On Saturday 19 March between 8:30 and 9:30 pm, BBVA plunged its headquarters and branch offices into darkness to mark "Earth Hour", as a testament to its commitment to the fight against climate change, the most serious environmental threat facing the Earth today. In total, it turned off the lights in 123 buildings and 342 branches in 154 cities in Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, the USA and Turkey.
BBVA's commitment to the fight against climate change is unflagging. In fact, 2015 saw the completion of the second Global Eco-efficiency Plan, far exceeding the goals set:
→ BBVA reduced its energy consumption by 14%
→ BBVA's water consumption fell by 23%
→ BBVA cut back on its use of paper by 43%
→ BBVA cut its CO2 emissions by 16% compared to data for 2012
→ BBVA achieved its goal of ensuring that 33% of its employees work in buildings which have an environmental certification
With regard to this certification, BBVA is contributing to environmental sustainability by fostering excellence in its building management. Sixteen of the Group's buildings in Spain, the USA and Latin America have been built to the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED certification standards. These include the new BBVA City head offices in Madrid, which makes maximum use of renewable energies and has reduced consumption by 8.3%.
But BBVA's commitment to the environment goes further than that. In 2015, the bank continued supporting various international sustainability initiatives such as the United Nations Environmental Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), the Equator Principles, the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the United Nations Global Compact, the Green Bond Principles and the Carbon Disclosure Project.
In 2015, BBVA also joined the Spanish Group for Green Growth and signed up to a number of sector initiatives that underline its commitment to financing projects that help offset global warming, in the context of the COP21 climate summit held in Paris.