Intesa Sanpaolo, Italian major banking group, has become a Global Partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, demonstrating its intention to become a key player in the network of stakeholders supporting the transition to a circular economy. The partnership was signed yesterday by Carlo Messina, CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo, and Ellen MacArthur, Chairman and founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. In its role as Global Partner, Intesa Sanpaolo will help to redefine business strategies to capture new opportunities, and will ensure financial support for investments used to re-design the industrial system.
“Supporting a circular economy is a strategic choice for Intesa Sanpaolo in line with our goal of promoting sustainable economic development in time. Intesa Sanpaolo Group has always been resolutely committed to social and environmental responsibility. In the period 2007-2014 we supported investments in the environment and renewable energy for more than 11 billion euro. In 2014 alone, Intesa Sanpaolo allocated more than 2.3% of its total disbursements to supporting renewable energy and to the fields of farming and environmental protection, confirming our commitment to achieve an increasingly sustainable economy” said Carlo Messina, Ceo of Intesa Sanpaolo.
“Difficult access to finance is consistently quoted among the barriers that entrepreneurs wishing to innovate with circular models find themselves up against. By recognising there is a new economy emerging and by creating tools to help it, Intesa Sanpaolo actively contributes to the transition and takes a leading role in this new world of opportunities” said Ellen MacArthur, Chairman of Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
The announcement of Intesa Sanpaolo as a Global Partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation is part of the broader role that the leading Italian banking group plays in supporting the growth and innovation of production chains. The partnership recognises Intesa Sanpaolo’s commitment to circular economy projects, and “the company – it is written in a note – looks forward to working alongside the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s seven existing Global Partners: Cisco, Kingfisher, Philips, Renault, Unilever, Google and H&M. As industry leaders, Global Partners work closely with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to identify circular business opportunities and to implement tangible programmes”.
The agreement between Intesa Sanpaolo and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation was signed just a few days after the European Commission defined the Circular Economy Package and after the agreement reached by the Climate Conference in Paris for the reduction of air pollution (COP21).
The European Commission’s Circular Economy Package encourages the transition of businesses and consumers towards an economic model in which resources are used in a sustainable manner. The transformation to a circular economy will be supported by the 650 million euro allocated by the 2020 Horizon programme (research and innovation) and 5.5 billion euro in structural funds for the treatment of waste, as well as investments in a circular economy allocated at a national level. Alongside these resources, the European Investment Bank (EIB) plans to allocate in 2020 about 24 billion in funding for circular projects.