EIB Grants First Green Loan to Water Sector Globally, with €150 Million to Iren

EIB Grants First Green Loan to Water Sector Globally, with €150 Million to Iren

(IN BRIEF) The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted €150 million in sustainability-linked financing to Iren, a major water service provider and multi-utility company in north-western Italy. The funding will be used to improve water services for one million people in the provinces of Genoa and La Spezia by managing water resources and enhancing water distribution, wastewater collection, and wastewater treatment. The financing will also help improve the water service’s resilience to drought. This is one of the first green loans granted by the EU bank to the water sector globally, and it has an embedded margin adjustment tied to Iren’s achievement of specific key performance indicators related to reducing water losses. The EIB is the EU climate bank and has been one of the largest lenders to the water sector globally, having provided over €80 billion in funding for over 1,600 projects since 1958.

(PRESS RELEASE) LUXEMBOURG, 4-Apr-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — The European Investment Bank (EIB), the lending arm of the European Union, announces that Iren, north-western Italy’s leading multi-utility and one of the country’s largest water service operators, has received €150 million in sustainability-linked financing from the EIB. The financing aims to enhance integrated water services for one million people in the provinces of Genoa and La Spezia, helping to mitigate the ongoing water crisis through responsible management of water resources.

The proposed investment intends to reinforce the water distribution network, wastewater collection, and wastewater treatment plants in the provinces of Genoa and La Spezia, aiming to ensure compliance with the primary EU regulations. The plan also includes strategies to improve the resilience of the water service to drought through investments promoting network efficiency and water storage rehabilitation.

This innovative EIB financing includes an embedded margin adjustment dependent on Iren achieving specific key performance indicators related to the reduction of water losses. It is among the first green loans granted to the water sector globally by the EU bank.

The EIB, as the EU climate bank, is one of the largest lenders worldwide to the water sector, with over 1,600 projects and approximately €80 billion in funding approved since 1958. From 2016 to 2022, Italy was the leading recipient of EIB resources for the water sector, with the EIB financing 40 operations, providing a total of €2.9 billion and stimulating €8.9 billion in investment.

“This operation confirms the position of the EIB — the EU climate bank — as one of the biggest water sector financers in Italy,” said EIB Vice-President Gelsomina Vigliotti. “The sustainability-linked financing granted to Iren aims to foster water loss reduction and shows the innovative nature of EIB financial products helping to combat climate change.”

“The climate emergency and its effects on the water system highlight the need for urgent additional action for the water sector and this new financing from the EIB, with which we have been working closely for many years,” said Iren CEO Gianni Vittorio Armani. “It is a perfect fit as a source of financing to support the recently approved business plan, which includes careful use of water resources under the strategic pillar of the green transition. The group’s objective is to cut water losses from the current 31% to 20% by 2030 by increasing treatment capacity and water reuse, improving existing infrastructure and developing new facilities, delivering positive effects in our areas of operation not only for the environment and the quality of life of residents, but also for the economic and social development of the whole country.”

Background information

European Investment Bank (EIB)

The EIB finances projects in four priority areas: infrastructure, innovation, climate and environment, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Between 2019 and 2021, the EIB Group provided €45 billion in financing for projects in Italy.


Iren is north-western Italy’s leading multiutility in the electricity, gas, thermal energy for district heating, energy efficiency and management of integrated, environmental and technological water services sectors. The group works to put regions onto a path of sustainable growth by acting as a key partner for communities and the public sector in development and enhancement projects. With these goals in mind, it approved the most ambitious ten-year strategic plan in its history in 2021. Its March 2023 update includes €10.5 billion of investment by 2030, building on three key pillars: the green transition, local connections and service quality.

Media contact:

Lorenzo Squintani

+352 4379 – 21000

SOURCE: SOURCE: European Investment Bank


Follow EuropaWire on Google News

Comments are closed.