Again in 2021, the Cassa Centrale Group reaffirmed its focus on people and its reference Communities, consistent with the Mission and the social function of mutual credit cooperation.
In drafting the Consolidated Non-Financial Statement, we unfortunately once again had to take into consideration a difficult reference context: from the pandemic emergency that broke out in 2020 and continued, with highs and lows, in 2021, we suddenly transitioned to a tragic war triggered by the invasion of Ukraine.
Just when the recovery was gaining steam, our confidence was called into question and outlooks have become increasingly uncertain and volatile. The economy and finance have not escaped unscathed from this continuously changing context and outlook.
Our Statement bears witness to the commitment of the entire Cassa Centrale Group to sustainability matters, with positive performance enhanced by the attention demonstrated to a path of growth that considers not only the financial and economic results achieved, but also the value recognised to people and local Communities.
In asset management, the proposals oriented towards sustainability met with increasing investor approval, driving the overall trend: the Group is highly committed to these topics, combining respect for regulatory provisions with a specific focus on interpreting Customer requirements.
A total of 86% of the electricity purchased by the Group Companies came from renewable sources, up by more than 10 percentage points.
In continuity with 2020, the Group donated one million euros to Caritas Italiana to finance initiatives in favour of people without a permanent home, households and small businesses. The collaboration will continue by devoting particular attention to the local areas in which the Group operates, placing priority on those characterised by the most critical social aspects, and intervening in situations of hardship and vulnerability of adolescents and young people, which have been accentuated by the continuation of the pandemic situation.
Furthermore, the initiatives developed in 2020 to provide concrete support to households and businesses in relation to the credit moratoria granted and financing backed by public guarantees continued. A specific focus was dedicated to young people, with the launch of the “Progetto Giovani" (“Youth Project”), aimed at defining a set of banking products designed specifically for them.
The Group has also demonstrated its attention to its Employees, whose energy and motivation represent a fundamental value that contributes towards ensuring the effective functioning of the Group.
In particular, in the course of 2021 the initiatives taken in previous years were confirmed and expanded, through the activation of additional useful actions to handle this unique moment linked to the pandemic.
With reference to Governance, the process of reinforcing and consolidating the various actions already characterising the Group continued. In its first year of activity, the Sustainability and Identity Steering Committee worked intensely, in collaboration with the Board of Directors, the other Committees, the Management and the Parent Company structures.
The establishment of a dedicated Committee confirms the focus given by the Group to the values characterising its nature ever since its founding: proximity to local areas and the needs of local Communities, environmental protec- tion, active stakeholder listening and value creation in the medium-long term.
In defining its approach to sustainability, the Group intends to embark upon a journey respectful of its specific characteristics (including the founding prin- ciples of mutual credit cooperation), its way of interpreting the concept of “bank” and the sustainable development goals identified by the Agenda 2030.
For the Cassa Centrale Group, sustainability therefore means:
- maintaining balanced management in order to be able to play a full role in serving the Communities;
- enhancing knowledge of proximity and the privileged relationship with cooperative Partners, which derive from the regional roots that have always characterised Cooperative Credit Banks, Rural Banks and Raiffeisenkassen;
- combining the autonomy of the Affiliated Banks with the economies of scale and synergies of being a Group.
In the course of the year, the Board of Directors of Cassa Centrale Banca fully acknowledged ESG (environmental, social and governance) aspects as factors enabling the 2021-2024 Three-Year Strategic Plan and, in December 2021, approved the first Sustainability Plan, which summarises the Group’s approach to sustainability in detailed objectives, concretely outlining our values already established in the Articles of Association of Cassa Centrale Banca and the Affiliated Banks as well as in the Code of Ethics. In 2021, the latter was revised, and was then adopted by the Group Companies.
In keeping with this overall direction, in January 2022 the establishment of the ESG Steering Committee was approved. This technical unit has the role of coordinating and systematising within the Group the many adaptations re- quired by both legislation and regulations that assign Banks a decisive role in accelerating the ecological transition process. On this last point, the National Recovery and Resilience Plan is a unique opportunity, which must absolutely be seized. The Cassa Centrale Group is ready to do its part.
