Thursday, 15 December 2022

ESG Investing | The new competitive advantage for Greek companies


ESG Investing | The new competitive advantage for Greek companies

Eurobank and Enterprise Greece, organized on Wednesday, December 14th 2022, an event on ESG investing | A great opportunity for the expansion of Greek companies, in the context of the Memorandum of Understanding they have signed in 2020. This is the fifth (5th) of a set of events launched in December 2021, that aim to inform and prepare companies on adopting a more extrovert and sustainable growth model, compatible with the requirements of the green economy. The events followed the phygital model adopted by Eurobank that combines the physical and online presence of participants.

To date, numerous Greek entrepreneurs have been informed about the existing opportunities for attracting investors, expanding to international markets, and enhancing their competitiveness that arise from implementing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards. This initiative aims to strengthen the ESG culture in the Greek business community, with a special focus on SMEs, highlighting best practices while preparing companies for imminent regulatory changes.

Eurobank’s Deputy CEO, Mr. Konstantinos Vassiliou, and the CEO of Enterprise Greece, Mr. Marinos Giannopoulos, addressed the event and emphasized the importance of realizing sustainable growth in the Greek business community. Mr. Ricardo Boffo, Economic Analyst of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), was the keynote speaker at the event. More than 250 companies’ representatives attended and had the opportunity to listen to his analysis on the need to implement a sustainability philosophy that incorporates ESG criteria by both SMEs and other stakeholders and given the urgency of climate change, how imperative it is to have the information and tools to raise and allocate capital in order to transition to a low-carbon-sustainable economy.

Eurobank's Deputy CEO, Head of Corporate & Investment Banking, Mr. Konstantinos Vassiliou, stressed that: “Eurobank remains committed to providing 360﮿ support to Greek enterprises, by offering financial solutions, innovative services, and initiatives, that address modern challenges and aim at long-term development. Adopting ESG criteria in business strategies creates long-term value for all stakeholders, and we see ourselves as enablers of this transition. By enhancing the necessary knowledge and providing the right tools, we wish to assist all companies, irrespective of their current ESG footprint, in implementing their sustainability agenda.”.

Enterprise Greece's CEO, Mr. Marinos Giannopoulos, said: "We have completed a set of five events co-organized by Enterprise Greece and Eurobank, that focused on the increasing importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria in the Greek companies’ efforts to attract the necessary funds in order to internationalize. In the post-covid era, the situation, arising from climate change and the need to embrace sustainable and ethical business practices, have led to the transformation of companies and the Greek economy. Recognizing the significance of corporate governance principles and the benefits arising from their implementation, we call on Greek entrepreneurs to fully adopt these principles, ensuring their performance and securing investment capital that will allow them to expand abroad.".

A presentation on transparency issues and changes in the Regulatory Framework (such as the EU CSRD Directive) was delivered by the Director of the EPLO Institute for Sustainable Development, Mr. Spyros Kouvelis. The Director of ESG, Sustainable Development and Climate Change of Motor Oil Group, Ms. Elena Athousaki analyzed the principles of Corporate Governance in small and medium enterprises, while Mr Aristos Doxiadis, Partner at BigPi Venture Capital, referred to how venture capitalists’ approach ESG.

The event concluded with a thematic panel focused on Good Sustainability Practices, with the Group Director of Sustainability and CSR of Sani Resort /Ikos Resorts, Ms. Eleni Andreadis, discussing sustainable tourism, the Head Corporate Affairs & Communications of Kosmocar, Mr. Dimitris Agrafiotis, referring to electro - mobility and micro-mobility and the Managing Partner of Grivalia Management Company, Ms Despina Chamilaki, explaining how ESG criteria impact the real estate business.
Eurobank's Assistant General Manager & Head of Global Transaction Banking, Mr Eleftherios Vlachogiannis, referred to the expansion of the Bank’s Program Digital Academy for Business, as well as to the Sustainability Pillar, presenting the actions planned for 2023. Mr. Pakis Papademetriou, Head of Eurobank’s ESG Division, moderated the event.

Enterprise Greece and Eurobank in the context of the Exportgate portal, signed in September 2020 a Memorandum of Understanding to join forces in supporting the development of the Greek business community. The scope of the MOU is, among other things, to provide up-to-date and innovative support services to companies, as well as specialized information and guidance in order to enhance their extroversion and to support their efforts to attain investment funds.