Use of renewable sources

Committed to gradually reducing its dependence on fossil sources, the Intesa Sanpaolo Group has long consolidated its purchase of electricity in Italy from sources certified as renewable (Guarantee of Origin) at all sites where this is possible with a percentage exceeding 95%. Moreover, although with limits due to architectural barriers and the limited availability of appropriate buildings, expansion of the photovoltaic facilities for the self-generation of electricity continued in 2015, with the construction of two photovoltaic plants in Cagliari and Caserta and, in September, the connection of the plant of the New Turin Headquarters. Four large plants are therefore currently operational (>100 kWp), along with ten small ones (≤20 kW). The total installed peak capacity reached around 1,105 kWp with expected annual production, when fully operational, of 1,041 MWh. In 2015, taking into account the partial operation of the new plants, the expected annual production was 925 MWh, while the production was actually 997 MWh (+7.7% vs. estimate). Thanks to the state incentive provided through the “conto energia”, since 2012 we have had an economic return of over one million euro from our three biggest photovoltaic plants.

With regard to the self-generation of electricity, there is also a small cogeneration plant at the accounting centre in Parma (which covers approximately 37% of the electricity needs of the Parma complex and 3% of the overall needs of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group in Italy), in addition to the self-generation of energy from renewable sources through heat pumps used for heating which, in line with Legislative Decree 28/11 transposing Directive 2009/28/EC, corresponds to an additional 2,100 tonnes of CO2 emissions avoided per year. In fact, based on these regulations, the heat (thermal energy) produced by a heat pump that exceeds the quantity of energy required for its operation is considered to be a renewable source.

The commitment to renewable energy continues in the International Subsidiary Banks as well, despite the limitations imposed by national legislation in a number of countries: 15% of the electricity purchased by VÚB derives from a renewable source; since 2014 Banka Koper has been purchasing all of its energy from renewable hydroelectric sources, which join the two photovoltaic plants in Slovenia that generated around 53.5 MWh. Finally, all the electricity consumed by Bank of Albania, although coming from the national grid, is renewable.

Intesa Sanpaolo Group photovoltaic plants - 2015 Production (kWh) and Avoided Emissions (kg CO2eq)

Containment of energy consumption

The Intesa Sanpaolo Group continued to limit its energy consumption in 2015 too. It is worth mentioning that in Italy, due to the high level of automation and widespread use of heat pumps, the consumption of electricity, the energy most widely used by the Group in Italy, accounts for 80% of the Group consumption. The 2015 consumption in Italy increased slightly (+0.9%) when compared with 2014. However, at Group level, they continue the downward trend for a total of -0.3% thanks to the actions carried out by foreign subsidiaries that only recently have launched activities to reduce electricity consumption.

Nevertheless, the Intesa Sanpaolo Group's commitment in this regard must be analysed in a long-term perspective, as the Group has been carrying out, in Italy, optimization and energy efficiency activities for some time. Therefore, if we analyse the 2010-2015 period, electricity consumption in Italy fell by about 26% and by 24% when analysing the Group figures: a very important achievement that puts the Intesa Sanpaolo Group among the leading companies in Italy and a milestone which is often now used as a sector benchmark.

These savings were also possible thanks to the preparation of various long-term plans, the last of which, the "2013-2016 Sustainable Energy Action Plan" has set, starting from a 2012 baseline, targets for 31 December 2016, for reducing consumption and implementing improving actions which have now been almost all achieved.

Generally speaking, the activities launched in 2015 both in Italy and abroad, focused on the replacement of traditional boilers with condensation boilers, heat pumps and high-yield cooling units, as well as on the modernisation of electrical systems, the replacement of lamps, spotlights and lights in the various rooms with new LED technologies, the remote switching off of PCs and the replacement of systems containing ozone depleting gases.

Below are some of the initiatives, included in the SEAP, launched to improve overall energy efficiency:

ProjectDescriptionForecast annual savings
Measurement of electricity consumption  
Investment: 182,000 €
In 2015 around 91 dataloggers were installed. Managed via the web, they allow the activation of programmes for switching lighting and air conditioning systems on and off. Energy Saving: 160,000 kWh
Cost Saving: 32,000 €  
CO2 Reduction: 56 t
Installation of photovoltaic plants
Investment: 210,551 €
In 2015 two new photovoltaic plants were installed in Cagliari and Caserta. Energy Saving: 46,000 kWh
Cost Saving: 10,120 € net of government incentives  
CO2 Reduction: 15.7 t
Relamping interventions on Buildings  
Investment: 3,574,000 €
Relamping and replacement of lighting systems with LED on 3 buildings (Mi Bisceglie, Assago, Mi Monte di Pietà). Energy Saving: 1,700,000 kWh
Cost Saving: 368,874 €
CO2 Reduction: 573 t
Replacement of systems containing gases which are harmful to the environment  
Investment: 6,797,296 €
During 2015, in accordance with regulatory requirements, 235 plants containing R22 gas have been replaced with refrigeration units containing R410A gas, also providing increased energy efficiency. Energy Saving: 298,000 kWh
Cost Saving: 65,560 €
CO2 Reduction: 102 t
LED replacement (Alexbank)  
Investment: 44,653 €
Thanks to an agreement with the Egyptian Ministry for Electricity and the United Nations, the Bank is currently replacing all its lighting system with new LED technology in the head office of Alexbank and in 7 bank branches. Energy Saving: 57,552 kWh
Cost Saving: 24,307 €
CO2 Reduction: 25 t
UPS replacement in the head office of Petrezselyem in Hungary (CIB Bank)  
Investment: 2,433 €
Replacement of all UPS units in the head office of CIB Bank located in Petrezselyem with considerable energy savings. Energy Saving: 53,728 kWh
Cost Saving: 7,453 €  
CO2 Reduction: 15 t
Replacement of air conditioning systems (Privredna Banka Zagreb)  
Investment: 29,856 €
Efficient air conditioning systems were installed in the Branches of Slavonski Brod and Porec. Energy Saving: 12,400 kWh
Cost Saving: 1,200 €
CO2 Reduction: 9 t

