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Responsible banking 22 Mar 2018

Earth Hour: BBVA to switch off lights to support the fight against climate change

One more year, BBVA will join Earth Hour: A campaign promoted by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) that has blossomed into a worldwide movement in the fight against climate change.

On March 24, BBVA will reaffirm its commitment to sustainability and eco-efficiency by shutting the power off in 121 buildings and 330 offices in 179 cities, from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. As part of the Earth Hour initiative, the whole world is invited to switch the lights off to raise awareness about the need to change energy consumption habits and come together against climate change.  On March 24 and 25, as part of Earth Hour celebrations, fundraising races will be organized across world. All proceeds will go to WWF.

Join Earth Hour!

New commitments

Environmental considerations have become an increasingly relevant element of BBVA’s business practices. Indeed, the bank has been quick to embrace the Sustainable Development Goals promoted by the UN and the targets set by the Paris Agreement on Climate and recently announced its climate change and sustainable development strategy: “Commitment 2025“. This strategy will guide BBVA’s environmental efforts, helping ensure they contribute to deliver on the goal of keeping the global temperature increase below 2ºC and establishing a balance between sustainable power and fossil fuel investments, based on three lines of action: funding, managing and engaging.

It’s time to walk the talk. BBVA has taken a huge step to contribute to this objective and recently pledged to mobilize €100 billion to fund green projects and support sustainable infrastructures, social entrepreneurship and financial inclusion. BBVA is determined to encourage stakeholder involvement to boost the financial sector’s contribution to sustainable development.

In terms of resource management, BBVA has committed to source 70% its power needs from renewables by 2025,  and curb its direct CO2 emissions by 68%, compared to 2015. The challenges are ambitious but they are being met.  BBVA is a member of the ‘Science Based Targets Initiative‘ and is committed to the ‘RE 100 Initiative‘, to go 100% renewable by 2030: an objective that it has already achieved in Spain.

In pursuance of the SDGs, BBVA has launched its third Global Eco-efficiency Plan 2020 to encourage the use of clean energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions. The plan, which applies to all the countrieswhere the Groupis present, envisages the implementation of certified Environmental Management Systems under ISO 14001 in 1067 branches and 84 buildings and certified Energy Management Systems under ISO 50001 at BBVA Campus, Ciudad BBVA, the La Isla service building in Madrid and twelve branches in Lima (Peru).  The BBVA’s Spanish headquarters and other flagship buildings of the entity have already earned Gold LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is one of the world’s most demanding sustainable building standard.

On March 24, BBVA will turn off the light and reduce its consumption during Earth Hour. BBVA saves with the initiative about 2,420 kWh, equivalent to the annual consumption of an average home. Yet another year, with this symbolic gesture, BBVA wants to reaffirm its commitment to protect the environment and contribute to make the world a better place for people.

© WWF

A controversial measure

Also during Earth Hour, on Sunday, March 25, most European countries will set clocks forward one hour, marking the start of Daylight Saving Time, a practice that’s being questioned at all levels. In February of thi

s year, the European Parliament asked the Commission to review the costs and benefits of this measure. The reasons are that the impact of DST on people’s sleep patterns affects their productivity and that the actual power savings yielded by the measure have turned out to be relatively small, since power consumption peaks early in the evening.

The debate is not superfluous. Sustainable consumption and production is one of the goals that the UN has included in its Sustainable Development Agenda. According to the UN, meeting this goal will translate into “a better quality of life for all and. Its implementation, helps to achieve overall development plans, reduce future economic, environmental and social costs, strengthen economic competitiveness and reduce poverty.”

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