ESG transition: agreement with GSE for sustainable business development

The image that accompanies the News on the agreement with GSE to encourage the integration of ESG issues and sustainable development in the financial sphere and in the national entrepreneurial fabric portrays an area of photovoltaic solar panels built on the surface of the water

Intesa Sanpaolo and GSE have signed a memorandum of cooperation to foster the integration of ESG and sustainable development issues in the financial sector and the Italian business community.

The agreement with GSE is part of Intesa Sanpaolo's broader commitment to support the ESG transition of companies included in its 2022-2025 Business Plan.

More specifically, the agreement provides for the launch of joint activities between GSE and various Intesa Sanpaolo structures, relating to:

  • development of scenario analyses for transition risk assessment based on sectoral, size and territorial characteristics, highlighting mitigation factors, in line with ECB guidance
  • study of the integration of climate and environmental risks into the company's risk model, particularly in the loan origination process
  • training initiatives for Italian companies on the topics of energy transition and carbon footprint reduction and to promote sustainable development and investment projects, also with a view to enhancing the value of production chains

The collaboration between Intesa Sanpaolo and GSE confirms the importance of risk analysis of the ecological transition for Italian financial and industrial companies, in light of the decarbonisation challenge posed by markets and EU regulations.

GSE, Gestore dei Servizi Energetici, is a company owned by the Ministry of Economy that promotes sustainable development.

The ecological transition in Italy - an analysis by the Intesa Sanpaolo Research Department

Never before has growth been so closely tied to a commitment to sustainability in all its forms. An analysis by Intesa Sanpaolo Research Department shows that over the past decade Italy has made significant progress in terms of green investments. At the level of the process of abatement of climate-altering emissions, in the period 2008-19 the emission intensity of Italian industry was reduced by 39%, compared to -32% in the EU27, bringing it, at the end of the period, to 0.287 kilograms of GHG (greenhouse gas) per euro of added value, while maintaining an emission intensity second only to that of Germany, among the main EU competitors. The spread of renewable energy sources (RESs), which have strong potential at the industrial level, is contributing to this process. In particular, RESs offer sound prospects for use in all more traditional sectors of Italian manufacturing where production processes use medium-/low-temperature heat (replacing fossil fuels with biomass, solar thermal or heat pumps), but they will have to be combined with other technologies, such as renewable gases (hydrogen) in "hard-to-abate" sectors, which are extremely energy- and emission-intensive (building products and materials, metallurgy and chemical intermediates).

However, the critical issues faced in the past year on the energy front require more urgent action: by 2014 Italy had already achieved its 2020 target for gross energy consumption from renewable sources (set at 17%), but the targets set for 2030 are challenging, aiming for a doubling of the current capacity (less than 60 gigawatts). In the first nine months of 2022, the capacity of newly installed systems was up by 150% compared to new installations in the same period of the previous year (FTV Quarterly Note, GSE Q3 2022), but an uphill journey still lies ahead. In addition, the drought that continues to put strain on the hydroelectric sector requires greater use of other technologies, such as photovoltaics, where the industrial sector plays a key role, accounting for 48% of the photovoltaic capacity installed in our country at the end of 2021 (source: Solar Photovoltaic Statistical Report 2021).

The energy transition is part of a broader rethinking of the entire industrial system, with a focus on circularity and the choice of new materials and products with high environmental standards – increasingly a priority to position companies as key partners on international markets.