The circular economy and sustainability in Intesa Sanpaolo
Intesa Sanpaolo has always been at the forefront of sustainability, a commitment embedded in the Group’s 2018-2021 Business Plan. The initiatives implemented so far have earned Intesa Sanpaolo recognition from many leading sustainability indices – among them the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (World and Europe) and the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Climate Change A List 2019. The latter rates 179 of the world’s top companies according to their environmental strategies and involvement in the fi ght against climate change. Corporate Knights, a Canadian research and rating company specialized in sustainability, ranked Intesa Sanpaolo 39th out of 7,400 publicly-traded companies in its 2020 standings; Intesa Sanpaolo is the only Italian bank included in the Top 100 Most Sustainable Companies in the World listing.
Intesa Sanpaolo’s commitment to the circular economy – an economic model that aims to decouple development from the exploitation of fi nite natural resources and redesign industrial systems – stems from this engagement and a strong tendency towards innovation. Indeed, Intesa Sanpaolo sees the circular economy as an innovative and strategic challenge that will bring major benefi ts at a global level and provides an opportunity to create new value and growth. A commitment to environmental sustainability has led to continuous actions to limit the Group’s CO2 emissions, thanks to a multi-year action plan and a commercial offering of green fi nancial products and services, with funding totalling more than €1.9 billion in 2018.
In June 2017, Intesa Sanpaolo was the fi rst Italian bank to issue a Green Bond, raising €500 million to fi nance renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Green Bond proceeds financed 75 projects and brought annual savings of more than 353,000 tons of CO2 emissions (equivalent to the annual emissions of approximately 66,000 inhabitants).
In 2018, the Eurizon Fund Absolute Green Bond was launched, the first by an Italian asset manager, specialised in international bond markets to fi nance environmental projects.
The Group’s fi rst Sustainability Bond was successfully placed in November 2019, raising €750 million against demand of more than €3.5 billion. The bond will support funding by Intesa Sanpaolo’s €5 billion dedicated circular economy credit facility. The Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, the Group company dedicated to the study of new business models and accelerating innovation in business, oversees all activities related to the circular economy.
The initiatives include:
- Creation of a €5 billion dedicated circular economy credit facility for the period 2018-2021, in close partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, of which the Bank has been the sole Financial Services Global Partner since 2016. The aim is to support SMEs and corporates with innovative and transformational projects that incorporate the principles of the circular economy. Over the past two years, 63 projects have been fi nanced for a total of about €760 million;
- Circular Economy Lab: established in 2018 in partnership with Fondazione Cariplo, its aim is creating value for the Group’s client companies by developing circular research and innovation programmes;
- De-risking finance: an agreement was signed with Bocconi University regarding research activities related to the circular economy and fi nancial portfolio de-risking;
- Open Innovation: facilitating the engagement of 12 industrial companies, the gathering of 250-plus innovation ecosystem players and the presentation of 30-plus startups to clients;
- Promoting the circular economy through the CE Startup Initiative, the Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center’s acceleration programme for startups, with events held in Italy and abroad, including in the Hub branches of the Group’s Corporate & Investment Banking division in London, Hong Kong and Dubai. Seven events dedicated to the circular economy have been held, with more than 150 startups involved and fi ve exclusive CE awards presented to the most innovative companies;
- Lead Partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation for the creation of the ‘Cities and Circular Economy for Food’ report, presented at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos on 24 January 2019.
In addition to these projects, there are also initiatives to promote a culture, training and advocacy in support of circular economy education. Examples include workshops for managers and employees and support for projects for young people, including lectures attended by more than 600 students and the BIOCIRCE master’s degree “Bioeconomy in the Circular Economy” at four Italian universities (Turin, Milan Bicocca, Bologna and Naples Federico II).
Last updated 21 February 2020 at 18:22:03