The 2020 BBVA Classic, the annual charity game set to take place on March 27 between the Houston Dynamo and Cruz Azul, will benefit environmental advocacy group Citizens’ Environmental Coalition, the bank and the team announced today.
The Citizens’ Environmental Coalition (CEC) is an alliance of diverse nonprofit organizations that promote environmental advocacy and sustainability. Partial proceeds from the BBVA Classic will go to the CEC and its efforts to build a more sustainable future for the Houston area.
“Building and ensuring an environmentally sustainable future for our communities is a priority for BBVA USA and BBVA across the globe,” said BBVA USA Director of Communications and Responsible Business Reymundo Ocañas. “As a financial institution, BBVA believes that the future of finance is financing the future, and we’re prepared to play a key role in that mission. The Citizens’ Environmental Coalition has been a vital advocate for sustainability for multiple decades, and we’re excited to name them this year’s BBVA Classic beneficiary. The game’s proceeds will help usher Houston into a future with a sustainable environment and ample opportunities.”
The CEC’s mission is “to foster dialogue, education, and collaboration on environmental issues in the Houston/Gulf Coast region.” The coalition has approximately 130 member organizations that include professional associations, conservation groups, and activists. Founded in 1971, the CEC hosts multiple programs throughout the year, including Earth Day Houston, to achieve its vision.
“The CEC is proud to host Earth Day Houston at Discovery Green this April 19 for the third straight year,” said Rachel Powers, CEC Executive Director. “And we are thrilled and deeply honored to be named beneficiary of the BBVA Classic.”
Among the CEC’s other initiatives are its Green Films Program, professional-development program for teachers, and weekly environmental newsletter. The Citizens’ Environmental Coalition mission aligns with the visions of both BBVA USA and the Houston Dynamo as they head into the new decade.
“Part of our mission as a Club is to create championship-level experiences and increase value for our stakeholders, and we consider our community and our neighbors to be hugely important stakeholders,” said Dynamo President John Walker. “Partnering with BBVA and the Citizens’ Environmental Coalition helps further sustainability efforts that will benefit Houston for generations to come, and we are incredibly proud to dedicate this year’s BBVA Classic to that goal.”
As outlined in its new strategic plan, BBVA is committed to helping clients prepare for an increased focus on sustainability from an economic and environmental standpoint. As an early expression of its focus on environmental sustainability, the bank in 2018 launched Pledge 2025, a plan to mobilize €100 billion in green finance, sustainable infrastructures, social entrepreneurship and financial inclusion through 2025. As of January 2020, the bank has already mobilized €30 billion.
In addition to naming the CEC as the beneficiary of the game, BBVA and the Dynamo will be participating in future volunteer events held by the organization. This includes an event the week of the BBVA Classic and another volunteer event with bank employees in mid-April leading up to Earth Day.
Presented in partnership with Sports Marketing Monterrey as part of the SocioMX Tour, the BBVA Classic is set to kick off at 8 p.m. CDT on March 27, and will be the second meeting between the Dynamo and Cruz Azul, as the two sides previously met in 2017 for a mid-year friendly. Like the last meeting, the match will be played at the environmentally-friendly, LEED® Silver certified BBVA Stadium, the first sports facility in Houston to earn such a rating.
In July 2016, the stadium earned an Environmental Innovator of the Year award from the Green Sports Alliance for being a “green-friendly” stadium. Specifically, the award is given to stadiums in each major sport in the United States for “accelerating environmental progress by integrating” environmentally friendly stadium operations.
The 2019 BBVA Classic, pitting the Houston Dynamo against Mexican powerhouse Club América, generated $20,000 from the more than 20,000 who attended the game and purchased tickets. The proceeds benefited the Tejano Center for Community Concerns.