Welcome to project TranspArEEnS: helping SMEs to access finance, within a ESG ecosystem

modefinance 1 July 2021

The European MortgageFederation-European Covered Bond Council (EMF-ECBC), as Coordinator of the Energy Efficient Mortgages Initiative (EEMI), is delighted toannounce the launch of the EU Horizon 2020 funded TranspArEEnS Project (Mainstreaming Transparent Assessment of Energy Efficiency in Environmental SocialGovernance Ratings).

Through its focus on the standardization of an ESG-related data collection process for SMEs, which represent 99% of all businesses and are adriving force of economic growth in the EU, TranspArEEnS builds on the efforts of the EEMI since 2016 to develop a new, integrated, multi-stakeholder energy efficient mortgages ecosystem, of which SMEs are a critical element.

Led by Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and bringing together CRIF S.p.A., the EMF-ECBC, the Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE and modefinance, the TranspArEEnS Consortium will establish a quali-quantitative framework, building on a large-base database model, to collect information about energy efficiency and the ESG performance of not only listed but importantly also non-listed firms, introducing a standardized EE-ESG rating model and thus meeting an important market need.

By enhancing standardized disclosure of EE investing, TranspArEEnS will decrease uncertainty in the EE and ESG market, thus promoting the scaling up of new EE financing and investment opportunities in the EU. Moreover, it will help to mitigate the risk of greenwashing thus improving financial stability.

Commenting on the launch, the Project Coordinator, Prof. Monica Billio, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice: “Ca’ Foscari has been part of the EEM Initiative from the beginning and we are particularly delighted to see now the possibility to help the different actors in the markets with this new project: SME in understanding and disclosing their ESG potential, especially in terms of EE, thus helping them in better performing in the market; Banks and financial institutions in having the possibility to preserve the value (also in terms of greenium) of their portfolios, both retail and corporate; policy makers and regulators in understanding the potential of a market initiative that can impact single household, company, financial institutions but primarily the economic system giving a concrete answer for a transition economy attentive to be inclusive.”

EMF-ECBC Secretary General & EEMI Coordinator, Luca Bertalot, said: “Improving access to long-term finance for energy efficiency projects is key to achieving the EU’s 2030 targets and aligning the COVID-19 recovery to the European Green Deal. By facilitating and promoting the standardised disclosure of information on EE-ESG risk at firm level, including SMEs, TranspArEEnS will further support banks in financing EE projects and contributing to the smooth development of an ESG ecosystem. In this way, TranspArEEnS brings a new and exciting perspective to the efforts of the Energy Efficient Mortgages Initiative, and we are very much looking forward to contributing to the Project.”

Launching TranspArEEnS, Marco Macellari - CRIF, explained: “Unlike Corporate and Large Corporate, segmentson which the sustainability assessment is more mature and based on morestratified and codified data, in the SME segment ESG awareness is in progress and direct acquisition of information through survey is crucial. The balance ofthe customer journey, content of questions and answers, sectoral anddimensional granularity is fundamental to understand Energy Efficiency and more generally sustainability level. We are therefore proud to participate in this initiative which has as its main objective of building a quali-quantitativeframework and, at the same time, enabling the dissemination of the ESGculture.”

Leibniz Institute for Financial Research researcher and professor Loriana Pelizzon, said: “SAFE is delighted to be joining the TranspArEEnS project as part of a key initiative to standardize EE-ESG reporting in Europe. The TranspArEEnS project builds on the necessity of creating a reliable, inclusive, and comprehensive EE-ESG data ecosystem by promoting a standardized framework for EE-ESG disclosure and facilitates ESG reporting for SMEs. This is crucial for achieving the EU’s 2030 green deal targets by enabling increased investment in energy efficient projects. This level of comprehensive ESG reporting could only be achieved with the collective effort of many market participants and we look forward to the collaborative process with the TranspArEEnS’ team.”

On behalf of modefinance, co-founder & CEO Valentino Pediroda stated: “Being part of the TranspArEEnS projectrepresents a fundamental step for us to further develop an already significant commitment to ESG Ratings, as a leading priority to better support the SMEsmarket in the next few years. Furthermore, this will lead us to bring a wider perspective to the table -being a Rating Agency and a FinTech firm- within a unique consortium, as the EEM Initiative aims at covering the entire ecosystem – SMEs, financial institutions and regulators – providing innovative and tangible solutions for an energy efficient finance ecosystem and ESG-risk-free assessments.”

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