Intesa Sanpaolo considers environmental protection as an integral part of its business strategy and for years it has been committed to promoting responsible resource management in order to reduce its carbon footprint and evaluate – with the utmost care – the consequences of its economic activities on the environment.

An approach to natural capital based on the understanding of risks, impacts and interdependencies, which translates into an appropriate business strategy, specific policies and operational responses, may help minimize risks and maximize opportunities, both in terms of economic and financial benefits and in terms of preservation of the natural capital. This approach reflects both the interest to thrive as a company, given the dependence on natural resources, and the responsibilities of the Bank related to the impacts generated by its activities.

In this context, the management of risks and opportunities related to climate change is of particular and growing importance. The agreement reached in Paris with the COP21 - the culmination of six years of international negotiations - has profound implications for the Bank and for its customers and business partners.

Domestic mitigation and adaptation commitments will involve the introduction of new public regulations and policies in a context of transition, which is currently unpredictable in the medium and long term. Given that it operates at international level, the Bank will have to monitor and observe the different approaches to climate change that will emerge in different countries, as the Paris Agreement did not define a clear road map but leaves the responsibility to the individual countries to set their own commitments to achieve the common goal of limiting the increase in global temperature "well below" 2°C.

The transition to a low greenhouse gas emissions economy will see an acceleration in the next decade and the change will focus on the energy sector, where many of the Bank's customers operate, with an increasing role of renewable energy and new green technologies and an increasingly marginal role of coal plants in OECD countries.

The following table shows the main risks, impacts and actions on climate change (for the complete mapping, please refer to the Intesa Sanpaolo Carbon Disclosure Project questionnaire @).

Potential risksPotential impactsActions
Introduction of new environmental regulations
  • costs for adapting the procedures relating to certification processes in the event of changes to international standards and regulations 
  • possible fines in the event of non-compliance with new regulations
  • constant and precautionary monitoring of possible changes to regulations;
  • participation in training courses and specific workshops 
  • participation in the ABI (Italian Banking Association) Green Work Group to define lobbying actions in favour of the environment
Uncertainty surrounding environmental regulations
  • negative impact on the possibility of implementing new products and services with environmental benefit
  • active collaboration with policy makers to highlight the need for a stable and clear regulation and to be kept up-to-date on ongoing changes (e.g. participation, as part of an ABI working group, in the definition of the demands for the new version of the Italian incentive for thermal energy ("Conto Termico")
Obligation to report emissions
  • voluntary reporting is based on shared standards that may not, however, be considered by legal obligations 
  • reporting adjustment costs
  • investment in the transparency and accuracy of data 
  • participation in GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) working groups to contribute to defining guidelines and Italian Banking Association working groups to define sector benchmarks  
Regulations and incentives on renewable energy
  • the scenario, characterized in Italy by uncertainty and a net reduction in government incentives for renewable energy, has a strongly negative impact on the Bank's loans to customers wishing to invest in renewable energies
  • Intesa Sanpaolo offers advisory services to customers on the new regulations and incentives aimed at energy efficiency sectors. For example, through the Energy Desk of Mediocredito Italiano, several pilot projects on energy efficiency were funded
Management of extreme atmospheric events
  • damage to our infrastructure
  • increase in costs related to the change of the average external temperature 
  • interruption of banking activities 
  • financial implications related to the default risk of businesses seriously damaged by extreme atmospheric events
  • adoption of a business continuity plan 
  • adoption of measures to prevent physical damage to our structures 
  • offer of insurance products 
  • suspension of repayments of loans and allocation of specific funding at special conditions in favour of damaged customers
Reputational damage
  • reputational crisis generated by the involvement with customers / projects perceived as negative for climate change by the public, the media, shareholders and other stakeholders
  • reputational risk in the event the Bank’s environmental performances stop showing a positive trend
  • monitoring of reputational risks through the management tools for the application of the Code of Ethics and the Sustainability Report process 
  • dialogue with investors, analysts and NGOs with particular attention to climate change issues
  • participation in working groups and initiatives related to the climate and the environment (UNEP FI, Italian Ministry of Environment, the Global Compact Environment Work Group)
Instability of socio-economic conditions
  • greater investment due to the new European regulation that requires States and their citizens to pay more attention to the environment
  • reduced wealth of citizens due to the damage caused by environmental disasters
  • Intesa Sanpaolo supports families and economic operators in the event of climatic emergencies through specific loans and the suspension of repayments on existing loans
 

In addition to the actions of mitigation, the Bank integrates within its strategy a series of measures of adaptation to changes in the climate which have already taken place. In recent years we have witnessed extreme atmospheric events at global level that have had considerable impact on the Bank’s structures and on the activities and daily lives of our corporate and retail customers. Knowing how to assess and manage these risks is therefore increasingly important.

In particular, Intesa Sanpaolo supports families and economic operators damaged by bad weather and climatic emergencies, through specific loans on favourable terms (for more than 8.8 million euro) and the suspension of repayments on existing loans. International Subsidiary Banks too have also launched subsidized loan programs for households and retail customers damaged by bad weather, and in particular by the floods that have affected the populations in Albania in 2015, and in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia in 2014.