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Italy’s biggest bank Intesa Sanpaolo leads the way in sustainability, green and circular economy

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One of the top banking groups in Europe, Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo Group (ISP) is leading the way for sustainability, and social and cultural responsibility in the financial sector. Earlier this year, it became the first and only Italian bank to open a branch in Australia.

With more than 7.1 million customers and 1,000 international branches, it chooses to act not only on the basis of profit, but also with the aim of creating long-term value for the Bank, its employees, customers, community and the environment.

‘In Intesa Sanpaolo we know that finance, investments, education, innovation and corporate social responsibility can contribute to effectively addressing the issue of economic growth and progress, on a human scale. We want to play a key role in this,’ said CEO Carlo Messina.

‘Firms like Intesa Sanpaolo are responding with change and influencing others to do the same.’

Globally, ISP is phasing out lending to coal and unconventional oil and gas sector, and has pledged to support companies in the transition to a low-carbon economy.

As the first Italian bank admitted to the European Commission’s European Clean Hydrogen Alliance (ECHA), ISP is working with the continent’s most significant industrial and financial players to spearhead the deployment of technologies linked to the production of hydrogen from renewable or low carbon emission sources by 2030. With clean hydrogen the key to accelerating the energy transition, ISP’s knowledge and experience is proving valuable for Australia, where its leading role in sustainability, green and circular economy plays out in the form of renewable energy.

ISP has provided support in the form of performance bonds for Snowy Hydro 2.0, an expansion of the scheme which brought more than 65,000 immigrants from over 30 countries – including Italy – to Australia as skilled workers between 1949 and 1974.  The project is critical for the nation’s renewable energy future, and will see the generating capacity of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme increase by 2,000MW—enough to supply simultaneously 500,000 homes.

Solar farms are also benefitting from ISP’s green focus.

Iraak Sun Farm, a photovoltaic power station 35 kilometres south of Mildura, ISP acted as Mandated Lead Arranger and Hedge Provider for the solar farm’s refinancing. Generating up to 112MW of electricity, Iraak Sun Farm plays an important role in protecting the long-term interests of Victorian consumers by assuring a renewable source of generation into the market.

ISP is also lighting the way in renewable energy investment in New South Wales and Queensland, the bank acted as Mandated Lead Arranger in financing LightsourceBP’s solar farms of West Wyalong and Woolgooga. Combined, the two will produce approximately 673GWh of renewable electricity a year – that’s enough to power nearly 100,000 Australian homes and cut carbon emissions by 540,000MT tonnes (equivalent of taking around 225,000 fuel-burning cars off the road)!

EGP’s 301MW Solar Farm Portfolio – including Queensland’s Susan River Solar Farm and Childers solar farm, as well as the Nevertire Solar Farm in New South Wales – was also supported in its refinancing by ISP, which acted as Mandated Lead Arranger and Hedging Bank.

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