A historical change is taking place. Many phenomena and indicators in recent years have confronted us with the need to apply new ways of doing business, more attentive to the environment, society and people. In this context of growing awareness on the part of public opinion and institutions, more and more companies have begun to raise the level of attention to their environmental and social impact.
The “ESG” criteria (Environment, Social and Governance), developed in the world of finance with the aim of evaluating investments also under these new aspects, are today points of reference for companies that want to address their sustainable strategy. Indeed, in recent years, there has been an increasing use by investors of ESG criteria in capital investment analyses, leading to a 34% increase in sustainably invested assets worldwide between 2016 and 2018, totaling $31 trillion.
A company’s environmental, social and governance impacts are now therefore key factors that determine the opportunities available to it, including from an economic and financial perspective. Among these, an example of great relevance is the S-Loan, an innovative solution, created by the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, to finance and encourage sustainable growth projects of companies and, in particular, of SMEs.
It is a financial product of the SLL (Sustainability-Linked Loan) type that allows companies with high social and environmental performance to obtain financing at a subsidized rate: an opportunity for companies to be rewarded, through a reduction in the cost of money, following tangible and proven actions to improve their ESG profile.
The Intesa Sanpaolo Group has designed the S-Loan together with Nativa, which has supported the Banca dei Territori division in the identification of the philosophy of the product, in the definition of the areas of activity and performance to be achieved, of the sustainability KPIs and the methods of monitoring them.
A project that aims to centralize the role of the first Italian banking group as a catalyst of the ESG transformation of the country and to produce a real positive impact on the national territory. In fact, the primary objective of the S-Loan is to encourage companies to undertake initiatives to improve their sustainability profile, in an effective, tangible and shared way with Intesa Sanpaolo. All in confirmation of the fact that financial, social and environmental performance now go hand in hand.
Sustainability today stands as a resource for SMEs, which have the opportunity to convert business models and support economic recovery, especially in this phase of recovery from the pandemic. Our role as a Bank is to accompany them and encourage acceleration in this transformative path, with the aim of identifying together concrete solutions for their development.Anna Roscio, Head of Intesa Sanpaolo’s Sales & Marketing Department for Enterprises