s worth of resources, used largely to support health care, employment, the disadvantaged groups in society and to mitigate the serious social and economic impact of the post-pandemic crisis.

Business responses for a sustainable future

CEO Initiative for Europe’s Recovery, Reform and Resilience”: this is the name of the initiative embraced by the leaders of companies belonging to various sectors, to support the recovery of the economy and the Next Generation EU Plan or Recovery Fund, with a view to long-term sustainable growth. They are some of the largest European enterprises, which employ a total of 1.7 million people, generating over 600 billion euro in revenues. Enel is among the Italian companies.

“Our companies - reads the letter - undertake to implement the Paris Agreement through the adoption of their decarbonisation plans” and “strongly support the European Commission’s Next Generation EU to accelerate short-term growth and also to prepare for longer-term transformation, to build a more resilient, digitised, prosperous and sustainable Europe for future generations”. The CEOs are willing to give the utmost priority to the issues of employment, implementation of the Green Deal, policies in favour of sustainable investments and fair and eco-sustainable taxation, without forgetting digital development and technological innovation.

The UNEPFI principles for Responsible Banking go in the same direction, which puts the signatory banking institutions in a position to ensure strategies and policies in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and the afore-mentioned Paris Agreement. A commitment undertaken and signed by over 180 banks, including us.

The sustainable future of energy

This context of post-Covid recovery proposals also includes the proposal report prepared by the International Energy Agency based in Paris. This is a series of recovery measures to “decarbonise” the economy, to be implemented over the next three years. To date, the IEA estimates that the post-Covid recovery measures of the various governments amount to a total of around 9 trillion USD dollars, hoping that a portion of this budget will be used for a “Green Recovery Plan”. More specifically, the report explores how these expenditures can create new jobs, stimulate economic growth, improve sustainability and develop greater resilience towards future issues. The IEA’s plan specifies how the majority of new jobs would concern renovation and building efficiency and the management and creation of renewable electricity networks, especially for the solar and wind sector, thus tracing a solution framework on more fronts: less waste and more jobs.

Intesa Sanpaolo's commitment

In the long term, banks will help transform savings into investments that lay the foundations towards a prosperous, sustainable and inclusive economy.

Our Group’s commitment goes in this direction and comprises four main spheres of action on the environmental issue:

Support for the development of the Circular Economy

  • the partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the support for the Circular Economy continues through the creation of a 6-billion euro Circular Economy plafond. Within this plafond (which since its launch to 2020 led to the disbursement of 2.2 billion euro), new projects and startups will continuously be analysed;
  • the creation of a laboratory dedicated to the Circular Economy which provides open innovation operational methodologies aimed at the search for innovative solutions and technologies in the circular economy;
  • the launch of a dedicated investment fund is also planned.

Development of Sustainable Loans

As part of the disbursement programme for the European Green Deal, we have developed the "Sustainable Loans", loans intended to promote sustainable SME growth projects, with a subsidised rate, subject to annual monitoring of contractually envisaged ESG improvement KPIs, which the borrowing company must report in the financial statements. In 2020, 130 million euro were already disbursed, as part of the dedicated 2 billion euro total plafond.

Green/Sustainability Bonds

We have placed dedicated funding instruments: in 2017 we were the first bank in Italy to issue Green Bonds for a total of 500 million euro. In 2019 the issues dedicated to the Circular Economy amounted to 750 million euro and in 2021 Green Bonds were issued for 1.7 billion euro dedicated to green loans.

We have also placed ESG investment products (24.6 billion euro of assets under management with a market share of 30.4% including UBI Banca) to mobilise private capital in support of business investment projects.

ESG training and advisory service

We offer a service dedicated to sharing advanced skills with companies that are useful for the implementation of innovation and sustainable business transformation projects.