The 2022 Initiatives

In support of families and businesses

Green Loan for companies

Banca Sella has launched a green loan designed for companies for the purchase, renovation or energy upgrade of buildings for residential or instrumental use, with the aim of improving their energy efficiency and thus also contributing to the spread of more sustainable properties. The initiative, which expands the Group's offer of sustainable products, is part of the European project Energy Efficient Mortgages Pilot Scheme designed to create a homogeneous model for all European Union countries and allow banks to support customers planning to purchase an energy-efficient property or to improve the sustainability of a property, thanks to a tailor-made loan that contributes to the modernisation of the country's real estate assets.

New funds to support energy and green transition for companies in the agricultural, livestock and agro-industrial sectors

Banca Sella has supported its customers in the energy and green transition by making available new funds to support companies wishing to participate in the Agrisolar Park call for tenders provided for by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP), the aim of which is to encourage the installation of photovoltaic systems in the agricultural, livestock and agro-industrial sectors.

Green partnership between Smartika and Sorgenia for the energy transition

Smartika, a Group company that operates in peer-to-peer lending, in order to increase the spread of self-generation of energy from renewable sources and encourage the energy transition process, has signed a partnership with Sorgenia, one of Italy's leading energy operators. Thanks to this agreement, an online social green lending community has been created that allows lenders and applicants to connect with each other and start new paths to sustainability. This partnership allows Sorgenia's customers to build photovoltaic plants by accessing financing provided by members of Smartika's online community to support environmental sustainability projects.

12-month moratorium on mortgages for households and businesses affected by extreme weather events

Banca Sella has initiated a moratorium on mortgage and loan instalments for households and businesses that suffered damage as a result of the extreme weather events that affected several regions of Italy. In the case of damage to movable and immovable property, households were able to apply for the suspension of mortgage instalment payments, while businesses were able to apply for the suspension of mortgage instalments and loans for up to 12 months.

In support of the health and well-being of colleagues

New framework agreement on agile working and renewal of supplementary contracts

The Sella Group has reached two important agreements with the trade unions. In fact, a Group agreement was signed that provides for the possibility of smart working days of up to 13 days per month on average on an annual basis, with the possibility of evaluating an extension of up to 15 days for fragile categories, caregivers and colleagues whose residence or accommodation is far from the workplace. In addition, the supplementary contracts of the Group companies were renewed, which include, among the main new institutions, an increase in the amount of the meal voucher, an increase in the company's contribution to the pension fund, and the structuring of the bonus for 25 years of service in the Group to which a week's paid leave is added. Furthermore, the renewal of the company's integrative contracts provided for an extension of the parental and family care leave system. A day's leave was also introduced for carrying out voluntary work for organisations and associations. 

Promoting a more sustainable lifestyle

The promotion of a more sustainable lifestyle is one of the topics that has been the main focus of involvement and awareness-raising activities among colleagues, with the aim of emphasising the importance of increasingly aligning daily life behaviour with the needs of the environmental context in which we live.
The awareness-raising campaign towards a more sustainable diet continued in the company restaurant at the New Headquarters through messages printed on placemats and a red meat-free menu, and employees were encouraged, by means of a sustainability tips manual, to use public transport or bicycles to travel to work, to shop for local food products, to manage their finances sustainably, and to behave in an environmentally friendly manner at home and in their clothing choices. In addition, ad-hoc communications were made to colleagues on the occasion of several World Sustainability Days, and an awareness-raising campaign on energy saving in the workplace was carried out.

Time Bank

In July 2022, the Group amended and renewed the agreement on the Time Bank initiative: a fund fed by the voluntary donation of leave by colleagues, which can be drawn on by other colleagues who are in need and no longer have leave available. The new initiative, introduced in 2022, consisted in the possibility of donating time between colleagues from the whole Group and not only between colleagues from the same company. Each company, in turn, increases the amount of hours in the Time Bank by paying an additional 10% of the amount donated by colleagues.

Free psychological support desk 

For the second year running, the entire Sella Team was offered a free psychological listening service, anonymous and confidential, with an experienced listening professional 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

In support of training

Sustainability Training Capsules 

Team Sella was involved throughout 2022 in the "Sustainability: A colourful future is possible!" training course provided in 12 capsules.
The aim of the course was to start from the basics and then deepen one's knowledge on more specific topics such as: the concept of sustainability, the main regulatory steps that have characterised its evolutionary process, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN 2030 Agenda, the ways in which each of us in our daily lives can make a concrete contribution to a more sustainable planet, the activities carried out by the Group in this area, the goals it has set for the future and the ESG criteria with reference to investments and loans.

