BBVA signed the so-called New Deal for Europe based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - a letter CSR Europe presented today in Brussels. The letter aims to alert and involve companies, politicians and civil society about the need to join forces for a sustainable future. The heads of 100 large corporations subscribed to this declaration in the lead up to the European elections. BBVA is the only Spanish bank to join this initiative.
“Society is facing a multitude of challenges for a more sustainable future - challenges that are global in nature and which require everyone’s involvement. The good news is that for the first time in history, we have a common agenda that involves everyone: the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” said Carlos Torres Vila, BBVA Group executive chairman.
The goal of this letter is to propose collective action among corporate leaders in order to raise awareness about the need to work together on a responsible future, in line with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
On the eve of crucial European elections, this manifest expresses a commitment to the rule of law and cooperation as “our greatest assets to respond to the public concerns over the future of Europe.” A Europe that adheres to the SDGs in order to foster innovation and a sustainable transformation that creates value for society.
The letter also encourages the creation of "collaborative platforms and finance models that put into practice a digital, sustainable circular economy that fosters lifelong employability and social cohesion." The EU is currently taking steps to incentivize and regulate sustainable financing and support this transition.
The initiative was presented during the Sustainable Development summit, organized by the European Business Network for Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR Europe. Participating in the event were European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, and Solvey CEO Ilham Kadriti, in representation of all letter signatories.
Achieving the SDGs by transitioning to sustainable production and consumption models could also create opportunities totaling more than €10 trillion. This would add value to society and ensure a responsible development, CSR Europe maintains.
Titled “Lead and Engage”, this SDG summit in Brussels has become one of the biggest events in Europe, with companies and stakeholder groups annually coming together amid the common language of these UN goals.
According to a recent report by Edelman, society is demanding leaders that spearhead this change - from taking action against discrimination and prejudice, and training for the jobs of the future to fighting against sexual harassment, among other things.
In addition to BBVA, some of the other 100 international companies that have joined this initiative include BASF, Volkswagen, Generali, Danone, Iberdrola, Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, Samsung, IBM, Enel, Moody’s, Sodexo, Engie, ArcelorMittal, Orange, Total, Bridgestone EMEA, Rabobank, E.ON, BNP Paribas, Enagás, Hochtief, Janssen, Meliá Hotels International, Nordea Bank and Vodafone.
About CSR Europe
CSR Europe is the leading network for corporate responsibility and sustainability in Europe. It inspires more than 10,000 companies on a local and global level and supports businesses and industries in their transformation with practical solutions and sustainable growth. It supports systemic change by following the UN Sustainable Development Goals and aims to work hand in hand with European leaders and stakeholder groups on an overall strategy for a sustainable Europe in 2030.