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Support to the Circular Economy

The Circular Economy is fundamental for an economic development that generates positive environmental and social impact. The circular model is based on the redesign of industrial processes and business models to generate economic and competitive advantage for companies, with a regenerative approach towards natural capital. Its objectives include the generation of a virtuous cycle in the use of resources, overcoming the linear model which involves extraction, production, sale and waste. 

The Intesa Sanpaolo Group promotes the spread of the model, drawing on the support of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the main promoter of the global transition towards the Circular Economy. The 2019-2021 three-year cooperation agreement has been renewed, confirming Intesa Sanpaolo's role as Global Partner of the Foundation. From June 2020 Intesa Sanpaolo is Strategic Partner of the Foundation. Intesa Sanpaolo will continue to redefine business strategies in an innovative way, ensuring financial support for investments to facilitate the redesign of the industrial system. The activity is considered of primary importance for the Group and is indicated as a strategic pillar within the 2018-2021 Business Plan.

The transition to a Circular Economy continued, also with the contribution of the Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, a Group company which oversees all the Circular Economy activities.

The Circular Economy Lab was launched in 2018 in Milan, thanks to a Framework Agreement between Intesa Sanpaolo and Fondazione Cariplo, and followed by a strategic partnership between Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center and Cariplo Factory, with the goal of supporting and assisting the transformation of the Italian economic system and disseminating new models of value creation in the collective interest, by accelerating the transition to the Circular Economy.

In order to provide tangible support to companies involved in the transition process, the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, within the time-frame of the 2018-2021 Business Plan, has decided to provide a credit plafond of up to 5 billion euro, aimed at companies which adopt the circular model with innovative procedures, granting the best conditions for accessing credit. In particular, as part of the credit process, Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, based on criteria connected with investments in the Circular Economy defined together with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, is responsible for providing a technical assessment on the level of circularity of the initiatives proposed.

Out of a total of around 250 applications reviewed since the launch of the credit plafond, 63 projects were funded for a value of around 760 million euro at the end of 2019. Numerous company projects were supported for initiatives such as the replacement of traditional materials with others from recycled or biological sources, the recovery of urban organic waste for biomethane production, with the production of compost and recovery of CO2, the production of coloured compostable fabrics with dyes made from agricultural waste.

During the year, the circular assessment of businesses along their value chain also continued (around 100 businesses were interviewed) through the use of the Circular Economy Standard, an instrument used to measure the level of circularity.

With regards to start-ups and Circular Economy, in 2019, the Start-Up Initiative which selects the most promising innovative start-ups, prepares them to face the market with coaching initiatives, and introduces them to the players of the innovation ecosystem continued. The selection process was integrated together with the circularity criteria in the overall assessment. Two Italian start-ups in the bioeconomy and fashion sectors were awarded as Circular Economy success stories.

 

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