BiDigital Event

On Saturday 1 October 2022, BiDigital, an event dedicated to innovation, digital and the future, took place in Biella. After a three-year hiatus, the spaces of Lanificio Maurizio Sella and Sellalab, the Group's innovation and digital transformation platform, once again welcomed students, professionals, start-up founders, entrepreneurs, experts, curious individuals and innovation enthusiasts, eager to share experiences and discover the trends that are transforming our world. The event, divided into five thematic areas, was characterised by moments dedicated to the corporate world and the challenge of digital transformation, content in the areas of social media, marketing and communication, an area with a focus on start-ups and innovations launched on the market, a space dedicated to Web3 and the metaverse, and finally, an area focusing on coding. A total of 40 hours of training took place and over 50 speakers shared their expertise and experience with those present

Bright young people discovering the finance of the future

The Sella Treasury & Financial Markets business line organised the first edition of the Project of Excellence #YoungQuantTalentsGrowUp with the aim of proposing to bright students in quantitative and scientific subjects in the Biella area a path of orientation and specific training on some quantitative applications to finance. This pilot edition involved ten girls and boys from the last two years of science high schools in Biella and Cossato, selected both for their strong interest in this proposal and on the basis of their propensity for STEM subjects (particularly mathematics and physics) and high grade point average. These young people were involved in a series of training and orientation afternoons throughout the school year.
The Project of Excellence programme concluded with a session in which students were able to test themselves in concrete activities such as business games and simulations, and with an awards ceremony held in the auditorium of the Lanificio Maurizio Sella.

Build your Fintech: the challenge for young talent at Bocconi University to design their own fintech start-up

Build your Fintech was the initiative organised by the Group at the Fintech District headquarters in Milan, which featured 16 Bocconi University students who, working in groups, completed a business case through which they conceived their own start-up in the fintech sector. This appointment was desired by the Group with the aim of allowing some students a first contact with the fintech world, a sector on the rise and increasingly in search of bright young minds. The presentation of the final works and the award ceremony of the contest took place in Biella, at the Lanificio Maurizio Sella.

Sellalab's training events

During 2022, Sellalab organised over 120 free events that took place in presence and online involving over 3,000 people and, through the Academy, delivered 7 editions of its courses for over 200 hours of paid training, involving over 90 trainees; entrepreneurs from 70 different companies. 

At the School of Artificial Intelligence

The Group sponsored the second edition (the first in-person edition) of the Mediterranean Machine Learning Summer School: a week dedicated to artificial intelligence and machine learning, held in September 2022 at the Bicocca University in Milan. A school of excellence, innovative and itinerant in the Mediterranean area in which some colleagues participated.

Financial education and sustainability in meetings with students organised with FEduF

In the context of #OttobreEdufin and the Festival of Sustainable Development, Banca Sella in collaboration with FEduF, the Foundation for Financial and Savings Education set up by the Italian Banking Association, involved 2,100 secondary school students in three different educational events on topics concerning economic and civic citizenship, the circular economy and new electronic payment systems. The aim of these meetings was to make the young participants aware of these fundamental issues and to approach financial education from different perspectives.  

Student Athlete Award: 54 young people awarded by the Sella Group

Also in 2022, the Group organised the Student Athlete Award, an initiative aimed at pupils from 1st and 2nd grade secondary schools in the province of Biella, now in its 18th edition. 54 students were honoured - in addition to achieving excellent scholastic results, they developed the ability to experience sport and competition in a correct manner, establishing good relations with their peers both in the classroom and in sporting activities. Pointing out the schools' most outstanding students were the school managers themselves from the schools involved.

In support of the environment

Amplify Green Factor

Amplify Green Factor was the first sustainability-related challenge included in Amplify, the Group's internal innovation community created to gather ideas, proposals, and insights from colleagues and harness the strength of the Sella ecosystem to transform them into concrete realities. This special internal challenge was created with the aim of engaging colleagues on an issue that is strategic for the Group and fundamental for the future of the planet, stimulating them to get involved directly and collaborate within project groups. 

10 energy-saving behaviours in the office: a handbook for a better world

Within the Group, a handbook was created which included 10 behaviours to help save energy in the office, to further reduce the environmental impact and improve workplace sustainability. Each of these behaviours was the subject of a weekly newsletter circulated to all colleagues to generate awareness and positive changes in the way they act on a daily basis.

