Sella writes off the impact of CO2 emissions
The Group is among the first in Italy to achieve "carbon neutrality" thanks to the sustainable initiatives already implemented in recent years, the current carbon mitigation plan and the financing of some international projects to offset residual emissions in cooperation with Lifegate
The Sella group writes off the impact of its own CO2 emissions ahead of the plan set for 2024. Achieving this target was the result of sustainable initiatives dedicated to the reduction of its carbon footprint already implemented, a plan for further mitigation of emissions and joining the "Zero Impact" project of Lifegate, aimed at significantly mitigating the environmental impact of Group companies and offsetting residual emissions. This project supports internationally certified initiatives to absorb CO2, protect the environment, promote the circular economy and support local communities.
Sella is thus among the first groups in Italy in the banking and financial sector to reach the so-called "carbon neutrality". The path to reach "carbon neutrality" started with an in-depth analysis of its own CO2 emissions based on those produced by the Sella group in 2019 before the COVID-19 health emergency required the rethinking of working methods through the use of smart working and remote relations. This measurement quantified the annual production of the Group in Italy and abroad as approximately 13 thousand tons of CO2 equivalent.
The zero-setting intervention, concerning the impact of CO2 emissions calculated in line with the location-based methodology produced from now to the next three years, involves specific areas of application:
- direct emissions (Scope 1) related to the use of fossil fuels and attributable to activities within the company (such as gas consumption for heating/ cooling, the production of sanitary hot water, or fuelling the company fleet);
- indirect emissions from the internal energy consumption of buildings such as purchased electricity (Scope 2);
- other indirect emissions (Scope 3) related to corporate activitie: specifically purchases and consumption, business travel, scope 1 and 2 energy carriers, and, starting in 2021, also the home-work commutes of employees and collaborators.
Details on the measurement of the Group's own emissions can be found in the Environment chapter of the Non-Financial Statement.
The main environmental sustainability initiatives of the Sella group
For several years now, the Group has decided to move towards more energy-efficient and environmental-friendly solutions. All the electricity used by the Group in Italy comes from certified renewable sources. Besides, the Group plays its part in covering its energy needs through 21 photovoltaic plants placed on the coverage of its buildings and branches scattered throughout the Italian territory. The Group has also decided to invest significantly in initiatives aimed at significantly expanding self-generation of electricity from photovoltaic plants. The goal for the biennium 2023-2024 is to build photovoltaic plants until a total installed capacity of about 17 MW is reached. This will lead to a significant increase in terms of kg of CO2 avoided.
An important initiative in this area has been the construction of a photovoltaic parking lot at the Group's headquarters: the parking lot covers an area of 3,800 square meters, has 176 the parking spaces, several charging points for electric cars, and is covered by 632 the photovoltaic panels installed on 5 canopies. Its total power is 243.32 kWp and saves 129 tons of CO2 per year.
Moreover headquarters in Biella, in particular, were built following modern criteria of eco-sustainability and reduction of the environmental impact involving the installation of photovoltaic systems and a solar thermal plant for the production of hot water. In addition, the S32 building in Milan, which houses the Fintech District community, has obtained the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) "Platinum" certification, the highest level for buildings that make efficient use of energy resources.
Starting from 2020, the Sella Group has also launched the "Sustainability Project" with the dual objective of constantly improving its social and environmental performance and being the promoter of a sustainable economy, supporting its customers in the transition process to an effective ESG-impact economy. In light of the above, Banca Sella has allocated a ceiling of one billion euros to finance projects by companies doing their best in making a tangible impact on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.
The "Sustainability Project" allowed for several initiatives of further mitigation. These involved the use of office materials with low environmental impact, the use of FSC-certified paper, the installation of free water dispensers at the headquarters of the Group, the distribution to employees and co-operators of eco-sustainable water bottles equipped with an embedded chip providing through an app the amount of plastic saved at every refill, and the provision of training for a "sustainable" diet. Other significant initiatives include the gradual replacement of vehicles in the company fleet with "green" models and the launch of a forestry project in Italy.
The Group is also carrying out the project for a run-of-the-river hydroelectric plant in Biella, which exploiting two geodetic jumps available, will mitigate the hydrogeological risk and increase the use of energy produced from renewable sources.
The LifeGate "Zero-Impact" project
The Sella group has chosen the LifeGate "Zero Impact" project to implement the three-year process of reducing its carbon footprint and offsetting CO2 equivalent emissions. The protection of growing forests, and the development of energy efficiency and renewable energy production projects, made it possible to counterbalance unavoidable residual CO2 emissions under the Kyoto Protocol.
The Sella group, through the purchase of carbon credits, is already supporting three specific initiatives in Europe, Africa and Central America, certified by international bodies, whose performance will be continuously under monitoring:
- in Romania, a project is in place to reduce emissions related to plastic recycling. The first certificate for compensation in Europe is underway, which use PET waste for recycling by significantly cutting down (up to 48%) the greenhouse gas emissions that would come from the production of plastic products;
- The project in Zimbabwe focuses on the protection of the Kariba forest. Since 2011, nearly 785,000 hectares have been preserved from deforestation and soil degradation, avoiding the release of over 3.5 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year;
- The initiative in Guatemala aims to protect the landscape of the Caribbean coast of the state (almost 60 thousand hectares) and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by fostering ecosystem conservation and practical and sustainable economic activities.