Bilancio di Sostenibilità - Lettera del Presidente e dell'AD
Letter to stakeholders
Bilancio di sostenibilità 2021 - Lettera agli stakeholder
We are opening this Sustainability Report with the image of a sunrise to symbolise that although we are assessing the past, we want to look to the future challenges ahead.
2021 was a year of important growth and major changes for our Group: the inauguration of a new Board of Directors, the significant growth in size of the Parent Company through the acquisition of a business unit from the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, the internal and territorial network reorganisation, the new ESG governance, the conclusion of the 2019-2021 Business Plan and the start of work on the new one.
We were able to pursue all these objectives thanks to the important collaboration of our colleagues. We are convinced that we can only win together, hence we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have worked hard to close a 2021 that has seen us successfully achieve the many goals we set ourselves.
All this in a very complex and challenging context due to the continuing pandemic and the compulsory monitoring requirements, which has demanded that banks increasingly manage the financial risks arising from climate change, resource consumption, environmental degradation and social inequalities while at the same time improving transparency and encouraging sustainable investments.
The BPER Group was ready, thanks to its awareness of the importance of ESG issues and its innovative choices that have allowed us to define concrete, targeted objectives, as well as a constant increase in resources and skills put at the
service of customers.
In addition to the pursuit of the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, to which we have adhered since 2017, we have strengthened our commitment by also joining the UN Principles for Responsible Banking, a policy document for the sustainability of the banking sector developed in partnership with the UNEP Finance Initiative (the United Nations Environment Programme).
We want to continue to be a reliable and credible travelling companion for companies that want to change their business practices to become more efficient and make the global economy more sustainable. The need to achieve climate neutrality requires major efforts from all sides: the International Energy Agency predicts that investments in greener technologies should reach USD 4 trillion by 2030.
It is clear that this cannot be done without the involvement of the financial system and especially banks, which are the only players capable of creating a positive impact on SMEs, thereby extending the scope of the Sustainable Finance Plan and the Next Generation EU (NGRP).
Finance must therefore be the multiplying lever that will enable an increasingly large number of businesses to benefit from the flow of resources from sustainable investments. However, this is only possible with the definition of clear and certain European rules, the pillars on which to build a new, fairer, more inclusive and sustainable society.
We cannot conclude without referring to the current difficult situation, in which war has been brought to Europe's doorstep. The BPER Group, together with the Italian Red Cross, is working to support the populations affected, in line with the values it has always upheld, and is ready to manage the complex economic, social and environmental impacts that will ensue.