CSR Day - Let's Clean Up The World

CSR Day 2022 was launched in cooperation with Legambiente as part of the Let's Clean Up The World project, the world's largest environmental volunteering campaign designed to make cities cleaner, more beautiful and more liveable. This event saw the participation of over 400 colleagues from the Sella Group who set out to clean urban areas and parks in seven cities: Milan, Torino, Biella, Rome, Napoli, Lecce, Palermo. Together about 800 kg of waste were collected: 15 kg of cigarette butts, over half a tonne of unsorted waste and about 200 kg of other waste including plastic, glass and paper. The result of the work was measured and recorded in the "corporate volunteering identity card", an award for companies involved in land regeneration activities. 

The new environmentally-friendly Sella pen

In line with the Group's focus on sustainability in the purchase of office materials, pens made of PLA (polylactic acid), a plastic obtained from renewable raw materials such as cassava, corn starch, sugar cane or beet, were made available to all colleagues in the in-house and branch offices. This material, which is biodegradable and compostable, allows the pen to be almost entirely disposed of in the organic collection, with the exception of the refill and the spring, which go in the general waste bin. With the first delivery ordered by the Group of 60,000 units, 1.95 tonnes of CO2 emissions were avoided.

The prepaid card for young people made of recycled plastic from the oceans 

Banca Sella has launched a new Sella Junior prepaid card, among the first of its kind in Italy, made exclusively with recycled plastic from the oceans. The card is made from Parley Ocean Plastic, a material obtained from objects collected from the seabed and beaches around the world thanks to the help of governments and local authorities in the countries participating in the initiative launched by Parley, the environmental organisation set up in 2012 to raise awareness of the beauty and fragility of the oceans.
The card is aimed at 12 to 17-year-olds and works in conjunction with an app to teach young people how to manage their first savings, dinners with friends and online and in-store purchases via smartphone. The card is also linked to an app on their parents' smartphones.

A mural dedicated to environmental and social sustainability

Sella SGR, in collaboration with NABA, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, promoted the realisation of a 55-square-metre mural in Milan with the aim of redeveloping an urban space in the Ghisolfa area and raising awareness of ESG issues. The mural, located in Via della Pecetta, translates into an immediate and concrete visual language the five investment themes that characterise TFS iCARE, the Sella SGR fund created to support scientific research through socially responsible investments dedicated to the theme of health from all points of view, from prevention to treatment and correct lifestyles. The five themes represented by the winning students were: innovation for care, environment, research and ethics. The mural was created using natural and environmentally-friendly paints in order to achieve low environmental impact.

In support of the territory

Call4Ideas Emerging from Xylella

The Group, in collaboration with the University of Salento and with the patronage of the Apulia Region, organised the Call4Ideas Emerging from Xylella with the aim of identifying and developing innovative ideas to relaunch the Apulian economy and territory affected by the Xylella bacterium. The initiative, aimed at researchers, university students, start-ups and SMEs already active in the field of sustainable agriculture, included a scouting phase throughout Italy and internationally, a careful selection of the best ideas/start-ups/SMEs by a technical-scientific committee, and an accompanying sprint managed by dpixel, the Group's certified incubator. 40 projects applied for the call4ideas, 36 from Italy (29 from Apulia) and 4 from abroad (Spain, Portugal, Egypt and South Africa). Nine projects were admitted at the final, held at the Rector's Office of the University of Salento, and three winning projects were selected. They won a cash prize offered by Banca Sella, the opportunity to access dpixel's Startup Incubation System, annual access to Sellalabs throughout Italy, the opportunity to use the laboratories and equipment of the University of Salento, and the opportunity to integrate their solution into the offerings of local companies and partners who participated in the call.  

Voice Donors: our Group's Christmas story

At Christmas, around 300 employees joined the voluntary initiative Voice Donors, organised by the Group in collaboration with the Centro Nazionale del Libro Parlato (National Centre for Spoken Books), which, since 1957, has been offering blind and visually impaired people and all those people who, due to pathology or advanced age, have serious sight problems, a rich catalogue of audio books, enabling them to access culture freely and free of charge. Colleagues were in fact involved in the recording of 16 audio books for children and young people: stories about Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece were read, stories about ghosts and Christmas characters, stories about historical events and illustrating the lives of famous people and scientists who changed the world. The option to participate remotely in this initiative encouraged a large participation from all over Italy, and the individual contributions, put together, represented a collective gesture of solidarity that united colleagues from all the companies of our Group. The paper books used for the recording were then donated to the paediatrics department of Biella Hospital.

Corporate volunteering at the Special Olympics

The Group continued its long-standing cooperation with Special Olympics by involving colleagues and their families, as volunteers, during the 37th National Summer Games held in Turin from 4 to 9 June.

