(Finance) – Generalfinancea supervised financial intermediary specializing in the factoring sector, has prepared and published the first sustainability report to give an account to stakeholders of company performance in environmental, social and governance matters, in line with the pursuit of company objectives of sustainable development in the long term .
The document presents the results achieved and the indicators relevant for the business in the three-year period 2020-2022, privileging the aspects with social impact linked to the financing and corporate governance activity in the specific context of the factoring industry. The Report was drawn up according to the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Reporting Standards (GRI), updated to 2023.
Divided into six chapters (Who we are, The approach to sustainability, Our people, Relationships with the community, Environmental impact and Appendix) the document presents information divided by qualitative nature, on the management methods adopted in reference to each of the sustainability themes analyzed , and selected quantities in the form of KPIs. The cornerstone of the company’s sustainable path is the Code of Ethics, introduced in 2010 and lastly updated in 2020, prepared with the aim of summarizing the principles that inspire company policy and activity and encouraging the creation of a transparent working environment focused on observance of virtuous ethical and behavioral standards.
On the subject of social impact a fact directly linked to the company’s business financing activity should be underlined. In fact, there were around 50,000 jobs (direct and temporary) in the companies of which Generalfinance is among the main financiers. The calculation includes people who worked within those financially non-autonomous organizations which, without the credit lines provided by Generalfinance, would probably not have been able to continue their operational activity.
Also, on the subject of environmental impact, Generalfinance actively supports the local communities in which it operates, in particular in the areas of Biella, Milan and Verona. Through charitable activities and sponsorships in 2022, the company provided 180 thousand euros to associations and local authorities with a value that was clearly increasing compared to both 2021 (+63.8%) and compared to 2020 (+124.4 %).
Fixed point in the identification strategy sustainability objectives it then concerns the qualification and valorisation of the human element. Over the last three years, the company workforce has gone from around 50 people in 2020 to 63 in 2022, with only one fixed-term contract.
Women make up 48% of the company population, with gender equality in the workforce. In 2022, the company also promoted the provision of over 20 training courses which covered both sector-specific topics such as factoring or the Business Crisis Code, and more generic topics such as worker protection, salary analysis and the place of execution of the work. 100% of employees receive a periodic performance evaluation. Furthermore, in 2022 the company made the evaluation sheet visible to the employee.
In terms of the direct environmental impact of company activities, during the year 2022, it is worth highlighting the 3.3% decrease in electricity consumption thanks to the introduction of the smart working tool (up to a maximum of 10 days per month for each employee), the energy redevelopment projects of the Milan and Biella offices and the introduction of two external data centers (Milan and Rome) powered 100% by renewable energy sources. Paper consumption fell from 523.6 kg (2020) to 333.2 kg (2022), a reduction of 36.4%.
Great effort has been made by the company to make management processes and operations increasingly digital on the basis of a planning started in 2019. The new digital platform has allowed the creation of a data driven architecture allowing the migration from file system to centralized management Integration Services of SQL Server Management Studio. In this way it was possible to reduce database maintenance costs, manage data more efficiently, enhance decision-making through the use of proprietary data and therefore increase the quality of services offered to customers.
Massimo Gianolli, CEO of Generalfinancecommented: “Over the past few years, we have increasingly focused our actions on adopting sustainable business practices. We recognize the importance of promoting a quality, inclusive and diverse workplace and we believe in enhancing human resources, investing in the training and professional development of all our employees; fundamental elements to continue our objective of remaining a point of reference in the financing of distressed SMEs, an activity which also has a very strong social value. We therefore decided to highlight the social, environmental and governance aspects of our business through the publication of the first Sustainability Report, which can contribute to making our dialogue with all stakeholders increasingly profitable and edifying, as well as verifying the ESG objectives which will allow our company to be increasingly efficient and close to the territory and the community”.