Carlos Torres Vila
BBVA Group executive chairman
Summer vacation is the best time to include some fun and educational activities on financial literacy in children’s games. This way, almost without realizing it, little ones can learn basic concepts like saving and consumption that will be very useful to them in the future.
The extinction of species, the rise in temperatures and major natural disasters are some of the consequences of climate change. Countries and industries are aware and work to combat the planet’s accelerating pollution. Are there any viable solutions? According to some researches, using big data and machine learning could help drive energy efficiency, transforms industries such as the agriculture and find new eco-friendly construction materials.
Yet another year, BBVA has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), the market’s leading benchmark index, which measures the economic, environmental and social performance of the world’s most valuable companies. BBVA’s inclusion in the DJSI World and DJSI Europe indices was announced today Friday, September 13. Also, for fifth consecutive year, Garanti BBVA earned a spot in the DJSI Emerging Markets.
The term agribusiness is used to refer to economic activities derived from or connected to farm products. In other words, crop production, as well as crop processing, transportation and distribution. Agriculture and all of its economic, social and demographic derivatives… a sector that has an impact on practically all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
BBVA Momentum, the BBVA program that supports social entrepreneurship, is entering its second half. September kicks-off with new training sessions for the selected social enterprises from participating countries: Colombia, the United States, Mexico, and Turkey. In a short couple of months, the most ambitious round of BBVA Momentum to date – with a record-breaking 169 participating social enterprises – will draw to a close.
‘Design thinking’ is a methodology that develops creativity and promotes innovation to solve problems and meet people’s needs in a viable way. Its influence has reached social enterprises who use it to improve their results and increase their impact.
Antoni Ballabriga, BBVA’s Global Head of Responsible Business, was recently appointed Co-Chair of the Global Steering Committee for the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). The UNEP FI is the global partnership established between the UN and the financial sector to promote sustainable finance, a cause that will keep Antoni Ballabriga busy well after the summer holidays. His calendar features a trip to New York on September 22 when BBVA, as one of the founding banks, will sign the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking.
Antoni Ballabriga received a B.A. in Business Administration and an MBA from ESADE Business School. He completed postgraduate studies at Harvard Business School where he focused on strategy and corporate social responsibility. He chairs the European Banking Federation’s working group on sustainable finance. He has also chaired the Spanish Forum for Socially Responsible Investment (SpainSIF) and the Spanish association of executives for corporate social responsibility (DIRSE).
Ballabriga reports directly to the bank’s management board. His avowed mission is “to ensure the bank systematically positions people at the heart of its decision-making processes.”
One would think that a good financial education, in and of itself, would be enough to properly plan for retirement. However, research conducted by the Mexican Association of Pension Fund Managers (AMAFORE) and supervised by Jean Paul Madrigal, reveals something more is needed. The BBVA Center for Education and Financial Capabilities awarded this retirement planning research project one of its inaugural BBVA EduFin Research Grants.
Banks, with their array of financial service offerings and bottom-line image, may not seem like natural cheerleaders for sustainable corporate practices. Your banker, after all, doesn’t make a living sourcing fair-trade chocolate for candy bars or producing renewable biomass fuel. Banks, however, play an increasingly significant role in promoting sustainable activities that support a clean environment, vulnerable populations and human rights, among other goals through their internal practices and through the enterprises they finance.
Through its renewable energy subsidiary, Enel Green Power España (EGPE), Endesa has begun construction of ‘Primoral’ wind farm, which will supply power to BBVA from the end of 2019. The plant, located in Villamayor de Gállego (Zaragoza), will be a 35 MW power plant capable of generating 108 GWh a year once it comes into operation.
Although the concept of sustainable development was first used officially in the Bruntland Report, published in 1987, it wasn’t until the UN General Assembly held in 2015 when countries across the globe signed the UN 2030 Agenda For Sustainable Development. A pivotal part of this agenda are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of goals and specific sets of tasks defined by the UN to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
A large percentage of the Spanish population is not familiar with some basic financial concepts that are essential for making investment or borrowing decisions. This was one of the key takeaways shared by Pablo Hernández de Cos, Governor of the Bank of Spain, during his presentation at EduFin Summit 2019, the yearly leading global financial education summit organized by the BBVA Center for Financial Education and Capability.
In 2018 BBVA invested €12.4 million in initiatives supporting social enterprises, encouraging volunteer activities, and promoting corporate responsibility. This amount totals €43 million for the 2016-2018 time period.
Three years ago, world leaders approved Agenda 2030, a global plan of action for sustainable development. This initiative aims to end poverty, reduce inequality, and combat climate change. Agenda 2030 has defined 17 high level sustainable development goals (SDGs) with 169 integrated and indivisible targets that address the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of sustainability. To fulfill the SDGs, governments, the private sector, and society as a whole must unify efforts. Thus, the final SDG – number 17 – aims to revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. BBVA contributes to all the SDGs. But this one, more than the others, entails a direct commitment to the communities the bank serves and the industries where it does business.
The Montrose Center broke ground Tuesday on its affordable senior independent living center in Houston, as part of the organization’s mission to empower primarily LGBTQ individuals and their families, to enjoy healthier and more fulfilling lives.
BBVA’s Global Head of Responsible Business, Antoni Ballabriga, has been named co-chair of UNEP-FI Global Steering Committee. UNEP FI (United Nations Environment Programme – Finance Initiative) is a global partnership established between the United Nations and the financial sector in 1992 to promote sustainable finance.
According to the United Nations, “It is important that governments, civil society and communities work together to implement lasting solutions to reduce violence, deliver justice and ensure inclusive participation at all times.” This is the aim of Sustainable Development Goal 16: “To promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies”. BBVA contributes to this goal through its responsible banking model and commitment to human rights, to name a few.