The energy transition affects all industrial and distribution processes. However, the sustainability-related challenges faced by companies also translate into business opportunities and competitive gains, according to Luisa Gómez Bravo, Global Head of Finance at the BBVA Group. "BBVA wants to help companies that are moving steadily towards energy transition in their business models," she said during her speech at the Spain Capital Markets hosted by Bloomberg on November 23. "Sustainability has become a regular part of our dialogue with our clients.”
Luisa Gómez Bravo joined Arturo Gonzalo Aizpiri, CEO of Enagás, and Joseph Oughourlian, founder of Amber Capital and Chairman of Grupo Prisa, on the panel. BBVA's Global Head of Finance explained that the Group has been committed to promoting sustainable finance for many years. Gómez Bravo pointed out that BBVA participated in 2007 in the issuance of the first green bonds worldwide. At the beginning of 2020, the bank established a specific strategic priority related to sustainability: "helping our customers transition to a sustainable future.” "All areas of the bank have mainstreamed sustainability into their day-to-day operations," she said. The Group has set a target of mobilizing €300 billion in sustainable finance from 2028 to 2025 and has already reached the figure of €185 billion at the end of the third quarter of 2023.
As she explained, the energy transition has begun in major companies and is spreading to the rest of the economy. 76 percent of BBVA's loan portfolio to customers in emissions-intensive sectors relates to clients that are making progress in their transition to net-zero emissions, she noted.
From her perspective, a clear distinction must be made between two types of sectors: those with decarbonization technologies already available where companies are at a more advanced stage of deployment, such as the automotive sector, and those where the technology to decarbonize does not yet exist or is still under development, such as the cement sector.
"BBVA wants to help companies that are moving steadily towards energy transition in their business models," she said. "The transition is important because it is not only necessary, but also because it involves a change in business models. We want to support our clients in this transformation.”
Gómez Bravo added that a key component of this transition is investment in the community and a commitment to inclusive growth. Over the first nine months of 2023, BBVA has invested €12 billion in inclusive growth in the countries where it operates.
Luisa Gómez Bravo pointed out that technology is another key trend for the future. "We started the transformation 20 years ago and we have created a very lean bank. Most importantly, we have managed to attract 8.3 million customers during the first nine months of the year, 65 percent through digital channels.” "The bank is also closely following all new technological trends, such as blockchain and artificial intelligence, which will bring progress and new opportunities.”