In terms of heat consumption, however, despite the non-accuracy of the figure based on the bills and not on the actual consumption for most of the offices and of headquarters, Italy registered a consumption reduction of about 4%. However, it should be noted that as of the 2010/2011 winter season the Group has experienced, in some buildings and branches in Italy covered by the SGAE system, the application of the Building Heat Check-up (CTE) procedure: a web solution to monitor and limit the consumption of heating systems thanks to the actual readings of meters. This application enables the Bank to check the suitability of the installed thermal capacity and the proper management of the heating system in relation to the level of thermal insulation. Thanks to its use, significant savings were achieved: by comparing the savings of the 2010/2011 season with the 2014/2015 season, the sites where the CTE was applied achieved overall heat energy savings of approximately 20%, corresponding to around 400,000 euro.

In addition, in line with the contents of the internal policy on sustainable branches, renovated or newly built sites were fitted out in accordance with criteria for improving energy efficiency and management. As a result of measures taken in recent years, mainly associated with the replacement of traditional boilers with condensation boilers, heat pumps and high-yield cooling units, and the replacement of windows with low emissivity glass, the Group has been able to claim tax deductions, securing an economic return of around 22 million euro between 2009 and 2015.

The most representative example of the Group's commitment to build sustainable buildings is definitely the New Turin Headquarters.

The New Turin Headquarters: a committed effort to sustainability  

The most ambitious realization in recent years has been the construction of the new Headquarters of Intesa Sanpaolo. Designed by architect Renzo Piano, the skyscraper is 166 meters high and is laid out on 38 floors above ground, 27 of which are intended to serve the Bank's operations offices. The project is particularly attentive to the containment of overall energy consumption and has made the skyscraper one of the tall buildings with the highest sustainability standards in the world, as evidenced by the process of obtaining certification according to the international LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum level protocol. The façades facing east and west are characterised by two glass windows about 2.5 meters apart equipped with shutters whose opening and closing is managed by a centralised system that can be programmed according to different climatic conditions. The lighting system was also designed with a view to energy saving. The system that produces the air conditioning fluids uses only electricity coming from groundwater drawn from wells located at the edges of the park adjacent to the building. Finally, in the south façade of the building a photovoltaic plant is installed of more than 1,600 m2. The development of the workspaces, occupied during 2015, also took into account comfort and efficiency: the air conditioning operates with radiant type standalone systems suspended from the ceiling and the layout is characterised by the search for the maximum flexibility. 

It is also important to remember that Intesa Sanpaolo has an Environmental and Energy Management System which, at the end of 2015, counted approximately 210 operating units in Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Emilia Romagna, Puglia and Sardinia, but is progressively extending and aims at gradual improvement. The two standards (UNI EN ISO 14001:2004 and UNI CEI EN ISO 50001:2011) specify the requirements that enable an Organization to develop, maintain and implement adequate procedures in order to respectively manage the most significant environmental aspects and energy uses of its business. In the same operating units, since 2013 the Bank has decided to quantify and report annually even its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), certifying them in accordance with the UNI EN ISO 14064:2012 standard. To this end, a methodology was identified, examining emissions from: production and consumption of thermal energy, electricity consumption, air conditioning systems, paper consumption and corporate fleet; in this respect it should be noted that in 2015 negligible emissions of ozone depleting substances (ODS) have been recorded. The systems are certified by an international independent body that ensures an impartial application of the requirements of the standards and evaluates the effectiveness of the procedures and practices adopted through an annual review which provides audits at the headquarters and at a representative sample of operating units.

The Group’s International Subsidiary Banks have also launched major energy efficiency measures in the various branches and main offices, and some have adhered to the SEAP, setting themselves important goals. In general, the measures launched have regarded the replacement of cooling systems, the introduction of LED or high-efficiency lights in the branches and signage, the introduction of the automatic night time switch-off of computers, the introduction of automatic light adjustment and on/off light switching systems, new printing methods with a reduction in the use of electricity, the installation of thermostatic valves, and initiatives to reduce the temperature where it is too high.

Energy audits

Legislative Decree no. 102/2014, transposing Directive 2012/27, established that, by 5 December 2015 and subsequently every four years, large companies, including the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, perform an energy audit at the production sites located throughout the entire country. The multi-site businesses have had to perform the audit on a number of proportionate and sufficiently representative sites to allow to draw a true picture of the overall energy performance of the Company and to reliably identify the most significant opportunities for improvement. Hence, 32 sites have been identified in Italy where energy audits were carried out: 15 Branches and 17 Buildings and CEDs distributed throughout the country. The first analyses highlighted, on a limited number of branches, the possibility of achieving savings through simple management actions, such as changing the cooling or heating hours and improving the regulation of winter or summer set point temperatures. With regard to buildings, possible improvements against short to medium-term investment were identified; these concerned the modernisation of UPS units, boilers, air treatment units and lighting systems (replacement with LED lights). Most of the proposed actions, instead, have too long return times (over 10 years) to be seriously taken into account.