Special Olympics is an international non-profit organisation that programs athletic training and competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games are structured for each skill level and provide an extraordinary opportunity for inclusion and growth. More than 3,000 children took part in these nationally organised Games, competing in 20 different disciplines. 

Supporting the swimming team of the Italian Deaf Sport Federation

Sella Personal Credit has joined the crowdfunding campaign of the Italian Deaf Sport Federation's swimming team to take the team to the Summer Deaflympics, the games set up for deaf athletes and recognised by the IOC. This campaign allowed the athletes of the Italian national team to participate in the sports event held in Caxias do Sul, Brazil.

Contributions to scientific research from the iCARE TFS Fund

TFS iCARE - the Sella SGR investment fund set up in 2020 with the aim of combining finance and scientific research - has supported the Umberto Veronesi Foundation again in 2022, with two new research projects developed at the European Institute of Oncology (IEO) in Milan. The first project concerned the development of new therapies to improve the prognosis of patients with metastatic breast cancer, while the second analysed the genomic alterations characterising prostate cancer stem cells to identify groups of patients with different prognoses. These two new projects have been added to the study that Sella SGR is already funding from 2021 dedicated to gender immunotherapy for specific neoplasms such as melanoma, and which has already achieved important results recently published in the scientific journal Nature. The TFS iCARE portfolio consists of thematic funds carefully selected by the Sella Sgr management team, which promote solutions for Innovation in Care, Environment, Research and Ethics (iCARE). Through the collection of the fund, an annual contribution of 0.3% of the total assets is made to the Umberto Veronesi Foundation.

Enhancement of artistic and cultural heritage

The Artistic Direction of Banca Patrimoni Sella & C., with headquarters in the historic Palazzo Bricherasio in Turin, continued its path of protecting and enhancing the public cultural heritage in 2022.

Numerous initiatives were organised to support the social role of art, contributing to the development and growth of ethically correct principles and values, including the Glances exhibition and the display of the 16th century painting The Stoning of Saint Stephen, a fascinating piece of a page still full of mysteries in the history of Piedmontese Renaissance art. In addition, Palazzo Bricherasio opened its doors for the ABI-promoted initiative Invitation to the Palace, now in its 21st edition, which aims to enhance the historical and artistic heritage of banks and foundations of banking origin through the opening of their historical premises.  

International Women's Rights Day

In March, on the occasion of Women's Day, and in November, on the occasion of the International Day Against Violence Against Women, the Group participated by supporting the Autonomy Fund of the D.i.Re Association, Women in Networks Against Violence, a network of organisations that provide support to women victims of violence. In addition, in November, the group supported the Biella municipality's Red Benches: Stop the Violence project by financing the restoration of two benches and paying for the totems, which will be installed next to each one and which will give information and contact details of the associations involved. Support for this project will continue in 2023 with further initiatives. 

In Support of humanitarian emergency in Ukraine

Of particular importance were the initiatives within the Sella Group for the humanitarian emergency caused by the war in Ukraine.

Right from the start, the Sella Group decided to express its closeness to the peoples most affected by the humanitarian emergency by undertaking a number of concrete support actions. First, it deliberated two direct donations of euro 50,000 each to the Italian Red Cross and UNICEF, and secondly it promoted a fundraiser among its employees and partners, pledging to double the amounts collected, and, in parallel, among customers, which generated donations totalling euro 328,000.
The Group also chose to support the Rosa Pristina Foundation, a philanthropic organisation that pursues social, humanitarian and research goals, operating in the areas of assistance, health and education, with a donation of euro 125,000, currently working in the war-affected territories. Thanks to the donation, the Foundation purchased and delivered five ambulances, medicines and basic necessities to Ukraine, and helped finance the Soleterre House project in Novoyarychiv, on the outskirts of Lviv, to provide initial shelter for Ukrainian refugees. 

Some Group companies also undertook further initiatives to support the Ukrainian population. These include: Fabrick provided its Fabrick Pass platform and set up a portal where donations can be made to the Italian Red Cross, UNICEF, Rotaract Europe and the AVSI Foundation. Smartika donated 10% of loan application fees to humanitarian associations working in the field.
At the same time, concrete support initiatives have sprung up spontaneously among Group colleagues. In particular, as part of Sella Cuore, the internal community set up to give space and a voice to employees involved in volunteering, the desire arose to create an initiative that would allow the direct involvement of people in the Group. As a result, a food and medicine collection was held at some of the Group's locations, in which many colleagues from all parts of Italy participated. The various aid items collected were then transported in two vans driven by colleagues, one from Naples and the other from Biella, to Sighet, in northern Romania, not far from the Ukrainian border where the Quadrifoglio Association operates, as part of the Arca project for war refugees.