Aware of the significant progress made in this first three-year period, and the responsibility assigned to us as a Group of Banks characterised by cooperation, mutualism and local presence, we strive to pursue our virtuous process of sustainable growth in the belief, more current than ever, that Cooperative Credit, which is sustainable by its very nature, can adequately respond to future challenges.
"Again in 2021, the Cassa Centrale Group reaffirmed its focus on people and its reference Communities, consistent with the Mission and the social function of mutual credit cooperation. In drafting the Consolidated Non-Financial Statement, we unfortunately once again had to take into consideration a difficult reference context: from the pandemic emergency that broke out in 2020 and continued, with highs and lows, in 2021, we suddenly transitioned to a tragic war triggered by the invasion of Ukraine.”
Giorgio Fracalossi, Chairman of Cassa Centrale Banca
Through the solutions our people provide for the needs of the community and their commitment, we build relationships of trust with members and customers, confirming our way of banking day after day.
We offer our Collaborators a wide range of benefits, including:
- supplementary pension plans and health insurance;
- additional insurance coverage regarding specific Covid-19 obligations and risks;
- personal loans and mortgages;
- principles and tools for flexible working and elasticity;
- new forms and measures of sustainable mobility for business trips.
We believe that safeguarding the health and safety of workers is fundamental to ensure that the company continues to grow.
In 2021, careful workplace management and continuous communication and prevention activities have contributed to limiting the number of work-related injuries.
Concrete answers to real needs. This is what we offer over 2.4 million customers through products and services with clear and transparent conditions. At the heart of our work is a true commitment to the development of the territories in which we are present.
NEW DISBURSEMENTS IN 2021
Cassa Centrale Group loans granted to households, businesses, the third sector and the Public Administration concerned almost 500,000 beneficiaries.
for 338 Euro million
for 17,425 Euro million
for 17,374 Euro million
for 11,265 Euro million
The Group aims to provide support to Cooperative Shareholders of affiliated Banks and the members of local communities in banking transactions and services, pursuing the improvement of their moral, cultural and economic conditions and promoting the development of cooperation, education to savings and welfare, as well as social cohesion and the responsible, sustainable growth of the territories in which the Group operates.
UNITED BY PRINCIPLES, INSPIRED BY VALUES
The Cooperative Credit Partners undertake on their honour to contribute to the bank’s development by working intensely with it, promoting its spirit and buy-in within the local Community and providing a clear example of democratic control, equal rights, equity and solidarity amongst the members of the social base. Faithful to the spirit of the founders, the Partners believe in and adhere to a code of ethics based upon honesty, transparency, social responsibility and altruism.
[Art. 9 Charter of Values of Cooperative Credit - Partners]
Looking after the future also means protecting environmental resources.
Every day we are committed to accompanying territories during sustainability transition.
Customer appreciation for socially responsible investments is growing: the volumes of the 4 NEF Ethical segments, reclassified as “light green” and “dark green” pursuant to the EU Regulation on sustainable investments, exceeded Euro 1.6 billion, with an equivalent value of 30% of managed assets.
Over 1.6 million Customers use our virtual banking platform Inbank, and 90% of these customers receive bank documentation in electronic format only. In 2021, their choice has made it possible to save over 80 million sheets of paper (or 11,600 trees), 3,946 tons of CO2 emissions (equivalent to the emissions produced by 790 cars in a year), over 39 thousand cubic metres of water consumed and avoided 259 tonnes of sludge and production waste.
The Group’s ties to the communities in which it works are total and permanent. The mutuality and local approach, which are the very characteristics of cooperative credit, assure integration with the reference communities in ownership and operations, which make for a concrete interpretation of the social function.
Affiliated banks reinvest at least 70% of profits in an indivisible reserve, which benefits assets that in turn allow for the financing of development and the real economy. They pay 3% of profits into mutual funds for the promotion and development of the Cooperation.
PROMOTION OF THE TERRITORY
AND ECONOMIC ENTITIES