The Main Challenge
Lack of affordable financing and technical support in building renovation
The third sector or non-profit sector includes a range of non-profit organisations, associations, foundations, cooperatives, mutual associations, and social enterprises providing a broad range of services responsible for driving the social economy. This sector is composed of 28.3 million workers, representing 13% of the European workforce, and generates significant social impact.
Yet, it remains underserved by the financial industry making it challenging for non-profits to obtain the financing necessary to sustainably renovate their buildings. The lack of financing has played a large part in the absence of third sector building renovations, as non-profit organisations typically do not have the means to fund renovations with their own resources or obtain cheap funding.
Our Integrated Solution
SER tackles current barriers to renovation for the third sector by offering an integrated renovation solution that combines affordable financing and technical assistance, thus enabling easy and accessible sustainable building renovations for non-profits.
This solution involves people-centric stakeholder engagement, standardised technical project design, impact monitoring, and up-front financing. The project aims to simplify renovation by digitising the renovation process and providing support through a streamlined ESCO service.
Finally, SER enables a flow of private capital into the non-profit sector, thus maximising social and environmental impacts.
of CO2 emissions saved within the project duration
of renewable energy generated within the project duration
reduction in energy consumption within the project duration
jobs will be created by 2029
generated in clean energy
investments by 2029
News & Events
Past and future SER-related news and events
EUSEW Sustainable Energy Days: Fostering Sustainable Renovations in the Third sector
October 28, 2021
In light of the ambitious target set by the European Commission to make the EU the first carbon neutral continent by 2050, this event served as a platform to exchange lessons learnt and best practices supporting the uptake of sustainable and energy efficient measures in Europe’s social and non-profit sectors. Read more here.
ENEA Official Press Release (Italian)
June 10, 2021
SER enables sustainable building renovations in Italy's non-profit sector, but its benefits go beyond energy savings. In the next 5 years €200M will be invested in clean energy, 3000 jobs will be made & 900 tons of carbon dioxide will be mitigated. Read ENEA's full press release here.
SER Kick-off Meeting
May 25 & 26, 2021
The SER Project offically kicked-off in a hybrid setting, with several partners having participated digitally in the project's first Consortium Meeting hosted in Milan, Italy. Partners engaged in productive discussions about how to foster sustainable renovations in Italy's non-profit sector via the removal of their financial and technical barriers, and explored SER's replication in other EU countries.
SER brings together 7 organisations from 4 EU countries
“Generating social, environmental and economic impact at community, country and the European Union levels”
generated in clear energy investments over the course of 5 years after the project
jobs will be created within the 5 years following the project
of annual energy savings per building on average
of renewable energy generated within the project duration
of CO2 emissions saved within project duration
SER brings together an integrated solution by combining affordable financing and technical assistance to enable sustainable building renovations in the non-profit sector. This involves people-centric stakeholder engagement, standardised technical project design, impact monitoring, and up-front financing. The project aims to simplify renovation by digitising the renovation process and providing support through a streamlined ESCO service. Finally, SER enables private capital flow to the non-profit sector, thus maximising social and environmental impacts.
How is the project funded?
The SER project received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, under grant agreement No 101024254. In the long term, the project is poised to galvanize commercial activities that would be economically self-sustaining via funding provided by private capital, impact investors and other investors to boost clean energy investments in the sector.
Who can benefit from SER?
Non-profit organisations aquire comfortable and sustainable energy-efficient buildings to continue supporting their local communities, while financial institutions and private investors gain access to secure, high impact investments aligned with the ESG criteria.
What is the third sector or the non-profit sector?
The third sector is an umbrella term that covers a range of different organisations with different structures and purposes, belonging neither to the public sector nor to the private sector. It includes a range of non-profit organisations (NPOs), associations, foundations, cooperatives, mutual associations, and social enterprises providing a broad range of services such as education, research, housing, counselling, workforce training and more.
Third sector organisations operate at all levels of society, from the very local to the national and the international, and make a significant contribution to the health and well-being of society.
Why is SER focused on the third sector?
SER intends to kick-start the Renovation Wave for European non-profits (NPOs) by tackling current barriers to renovation. Through SER, the connection between the financial sector and the third sector will enable much-needed building renovations among these buildings and boosts economic, environmental, and most notably social impacts in the area, especially for the most vulnerable groups in society.
It is imperative that the non-profit sector, with its extensive and heterogeneous buildings, is supported in the clean energy transition, as their adoption of sustainable buildings will create a substantial positive effect on the environment as well as on the society as a whole, due to an improvement of comfort, health, well-being, and productivity of third sector workers.
How can ESCOs work together with SER?
SER designs and deploys a de-risking financing mechanism that allows private Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) to offer affordable sustainable building renovation to non-profit organisations. Each investment is repaid via long-term service contracts signed between an energy service company and a building owner. ESCOs are encouraged to contact us for more information.
Which countries is SER going to focus on?
The focus of SER is on Italy. The project’s replication will be tested in Bulgaria and France during the project, while exploratory roundtables will be held in Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic, and Germany.
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