The Intesa Sanpaolo Group offers a wide range of environmentally-friendly products and services with a 100% focus on quality and innovation that also improve sustainability. In 2016, activities continued to support and finance renewable energies, energy saving and environmental protection, with measures for all public and private customer segments: retail customers, SMEs, large companies, the public administration, start-ups, Third sector and major projects in Italy and abroad.

In 2016, 3.1% of all Group loans concerned investments in the green sector for a total of 1.7 billion euro, up by approximately 15% compared to 2015.

Environmental loans [%]

Environmental loans

Retail customers

In 2016, the Bank continued to disburse retail customer loans for environmental purposes. These loans were for, among others, the replacement of door and window fixtures and high-performance boilers, the energy-efficiency renovation of property, the purchase of ecological equipment and installation of solar and photovoltaic panels. With its loan for “prefabricated timber-frame houses”, the bank also responded to the needs of customers who are more aware of environmental issues, allocating resources to the purchase of these types of houses that meet certain safety and construction standards.

“Viaggia con me” (Travel with me) is an important product range for customers to reduce insurance costs as well as environmental impact. In 2016, the range was extended to include a distance formula, offering customers considerable discounts on travelled distances of up to 3,500 Km; this allows customers to save and encourages them be more careful about vehicle use.

Corporate customers

Short and medium/long term business loans supporting projects for photovoltaic panels, biomass plants, hydropower plants and energy efficiency measures continued in 2016.

7,800 “Business - Trade protection” and “Business - Agriculture Protection” policies were stipulated in 2016, which provide optional coverage for potential damage caused by wind or rain. At an international level, Banca Intesa Beograd offered its “Agroprotect” product to fund business development projects for different types of crops, which includes an insurance policy covering crop damage caused by hail, fire and rain.

In 2016, 23 start-ups in the cleantech sector, of which 11 with investor meetings, took place as part of the “Start-up Initiative” project (see the section “Intellectual and infrastructure capital” @). Moreover, the first “Circular Economy Start up Initiative” event was held in London, involving 60 investors and 8 international start-ups. The “Tech Marketplace” platform also has a considerable number of green companies among its users, with over 1,400 companies in the “Environmental Technology”, “Energy” and “Smart Cities” sectors.

In Italy, Mediocredito Italiano made an important contribution with its “tailor-made” financial solutions for businesses and the public administration investing in renewable energy plants or in energy efficiency processes developed by energy intensive or energy service companies. These loans, overseen by the Energy Desk, are preceded by project appraisals that provide advice for customers and also support the Bank's credit rating process.

The Leasenergy product continued its downturn (10 new contracts worth 22.4 million), in line with trends in the energy lease sector in Italy. Approximately 1,600 lease agreements are in place, contributing to the construction of power plants for the production of over 2 Gigawatts of energy from renewable sources. New lease agreements in 2016 will result in an estimated annual emission saving of approximately 13,300 tonnes of CO2.

Through its “Circular Economy” project, the Intesa Sanpaolo Group is seizing strategic opportunities to become an innovative and exclusive financial leader for the circular economy, redefining traditional financial tools to support transition to a new model for economic development, which is sustainable over time. As a Global Partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Intesa Sanpaolo promotes the best experience of leading international companies with Italian SMEs, creating synergies and shared value. During 2016, numerous initiatives took place and significant partnerships were forged. Firstly, a tool to evaluate the circular nature of businesses, with a specific questionnaire for production, service and distribution companies, was tested on an initial group of 13 companies. Opportunities were analysed with some 30 national and international companies active in the circular economy, to evaluate the characteristics of new business models and possibilities for partnership with the Intesa Sanpaolo Group in this sector.

Third sector

Banca Prossima continues to support Third sector companies that want to invest in energy efficient projects with solutions to save on energy costs and increase the overall sustainability of social activities. In 2016, approximately 1.2 million euro of funds was earmarked for projects through an operating agreement with Federesco (the National Federation of Energy Service Companies) and Banca Prossima won the “Green Globe Banking Award” in the “indirect impact” category. Initiatives resulted in savings of around 3,215 MWh in 2016, corresponding to reduced emissions of approximately 1,045 tonnes of CO2, of which 2,525 MWh alone for the project launched with Sermig of Turin.

Biodiversity is the central theme of the partnership agreement signed in December 2016 by Federparchi, Fondazione FITS! (Foundation for Third Sector Innovation of Banca Prossima) and, for development of the “Parchi a Impatto Zero” (Zero Impact Parks) Project, supporting initiatives for land/area conservation, development and stewardship. The agreement facilitates environmental and social sustainability projects in all development and financial stages, and will be activated during 2017.

Direct investments

Investees already involved in environmental issues and challenges include Equiter, in which Intesa Sanpaolo has a 38.3% share alongside Compagnia di San Paolo and Fondazione CRT. Besides committing its own risk capital to the environment, infrastructure and energy sectors in order to promote the social/economic development of local areas, Equiter provides advisory services for third-party funds.

In particular, with funding of approximately 190 million euro, Equiter is the first operator in Italy for the amount of assets managed in the JESSICA (Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas) programme. JESSICA is an initiative of the European Commission developed in cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB) which enables Regions to use structural funds for sustainable urban development, including projects for energy efficiency and the production of energy from renewable sources, through financial engineering mechanisms such as Urban Development Funds. These funds invest by acquiring shareholdings or granting loans in profitable projects, that can generate sufficient cash flows to guarantee repayment and a return on invested capital. In Italy, the JESSICA programme has been implemented by the regions of Sicily, Campania and Sardinia, and during 2016 Equiter completed its investment in resources managed by the three regions, with funding for 41 projects, of which 29 for energy efficiency in Sardinia (for a value of 37 million euro) and 12 on urban development in Sicily (90 million euro) and Campania (63 million euro). Equiter is advisor, and also a direct investor with a 26.8% stake, of the first closed fund in Italy wholly dedicated to infrastructure in public/private partnerships. This fund (PPP Italia Fund), with 120 million euro, has invested in the development of 10 projects in the green sector for an annual production of approximately 130 GWh of electricity from renewable sources, which is equivalent to over 42,000 tonnes of avoided CO2 emissions.

As regards direct investments, Equiter is the sole shareholder of Equiter Energia, an investment vehicle boasting a portfolio of photovoltaic and wind energy plants with a total capacity of 13 MWh and an annual production of around 28.5 GWh.