WWF and UniCredit partnership leads to new company



Posted on 07 July 2011  | 
From coal to clean. Wind and solar power generation provides a clean alternative for future generations. Sydney, Australia.
© Adam Oswell / WWF-CanonEnlarge
WWF (through the WWF-Italy Foundation) and UniCredit have created Officinae Verdi, the first company in Europe to use a unique formula that combines finance, technology and environmental sustainability to reduce emissions and energy consumption among the public and businesses.

The company will invest in energy-saving schemes and renewable energy resources management, offering families, businesses and public administrations the opportunity to reduce energy bills and CO2 emissions.

This is the sustainable finance formula offered by WWF and UniCredit (WWF’s climate change and energy partner) with Officinae Verdi S.p.a., a new company  which will start operating in late September 2011.

The company will have its headquarters in Rome and includes Solon, European leader in photovoltaic technology, as the technology partner.

Partners and representatives

Each of the three groups owns one-third of the company’s shares. WWF-Italy’s Foundation will monitor the environmental impact of projects, UniCredit will provide financial consulting and products targeted to renewables and energy saving investments, and Solon will provide technology and logistics.

Gaetano Benedetto, Director of Environmental policies at WWF-Italy, is President of “Officinae Verdi”; Paolo Fiorentino, Vice Director General at UniCredit, is Vice President of the company and Giovanni Tordi, will serve as Managing Director.

Services

“Officinae Verdi” will have two business units: Family/Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), and Corporate/Public Administration.

The “Officinae Verdi” packages will combine photovoltaic technology with energy efficiency and will be supported by ad hoc financial services. They will offer families and SMEs an integrated all-inclusive service able to produce immediate savings in their energy bills.

An Energy Desk service will lead customers through all technical and administrative steps including planning, setting up, testing and energy certification of households and companies.

Officinae Verdi will assist corporates and public administration in the implementation of energy efficiency plans through the support of UniCredit Project Finance. In the “third party financing” formula, the cash flows originating from the projects energy savings will pay back the cost of investment and the provided services.

Customers who decide to invest in energy efficiency measures will keep part of the energy bill savings and the remainder will contribute to cover the company's investment.

Economic and environmental benefits

In both cases savings will be significant: families could save more than 50% on their bills, and companies and public administrations can reach 30% and 35% inenergy savings in a few years. During the first year, the company will concentrate its activity in specific pilot regions in Italy, and later will expand to the entire country.

Green economy opportunities

In 2010 the Italian national energy bill reached an estimated €52 billion (source: Oil Union). Many studies show that the potential energy savings through efficiency changes can reach beyond 50% in the residential sector and 16% in the industrial sector. With a potential of many billions of euros saved per year, this represents a great opportunity for the growth of the green economy.

Through a proper incentive policy for energy efficiency, Italy could reach an energy saving of over 86 Mtep between 2010 and 2020, with a subsequent emissions reduction of more than 207.6 million tons, and with an economic saving, deriving from CO2 reduction, around €5.2 billions, considering that in 2020 CO2 cost will be around €25 per ton (source: Task Force Efficienza Energetica Comitato Tecnico Energia e Mercato, Confindustria 2010).

“WWF’s choice represents a clear indication about the proper path to be followed for the future of the energy sector”, said Gaetano Benedetto, Director of Environmental Policies at WWF-Italy and Officinae Verdi’s President. “We have created an innovative model, capable of a concrete influence on the green economy’s development and on the climate change challenge, coherent with the European policy, better known as 20-20-20, and a true alternative to fossil energy dependence”.

“Officineae Verdi is the natural progression of our sound collaboration with WWF through our Environmental Sustainability Programme”, said Paolo Fiorentino, Unicredit COO and Vice General Director, and now Officinae Verdi Vice President. “It is a joint venture intended to be a new actor in the Italian context, that combines financial capacity and environmental competencies: we are very proud of this new collaboration with WWF and we are going to work hard for its success. Our commitment is proved by a credit portfolio of €6.11 billion within 2010."

"The only finance project in the same year that has seen an investment from our part of €1.85 billion is for eholic and photovoltaic (wind and solar). All these reasons bring us to announce today a new approach called 0 km Energy, that include energy efficiency and carbon management in Officinae Verdi. A model intended to be promoted in Italy and, in later, abroad.”

“Our long European experience as renewables providers with a focus on photovoltaic makes it very important for us to support the new company, contributing our technological know-how and our professional staff  to develop residential and corporate services based on renewability and efficiency," ” said Emiliano Pizzini, Executive CFO di Solon and Officinae Verdi Counselor. "Environmental sustainability is one of the founding values of our company, hence we gave our enthusiastic adhesion to the WWF and UniCredit project.”




From coal to clean. Wind and solar power generation provides a clean alternative for future generations. Sydney, Australia.
© Adam Oswell / WWF-Canon Enlarge

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