Energy Efficiency & ESG factors of SMEs: TranspArEEnS project starts data collection with CRIF

  • The EU-funded TranspArEEnS project, established to deliver a standardised approach to the transparent and rigorous assessment of small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) energy efficiency (EE) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance, has started its exclusive data collection with CRIF
  • The first and second phases of the Project have already attracted interest from SMEs, which account for approximately 99% of all European companies, as well as from banking and insurance institutions and trade associations
  • The development of the standardised qualitative-quantitative questionnaire on EE and ESG, specifically for SMEs, also includes additions targeted at recent energy and geopolitical emergencies

   The European TranspArEEnS project enters phase 3.

TranspArEEns is a 30-month EU-funded project that aims to develop a qualitative-quantitative framework for the standardised collection and analysis of EE (energy efficiency) and ESG (Environmental Social Governance) information of small and medium-sized enterprises and deliver a standardised EE-ESG rating in accordance with the recommendations and benchmarks provided at European level by the EU Technical Expert   Group on Sustainable Finance (TEG).

The project has strategic relevance considering that 99% of all European companies are SMEs. The question of ESG is of great interest to all with small and medium-sized enterprises to be helped to understand and exploit their sustainability potential, especially in the field of energy efficiency.

"In the last 12 months, we have initiated a targeted and extremely careful process for the analysis of ESG factors starting from the data of listed companies. We have extensive knowledge of these companies as a result of their long-term involvement with Ca' Foscari and also the first master's degree course dedicated to sustainable finance, reflecting the growing need to provide the market with professionals and expertise on ESG issues. The Project dissemination activities have attracted a lot of interest and the great work done by the team of the Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE, coordinated by Prof. Loriana Pelizzon, has allowed us to prepare, alongside CRIF, an advanced reference module with significant added value  for participants, which is now making its debut", says TranspArEEnS coordinator Prof. Monica  Billio of Ca' Foscari University.

The highly innovative approach of the Project, linked to a vision that encompasses both the major changes taking place currently and the tangible and potential risks visible on the horizon, has enabled the development and definition of a questionnaire that makes the standardised collection of indicators relevant to ESG criteria possible. 

"Having already collaborated in 2017 on the Energy Efficient Mortages Initiative project funded by the European Commission and coordinated by the European Mortgage Federation-European Covered Bond Council to define the first European Energy Efficient Mortgage, we are pleased to be able to contribute to the TranspArEEnS project  by making our assets and decades of ESG expertise available to the economic system. We are promoters of this issue and aware of the importance of equipping the various market players - companies, financial actors and institutions - with a standard assessment model at European level that facilitates the sharing and dissemination of information on energy efficiency and ESG criteria, and that includes not only listed companies but also small and medium-sized enterprises," comments Marco Colombo, Managing Director Finance Italy of CRIF. In the SME sector in particular, awareness of Environmental, Social and Governance issues is still being consolidated, so it is essential to be able to acquire and have access to qualified information in order to build a complete qualitative and quantitative  picture. In this respect, CRIF provides the global SynESGy platform which, with transparency and collaboration at its core, on the one hand encourages and stimulates companies to move towards corporate management inspired by ethical criteria and to initiate paths of transformation towards sustainability, and on the other hand provides financial players and companies with a fundamental tool to understand their level of energy efficiency  and, more generally, of sustainability'.

The SynESGy platform is based on international sustainability standards, including the Global Reporting Initiative, the UN Global Compact, the Carbon Disclosure Project and Taxonomy guidelines, and was developed according to the latest security technology.