22 September 2022
BBVA and IREN sign the first water footprint loan in Italy
BBVA will support IREN to take another step forward in its commitment to sustainability. BBVA and IREN worked together to link the new financing to utility company’s water footprint. With this new loan, IREN becomes the first company to close a “water footprint” loan in Italy.
The new EUR 50Mn 5-year loan is linked to the delivery of sustainability goals that are integral to IREN’s 2030 Business Plan and that takes into account specific water indicators. In line with its commitment to promoting and protecting water resources, the group is particularly active on detecting and reducing water leaks from its network as well as on raising customers’ and citizens’ awareness to encourage water conservation. In this regard, under its 2030 Business Plan, IREN has planned significant investments to make the water distribution service increasingly efficient with the aim of reducing water withdrawals from the environment and significantly reducing network leaks.
The margin of the loan is tied to two key indicators: water withdrawal, defined as the total volume of water withdrawn from the environment for drinking purposes; and water leakage defined as the ratio of total real water leaks volume to total volume entering the aqueduct system in a said year. Achievement targets have been set for each indicator. Depending on whether or not they are met, the financial terms will vary.
The chosen indicators have an impact on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals number 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), number 13 (Climate Action) and number 14 (Life Below Water).
Alberto Maroni, Country Head for BBVA Italy, said: “This landmark transaction is a further example of BBVA's commitment towards helping its clients to fight climate change with innovative financing structures and tackle emerging priorities, such as water, relevant to everybody’s lives. We are very proud of supporting IREN in its sustainability strategy through this financing that represents a milestone in the ESG loan market and in the relationship between our groups.”
Anna Tanganelli, Chief Financial Officer of Iren, also commented: “The sound creditworthiness recognized by the market has enabled Iren to further diversify its financing sources by signing this new credit line with BBVA based on concrete sustainability objectives. Our financial structure, with 65% of Iren’s total debt composed by green and assimilated instruments, highlights the solid sustainability strategy underpinning our future growth.”
BBVA, a leader in sustainable finance
As a demonstration of its responsibility in the fight against climate change, BBVA approved in 2018 its 2025 Goal, whereby it committed to mobilize a total of 100 billion in green finance, sustainable infrastructure, social entrepreneurship, and financial inclusion. Three years later, and after having managed to reach the figure of 59 billion euros, the bank raised its target to 200 billion euros. At the end of June 2022, BBVA had already reached around 112 billion euros.
BBVA's strategic priorities are innovation and sustainability, and this new 'water footprint' loan is a good example of this.
IREN, leading Italian utility company
Iren ranks at the top of the national multiutilities, strong in its territorial roots, with a prominent position in the different business areas. A balanced mix of regulated and quasi-regulated activities, free activities, and strong integration between upstream and downstream activities particularly in the energy supply chain.
The Group operates in a multi-regional catchment area of more than 7 million inhabitants, with ca. 10,000 employees, nearly 5 billion Euro in revenues, a portfolio of more than 2 million customers in the energy sector, and a total of nearly 6 million inhabitants served in the water and environmental cycle.