Cooperation in national and international sustainable initiatives
The ESG principles on responsible investment govern ICO's external corporate social responsibility policy, through joint work with other institutions and initiatives, as well as its compliance with various national and international commitments of the financial industry and the public sector related to sustainability.
In relation to sustainability, ICO acts in a coordinated manner at the Community level with other National Promotional and Development Banks. In 2019 the ICO has committed to the following two initiatives:
- Joint Initiative on Circular Economy (JICE). Initiative from the five largest national promotional banks (KFW - Germany, CDP - Italy, CDC - French, BGK - Polish, ICO) along with the EIB to support the development and implementation of projects and programmes of the circular economy in the European Union of a value of 10,000 million euros until 2023.
- Clean Ocean Initiative. ICO's commitment to this initiative aims to effectively implement a sustainable model that helps mitigate the effects of climate change and fight against pollution in the oceans, through financing projects that contribute to the efficient management of production processes and the recycling of plastic waste in order to preserve our oceans, as well as sustainable fishing and shipping, of the amount of 2,000 million euros.
In addition, ICO has signed numerous collaboration agreements with national and international institutions in the field of sustainability:
- Spanish Network of the UN Global Compact. ICO has been a partner since 2005 and part of its Executive Committee since 2010.
- Collaboration with the High Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda. The #ICOpymeODS platform, developed by ICO, the Spanish Network of the UN Global Compact and the High Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda, must be mentioned. It aims to develop a sustainable business fabric through raising awareness of the opportunities offered by the achievement of the SDGs amongst SMES and the importance of aligning their strategies with these.
- Collective Commitment to Climate Action. This reflects the commitment of the Spanish banking sector to reduce its carbon footprint in the credit portfolios of the signatory entities.
- ICMA - Green Bond Principles. ICO is a partner of the International Capital Market Association (ICMA), one of the most active institutions internationally in the definition of certification for green bond issues. ICO participated in the Working Group that prepared the "Social Bond Principles" guide and has been a member of the Advisory Council of the Green Bond Principles and Social Bond Principles Executive Committee since 2019, being the only Spanish public entity and the only National European Promotional Bank that participates in this category of the Advisory Council.
- LMA - Green & Sustainable Green Loan Principles, established in 2018 by the Loan Market Association (LMA) to rate green loan operations based on four basic ideas: ensuring the use of funds; undergoing a rigorous project evaluation and selection process; controlling the management of funds; and monitoring until its completion and implementation. ICO uses this standard to rate their green loans.
- Equator Principles Association. ICO has been committed to the Equator Principles since 2016, having incorporated them into its internal processes to assess the impact of projects. This set of internationally recognised principles in the financial sector aims to define a risk management framework for identifying, assessing and managing social and environmental risks linked to projects.
- Forética. ICO has been a partner of Forética since 2005. In 2018, ICO, in collaboration with Forética, implemented a CSR Action Group in the Public Company to share knowledge and integrate the SDGs into public enterprises' strategies so that they could promote change and be a reference point for other economic and social actors. The Group currently has over 28 associated public entities and, in 2018, it published the "Practical guide to public companies' contribution to the 2030 Agenda". In terms of transparency and good governance, ICO is fourth in Transparency International Spain's ranking of 45 entities and public enterprises, only ranking underneath CDTI, Adif and Ingeniera y Economía de transporte.
- SPAINSIF: ICO is one of the 73 partners of this platform incorporated as a non-profit association whose mission is to promote the integration of ESG criteria in investment policies through dialogue between the investment community, public administrations and various social groups, contributing to sustainable development. It also aims to raise awareness and promote changes in companies' and citizens' investment processes.
- FINRESP (Spanish Centre for Responsible and Sustainable Finance). ICO maintains a close collaboration with this Centre, driven by various associations of the financial sector. It aims to address the difficulties and needs of the business fabric, particularly in relation to Spanish SMEs, to positively contribute to the commitments of the 2030 Agenda.
- Sustainable Bond Forum. organized annually by ICO, having celebrated its 5th edition in June 2019 in Madrid, coinciding with World Environment Day. In addition, ICO actively promotes and participates in numerous international forums related to sustainable finance and investments. During 2019, the ICO's role at COP25 as an organiser of a panel on sustainable finance and its participation in over 10 sessions and meetings within the framework of the summit should be highlighted. In addition, the organisation undertook ALIDE's Annual Assembly in Madrid, which includes national banks of promotion in Latin America, Europe and other relevant countries.
- Invest EU's Sustainability Proofing Expert Group. Participation in the expert working group at the European level for defining the methodology and criteria that will be used to ensure sustainability in projects financed through InvestEU linked to the 2021-2027 EU Multiannual Financial Framework.
- Working Group on the Strategic Plan for Internationalising the Spanish Economy. ICO participates in the development of the National Action Plan for Businesses and Human Rights, which aims to establish a guide for examining the consistency of policies that support the internationalisation of companies and their alignment with the UN's Guiding Principles on Human Rights.