Access to capital
(103-1, 103-2, 103-3)
Alpiq’s power plants, purchase contracts and trading activities are capital-intensive and long-term. The power plants are often part of the systemically important infrastructure of the Swiss and European economy. This makes access to capital to secure the company’s refinancing capability an important pillar of the company’s business model. The ability to ensure access to capital at all times is extremely important to Alpiq.
As a result of this capital dependence, Alpiq promptly defined a financial strategy that reduces the financing risk on the liabilities side. The associated methods include diversification of the financing sources, such as the markets, instruments, counterparties and maturities. The financial policy aims to keep Alpiq’s credit rating in the investment grade range. Further information on capital management is provided in Note 3.1 of the consolidated (annual) financial statements of Alpiq Holding Ltd.
In addition to traditional financial policy measures, ESG criteria (E stands for environment, S for social and G for governance) are becoming increasingly important in the financial markets. Alpiq recognises the importance of ESG ratings. They create opportunities and potential that Alpiq will look to exploit. In addition to conventional financing instruments, financing products based on sustainability criteria are to be examined as alternatives for future financing. Furthermore, Alpiq intends to make use of ESG criteria to expand the investor base and to reach favourable pricing arrangements. Financial counterparties and service providers will also be assessed from ESG perspectives in future.
In the reporting year, the topic of sustainability has gained further importance in the financial markets. Various financial counterparties regularly assess the company’s business activities in terms of sustainability. However, there are no generally accepted standards yet. These are also applied differently. This makes the targeted preparation of information for the attention of interested stakeholders considerably more difficult.
Alpiq strives to continuously review its management approach to ensure access to capital and transparently adapt it to the latest developments.
In the reporting year, Alpiq underwent a sustainability review by the independent rating agency Sustainalytics. In its report, the agency identified, among other things, potential for improvement in general behaviour and communication of activities.Alpiq will use these inputs to further develop the measures with regard to sustainability in the coming years and thus strengthen the external assessment as well as the reputation, and support access to the financial markets.
The rating agencies ISS ESG and Inrate assessed Alpiq for its sustainability performance.